Saturday, September 29, 2007

Too tired to post pics right now, but....

Shawn and I are having an amazing time with his grandparents up in Donner Lake. We arrived at about 7pm on Friday. I almost immediately made brownies for everyone (with walnuts that were 20 years old - don't ask). We had dessert and sat around and talked for a few hours. It started to rain at about 9pm, but the rain quickly turned to snow (about 2 inches by the time we noticed and went outside). THE FIRST SNOW OF THE SEASON - YIPPPPEEEEEE!!!!! We then proceeded to go outside and have a snowball fight with Shawn's grandfather - every man/woman for themselves - so much fun (Tess was chasing the snowballs when they didn't break - so cute). We came in the house and made hot chocolate and hot tea, along with some popcorn and curled up on the couch with a blanket and watched a movie. This is what Friday nights are made of! I must say, this is one of the BEST visits to Donner with his grandparents (although, I must say, we have had some really fun visits over the last 4 or 5 years - gosh I can't believe it's been that long that we have been coming up here - but tonight was special and of course memorable with the first snow and of course the snowball fight). I will post some pics tomorrow of the snow and of us all hanging out. Good night! (Jonathan and Sharon - we wish you guys were here. It would have been so much fun to play in the snow with you guys. I hope you feel better soon Sharon! Love ya!)

Friday, September 28, 2007

Makes Sense Right?

The First Parent

by Bill Cosby

Whenever your kids are out of control, you can take comfort from the thought that even God’s omnipotence did not extend to his kids.

After creating Heaven and Earth, God created Adam and Eve. And the first thing He said to them was: “Don’t.”

“Don’t what?”, Adam replied.

“Don’t eat the forbidden fruit.”

“Forbidden fruit? Really? Where is it?”

“It’s over there,” said God, wondering why He hadn’t stopped after making the elephants.

A few minutes later God saw the kids having an apple break and He was angry.

“Didn’t I tell you not to eat that fruit?” the First Parent asked.

“Uh huh,” Adam replied.

“Then why did you?”

“I dunno,” Adam answered.

God’s punishment was that Adam and Eve should have children of their own.

Thus the pattern was set and it has never changed. But there is reassurance in this story.

If you have persistently and lovingly tried to give them wisdom and they haven’t taken it, don’t be hard on yourself.

If God had trouble handling children, what makes you think it would be a piece of cake for you?

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Preparing for lecture....

Here's something I need to watch out for. I am currently preparing a lecture for tomorrow's class on Small Group Communication. We are finally to the part in the book where it talks about how people respond to one another and interact with one another. And, without getting into too much detail, I am currently a part of a few small groups - how convenient right? So, what am I doing? Of course, human nature - - - I am comparing the ideas/theories in the book to those of the small groups I am a part of. Is that terrible? Or is that considered analytical? I AM GOING TO KEEP MY MOUTH SHUT of course when it comes to the patterns/roles people in the groups have chosen, fallen into, have been assigned...whatever you want to call it. But, it's interesting to see communication patterns emerge as I am teaching this class.

I guess this is an occupational hazard. In talking to my friends who have gotten their masters degrees in Counseling/Psychology, they experience the same thing. They learn about a theory/disorder and automatically they have it or know someone in their life that has it. I have also heard the same thing from people going to medical school or that are beginning doctors (my cousin is a doctor, and one of my friends is in residency in So. Cal). They learn about symptoms, and of course they, their family member, friend, acquaintance etc. has whatever it is they can recall from the limited list of symptoms they have learned (which tends to make people freak out if you ask me....on all occasions - communication, psychological and medical). Unless something is confirmed by a professional, I would shy away from listening to it - but of course, this is only one person's humble opinion. (Which, to tell you the truth, is why I almost never talk about communication theory - patterns that I see emerge etc.... It's not worth the risk of being wrong, or freaking people out for that matter because they realize that I may be analyzing certain behaviors - as I think all people do, just on different levels).

Like I said, of course I am going to keep this information to myself since it is in NO WAY appropriate to talk about in the groups that I am in. And OF COURSE I know that these patterns emerge in everyday life, not just in these particular small groups I am in (plus, I don't think there is anything wrong with the small groups I am currently a part of - and love the people dearly in all of the groups). My point here is that it is quite interesting to read about theory and have it be real and apparent in my life. Thus the hazards of the Social Sciences I guess - it is the study of people, people interacting with people, the ideas people hold, patterns that are set up in our society etc.... I love it, love it, love it!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

92 Days Folks - That's Right!!!

Today Shawn and I went to Costco. We had to pick up some Clorox wipes, my preferred clean up method. I use those things primarily in the kitchen and bathroom. What better place to use them right? To make a long story short, the Christmas stuff is out already. That's right folks, Costco has Christmas decorations out - - - which means, it is officially time for me to start decorating. :) I may wait until October, but like I have said before, I virtually missed Christmas last year because of the move, a wedding, and generally being busy with unpacking and such. I am so excited I'm gonna pee my pants. (Clorox, calling clorox! Cleanup in Carol's office needed!).

Saturday, September 22, 2007

The Eggroll

I was watching Seinfeld today. It was the one at the Chinese Restaurant where Jerry, Elaine and George don't get sat for the whole episode. Jerry tells Elaine that he would pay her $50 to go to a table and pick up and eggroll, eat it, say thank you, then walk away. She is not allowed to say anything else - just pick it up, eat it, say thanks and walk away. I would absolutely do that!!! (With one stipulation of course, the people I was with would have to agree to eat at another place that night. #1 of course because you would get thrown out and #2 because I wouldn't be able to eat at that particular place after I did something like that). So, if we ever go out to dinner, bring $50 and watch me shine!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Thank Heaven for Lauren Green

In case you haven't heard yet, Kathy Griffin made some terrible comments after she won an Emmy award. Lauren Green, a correspondent for Fox News wrote this: Lauren's Article
Thank God someone put it in perspective!

(Thanks Lauren Green for taking the time to respond with intelligence and kindness).

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Oh Happy Day!

During my last class yesterday an awesome storm began. I called Shawn to see if it was up in Placerville yet - nope! Thank God because we hadn't secured the hot tub cover on all sides. So, I called him and mentioned that it was raining really hard, and hailing a little and there was VERY loud thunder and amazing lightning. Well, only a little wind and rain hit Placerville - but I was excited nonetheless that I got caught in an amazing thunderstorm during/after class. It rained a little last night and is very cloudy today. We are prepared. Last night Shawn secured the last two straps on the hot tub and we are good to go. (When we placed the hot tub I asked him to secure the straps - and let's just say that there was a bit of disagreement about doing it yesterday - and to make a long story short, it needed to be done). Quite a number of years ago I had a bit of a hot tub mishap. The cover flew off and broke a window. I knew there was a storm coming in and didn't want that to happen again. So, needless to say, the straps are secured - and well, simply put, I was right! :) Wind was mildly strong yesterday, and we would have lost the cover had it not been secured down. Thanks for doing that babe, even though you didn't want to - I think it was the best decision. I will post pics of the hot tub when I get around to it.

Oh, how I am glad the weather is changing! And, I feel blessed that I got to see the thunderstorm. Thanks God! It lifted my spirits.

Monday, September 17, 2007

New shows

Oh, Wentworth Miller - how I have missed you!!! Tonight is the LONG ANTICIPATED season premier of Prison Break. So exciting. After months and months of lame reruns, we finally get to partake in some new shows. I hate summer for a number of reasons - the heat - the excessive sun - being locked inside the house because of the two aforementioned things - and of course RERUNS!!!!!

Like I have posted before, there is something for both Shawn and I. Of course Wentworth Miller is for me, regardless of his sexual orientation which of course Perez Hilton is constantly questioning (like he does everyone, simply because he himself is same-sex oriented). I digress! Shawn likes the character Sara Tancredi - he thinks she is an attractive character. Not only physically (he thinks she's cute), but her character's personality as well. I think it's cute that he has a TV crush. :)

In other news:
*Shawn's birthday is today!!! Happy Birthday sweetie!!! You are an amazing husband - everything I could have ever hoped for. I am so blessed to share my life with you. (I am glad you get to watch your TV crush on your birthday). :)

*Our hot tub is getting delivered tomorrow. Woo hoo! I can't wait for it to get here and get it set up. Shawn and I have waited so long for a hot tub. 24 hours-ish and it will be here. It probably won't be hooked up for a couple of weeks, but at least it will be here. Yippeeee!!!!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

It's one or the other

My tomato plants are doing well. Except for one thing. Something keeps eating the tips of them at night. I think it's either a:

(Cute little dear.....bastard!)


(The Chupracabra)

I think it's the Chupacabra that's eating them - what do you think?

Monday, September 10, 2007

I like 'em!

Shawn and I had another busy weekend. We met some friends for brunch on Sunday morning down in Sacramento. It was fun. Since we were down there I decided to stop by Pottery Barn at the mall. I have had a gift certificate burning a hole in my pocket since my birthday and wanted to spend it. There's nothing like free stuff right? Or, as my bother-in-law says, "It's free99!" I have wanted a really cool pitcher and set of goblet style glasses for a while. Everywhere I look they are ok priced, but can't justify spending money on something we don't actually 'need'. Now, it was my turn to splurge on something I have wanted for a while. It took me only a few minutes to decide on this set (really, because Shawn had to go to the bathroom). It's simple and straight to the point. I love it!!!! Now, when people come over, I can use it to serve iced tea, lemonade or my favorite, ice water with slices of lemon right in the pitcher. Love it!!! It's the simple things in life that make me happy.

So, a HUGE thanks to Chris and Crystal for giving me a gift certificate to Pottery Barn. There is NO WAY I would have EVER spent that much on a pitcher and glasses set. You guys are wonderfully thoughtful!!!

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Chicken Souvlaki with Tzaziki Sauce

I can't quite remember if I have posted this recipe before, but even if I have, it's worth mentioning again. It's called Chicken Souvlaki with Tzaziki Sauce. It has very strong flavors, which I like A LOT. I actually do it a bit differently than how the recipe states, so I will give you the recipe as is, then tell you how I 'make it my own'.

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh or 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 medium zucchini, quartered lengthwise and cut into (1/2-inch-thick) slices
Cooking spray

Tzatziki Sauce:
1/2 cup cucumber, peeled, seeded, and shredded
1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt (greek yogurt if possible)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 garlic clove, minced


To prepare souvlaki, combine the first 5 ingredients in a zip-top plastic bag; seal and shake to combine. Add chicken to bag; seal and shake to coat. Marinate chicken in refrigerator for 30 minutes, turning once.

Remove chicken from bag; discard marinade. Thread the chicken and zucchini, alternately onto each of 4 (8-inch) skewers.

Heat a grill pan coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add skewers; cook 8 minutes or until chicken is done, turning once.

To prepare tzatziki sauce, combine cucumber, yogurt, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1 garlic clove, stirring well. Serve the tzatziki sauce with souvlaki.


2 servings (serving size: 2 skewers and about 1/4 cup tzatziki sauce)

Nutritional Information

CALORIES 219(19% from fat); FAT 4.7g (sat 1.3g,mono 2.3g,poly 0.6g); PROTEIN 30.9g; CHOLESTEROL 69mg; CALCIUM 161mg; SODIUM 705mg; FIBER 2.4g; IRON 1.4mg; CARBOHYDRATE 12.3g

My changes:
I marinate the chicken as stated, without the zucchini. Let it sit for a few hours to overnight (most times I don't wait overnight because I don't like to think that far ahead) and fry it in a frying pan until the chicken is done. If you fry it like I do, add some cooking spray to the bottom of a pan and just add the chicken, NOT THE MARINADE. The marinade it too delicate and WILL burn. Discard the marinade unless you are making a second round of the chicken the next day.

I eat the chicken as is. In fact, I eat it both hot and cold. Hot when I am eating it with a pita, and cold for the left overs. It is really good cold - in fact, I eat the chicken as finger food when I am hungry in between meals. Lots of lean protein and flavor.

I serve the chicken in a pita with some tzaziki sauce and cut up fresh tomatoes and/or cucumbers. I also make a side dish of fresh cut tomatoes and cucumbers in tzaziki sauce.

Speaking of the Tzaziki Sauce - my modifications are: Not so much garlic. I use just a tiny bit of raw garlic because the whole clove is WAY to overpowering. I use yogurt, some sour cream, previously stated tiny amount of raw garlic, garlic powder, dill - fresh or dried, cucumber that is peeled, seeded and grated with a cheese grater, lemon and of course salt. I don't have the exact quantities since I mix and taste as I go, but if you are going to modify the recipe, start with the basic recipe and modify from there. A tend to add almost equal parts of sour cream and yogurt (but the sour cream isn't necessary - my husband happens to LOVE sour cream). Once I get the grated cucumber in there, I add and taste until I like it.

Let me know if you have any questions! :) Happy Cooking!!!

I keep saying....

I keep mentioning in my blog, and to people I talk to, that my students are driving me crazy (the "I know it all' attitude which is pretty much associated with a particular age group - I should mention that not all my students have this attitude - neither do some other people I know in that age category). Well, here's the truth - as it was pointed out tonight. They aren't really driving me crazy, they are challenging me and allowing me the opportunity to stretch. :) That's a better way of looking at it I think. And, to tell you the truth, there are a number of things that are stretching me right now - some family, some acquaintances, some work situations - all of which are good things, I think!

In other news,,,,,,we had dinner tonight with some of Shawn's family. It was pretty fun. We had Chinese Food - a favorite of many in Shawn's family. Tomorrow we may attempt a long hike - this time without the doggy. She wasn't able to hike up rocks and last week ended up hurting herself. So, I think Shawn and I might try that hike alone...maybe. We have been pretty exhausted lately, so we may do a shorter, yet more intense hike tomorrow. We will see what tomorrow brings. :) Until then.....

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Lecture is done...

I prepared my lecture and group activity for the day - wooo hoooo! It took me a few hours, but it's done. Here's my motto (and has been since graduate school): "Lecture is done and that is good. Therefore, lecture is good!" We used to substitute the word 'paper' for 'lecture' since we were constantly writing papers in grad school. It works!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Just some things.....

The weekend.....

Thursday: Went over to Shawn's brother's place late at night and got quite a bit of work done - yeah me! Came home at like 1am or so.

Friday: Cleaned the backyard for the expected arrival of our hot tub this week. Worked really late into the night and didn't get to bed until pretty late again - ugghhh!

Saturday: Went to Fernley to hang with my sister for her birthday. We had a good time with everyone. I wished we could have stayed, but we had decided before we got up there that we were going to keep the visit short and sweet for our sanity. We have been busy for, I don't know, every weekend for months now and desperately need some time to unwind.

Sunday: Went to Apple Hill - simply because it was opening day. I drove around to all of the farms, 'just to see', but only stopped at 3 farms. Had some family over for dinner - it was fun!

Monday: Went on a hike, and then unexpectedly ended up in Tahoe for lunch. There was too much traffic to head back the way we came, so we headed up the mountain and went a different way home. It was a nice day - for the most part. Right after we got home, Shawn's mom and step-dad came by for an hour/hour and a half or so. We planned a dinner for the family for the weekend - Chinese on Friday night - fun times!

Today: Hmmm, let's see here - I think I will exercise and then get some prep work done for my classes tomorrow. Hopefully my classes will improve a bit, I am not feeling connected to them right now and hope it gets better. No cooking today! But, I think I figured out how to make those amazing blueberry muffins from a post about 5 months ago. I bought a wonderful Apple Cake from Apple Hill on Sunday and it had the same taste as the blueberry muffins. The secret.....I can't tell you yet. Not until I try the recipe again. :) But once I do, I am telling ya, it's gonna be the BEST blueberry muffin recipe EVER. Although, I have a feeling it's going to be a semi-homemade recipe since I will be using a box cake/ muffin mix. Maybe I will try making this recipe today, just to see if I can do it. :) Ok, so maybe some cooking today.