Friday, December 17, 2010

Random Acts of Irritation

I have a handful or so of pet peeves, but I feel strongly enough about one of them that I need to post about it. Now that the semester is over I have a few extra minutes a day to do such posting, so watch out, I may become the Postinator, Super Poster, Blogger McBloggerton or the lesser known Bloggy Round Pants.
(too lazy to post a cheesy graphic here)

 Anyway....



I go to the grocery store a lot, much more than I would like to. Every time I get so annoyed by all the grocery carts (or buggies, whichever you prefer) scattered all over the parking lot. Now, I am just as lazy as the next guy, but come on people! Can you not walk the twenty extra feet to put the cart in its designated area so that I, and many other people, don't have to drive into the parking lot dodging carts? It's enough to have to dodge the people who think that they should walk right down the middle of the parking lot isle, or the other drivers who think the parking lot is Rocky Mountain Speedway. I will not forget to mention the parking spot stalkers, the ones who want to jam up everything while waiting for someone to load all of their groceries so that they can steal that perfect spot. If they are too lazy to park further, they too, are probably too lazy to put their buggies away as well. Now I'm not one to bitch without giving solutions, so here they are for all you lazy, I'm going to leave my buggy anywhere in the parking lot people:


1) I get it, I'm a parent too. If you're anything like me I load up the kids, then load up the groceries. I too feel uncomfortable leaving the little ones in the car while I return the buggy. Here's a thought, plan ahead, when you park make sure you park next to a buggy return location, that way it's right there... BAMN! Grocery cart returned.

2) I am not one to hate on those who are either disabled or injured, and the trip to return the cart just isn't within your reach. I know, you just wandered around the entire grocery store and your injured knee just cannot handle the extra 20 feet. I get it, I've been working out with Jillian Michaels and my sore legs are having a hard time just trying to sit on the toilet. So.... when the nice young man asks you if you would like help out to your car, take it. They will walk you out, help load your groceries AND take your cart. DONE!


3) If you're anything like me, when you get home you like to make as little trips back and forth to the car unloading your groceries. You try to load up as many bags on your arm and recruit the kiddos to help out as well. Why not take that same idea while you're on your way out of the store? If you have a few bags, load'em up on your arms, leave the buggy at the store and you don't even have to worry about returning the cart. VIOLA!


4) Now... if none of the above applies to you. You cannot find a spot close to the return area, you are not hurting and cannot bring yourself to ask for help, and/or have a months worth of groceries in your cart and have to wheel the buggy to your car. Here is my solution: Get over it! Take the extra 30 seconds to put the cart away. Most likely you were the aforementioned person who waited for the supreme spot and are super close to the store. I know what you're thinking, "but there isn't any return area close to my car" (awwww) that's because you are 10 feet away from the store and can return it to the area where you retrieved your cart!

Last week I had a very pleasing moment. I was walking with my buggy full of groceries out to my car and watched this lady take her cart and park it right behind my car! I almost had to laugh as she was looking around to see if anyone had noticed her moment of lazy/rudeness. So I hurried up to make sure I arrived before she pulled out of her spot. My first inclination was to take the cart and park it behind hers.. yeah... that'll show her! Instead, I took the cart and pushed it right by her window, looked at her and smiled, making sure she noticed me. I then continued to walk her buggy over to the gentleman who was in the parking lot retrieving stray carts. I looked over as she tried to hightail it out of there, obviously embarrassed by her act of rudeness. Proudly, I continued to unload my groceries and then I walked my buggy over to it's designated area. 

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Update to "My 15 Minutes of Fame"

video

Here is a clip that features our solar panels! You can find their YouTube Videos here.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

My 15 Minutes of Fame

The Star!
OK, OK, not really my 15 minutes of fame... more like our backyard's... more specifically our solar panels. They finally got the much deserved recognition they have been longing for.
Last week a producer from The Urban Conversion came by and asked if they could do some filming for their show in our back yard, using our solar panels as a back drop, and of course we said yes. So Saturday morning our back yard was host to producers, a camera man and the shows host, Rodman. When they arrived my mom had led them out back and then came rushing in freaking out, "They want to interview me!" She then followed up with the words I love to hear,"You have to fix me up!" You see, my mom is not a girly girl. She's worked in a predominately male field for so long, and she was too busy working and raising us kids to even bother with hair, make up and fashion. So of course I grab any chance to show everyone how beautiful she really is! We did a quick make over and went outside. They did their 30 second bit and then did the interview with mom, she was a bit nervous but did great. I stayed behind the camera where I belong.

The pictures weren't great, I was taking them with my phone and trying to make it look like I wasn't taking pictures.


I don't know when they will be airing any of it, but they said they would keep us updated. The show is still in the newborn stage and they are working on pitching to networks, so right now their home resides on YouTube and the World Wide Web.

I have to admit I was completely mortified at the way our yard looked. As unofficial grounds keeper it has been my job to keep our little over an acre lot looking, well, decent. I really love doing it. Nothing else is as relaxing as throwing on a tank and jeans (and sunscreen), grabbing a beer (or few), putting my headphones on and zoning out on yard work for a few hours in the Colorado sun. I was doing great this summer, even got over my fear of the scary weed whacker, until the end of August when my fall semester started and it has (among many other things) kept me very busy.

This was very exciting for my mom as she is quite "green." We have the solar panels and recycle just about every thing we can. I take more to recycle every week than the trash company picks up in a month. We have started construction of the worm home for our compost and have been shopping around for a chicken coop. Within the next year, because of our growing water bill, we are planning on having a rain catcher system installed. It is a lot of work to start up these projects, but the benefits certainly out weigh the initial cost/labor investment.

Monday, September 20, 2010

unscheduled pleaseure

My life revolves around my Outlook Calender and Tasks. Thank you Microsoft for giving me the tools to schedule almost every minute of my day; I have become become a slave to your reminder ridden, color coded wonderfulness. Most of the time I follow it pretty strictly, if I didn't chapters wouldn't get read, tests would be failed, Den meetings wouldn't get planned, soccer games would be missed and birthdays forgotten. I have become accustomed to this lifestyle and have come to terms with this aspect of growing up and parenthood. 

This afternoon Ethan went to his Dad's, my Mom and Maci got situated with some Granny/Maci time, and as planned, I snuck off for a few hours to get some studying done. About 30 minutes into my studying I received a text (I know, I should turn my phone off while studying, but I'm weak) from my friend, Jim, who I hadn't seen in a number of months, the conversation went something like this:
Jim: You busy tonight?
Me: Why, what's up?
Jim: Want to go for a walk in the park?
(normally, I would respond by saying that I was studying and maybe some other time, but a walk in the park sounded very appealing, especially after the busy week I've had)
Me: A walk would be nice, I have to get a little more studying done, how about in a couple hours?

I let my mom know I would be home an hour later than planned (since she was home with Maci) and shaved off 1-2 hours of study time. I planned to get the majority of my studying done before going and decided I be home at a reasonable hour and finish when I got home.

Jim and I met up at a place in Boulder, we had decided on a simple hike/picnic instead. Both of us must have been under the delusion it was still summer, since the sun was setting as we began our trek up the foothill. Jim brought some snacky snacks, and since there was a shortage of picnic tables on the narrow path, we laid down a blanket he had brought on a little bridge, and had a picnic by moon/flashlight. We chatted a bit and caught up on the happening of each others lives.
(Side note: Jim is the photographer that had done my pin-up style photos. Check out some of his work here).

After a little eating and chatting, we packed up and head down the hill. About half way down, we spotted something move towards the edge of the path. We had joked earlier about getting eaten by wildlife since we were the idiots walking around the foothills... at night... and with no one around. So naturally I was a bit spooked (more like we both peed ourselves a little). Upon further inspection with Jim's flashlight, we had come across a young deer who stood silently looking back at us, only about 15 feet away. He was beautiful, and I just stood there and took it all in. I wish I had brought a camera, and of course the photographer I did bring, was camera-less. I took a minute to just take it in and appreciate the moment. I felt lucky that I live in such a wonderful state and a little proud of myself for taking some time for me and tossing my schedule aside, if only for a couple hours.
The deer finally ran off and we continued our trek to our cars so that I could head home and finish the studying I needed to do.



The deer we saw looked similar to this guy, just pretend it's night time.

Spontaneity is the quality of being able to do something just because you feel like it at the moment, of trusting your instincts, of taking yourself by surprise and snatching from the clutches of your well organized routine a bit of unscheduled pleasure.

- Richard Iannelli

Monday, August 30, 2010

mmm... dumplings

nǐ hǎo friends! I'm really excited about a recipe I recently discovered. I'm a big fan of steamed dumplings (or the steamed dumplings better known fried friend- Potstickers). Usually when I'm craving them I buy the Ling Ling brand at our neighborhood bulk store. I think, for being a store bought frozen food, they are pretty darn tasty. Not anymore my friends, not anymore. I've been wanting to figure out how to make dumplings for a while, but I thought it would be a lot of effort... and well, the thought usually stopped there.

But...

I have been trying to cook (from scratch-ish) my favorite things that I normally buy pre-made. This way I know what's going into my food, I can make it healthier (if I choose to), and a lot of the time it's cheaper (per serving).
So last week when I was craving dumplings, I went to an old dependable friend Alton Brown from the Food Network. He is great at making seemingly complicated recipes simple and no fail. In other words, Desiree friendly. I came across this appropriately named Perfect Potstickers recipe.

The results:
Please excuse the picture quality, I couldn't find my camera
 ( honestly I really didn't look) and used the camera on my phone.
These things were not only pretty darn tasty, but reasonably cheap and easy to make. The time consuming part was wrapping the little buggers, but I'm sure if you had a couple extra hands it would go by much faster. I didn't. Also, I was able to freeze my leftovers, reheat in the microwave a few days later... and they still tasted awesome. Tonight when I made them, I doubled the recipe and froze a bunch (and of course packed some in moms lunch) so I could have have some on hand for a quick snack or emergency (meaning I don't want to cook) dinner.
I did make a few modifications to the original recipe:
  • Instead of ground pork I used ground chicken breast, I love bacon, so my diet has plenty of pork.
  • I added about a half cup of chopped cabbage. The brand I usually eat has cabbage and I had some in my fridge from taco night that needed a home before it went bad.
  • The first time I made them I used veggie oil, (as the recipe called) but tonight I made them with extra virgin olive oil and that worked just fine. The recipe doesn't call for a lot of oil so if you're watching your girlish figure you'll be fine, I just prefer the EVOO.
I love the soy/sesame sauce that comes with my usual brand of potstickers so I was happy to find out that they sell it here. I haven't actually purchased any, but good to know. Also, I think freshly grated ginger would be pretty tasty to add, maybe next time.

Probably more than anyone wanted to read about dumplings, more than I planned on writing, so thanks for reading... if you made it this far.

P.S. According to Wikipedia, 'Dumplings' are steamed, and 'potstckers' are dumplings that are fried instead of steamed.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

in a funk

So... I'm in a funk (as the title so appropriately states). I had a two week break between my summer semester and the fall semester. Initially I didn't think it was going to be enough of a break... I had too much to do and very little time to do it. I had to make sure Ethan was all ready for school, make sure I was ready for a new semester, Tiger scouts planning, catch up on laundry, housecleaning and possibly a little R&R.

About 4-5 days into my "break" I was climbing the walls, I needed a textbook to read, a test to study for, homework to do... ANYTHING!!!
I was thrilled when I got my textbooks (about a week into my break), I cracked them open right away. I had a week to get a head-start, and I knew with the classes I had, I was going to need it.

Fall semester officially began Monday, and since one of my classes is online, it began Monday as well. My other class, which is on campus, starts tomorrow (Friday, the 27th). With the withdrawals I was having during break and the excitement of just getting my textbooks, you'd think this week I would've been ecstatic, farting rainbows left and right.

Nope.

Nothin.







Well said little dude... well said...

The past couple days, I have had no interest in the reading I should be doing, my love of making flashcards has completely dissipated, my nighttime hobby of watching iTunes lectures from Ivy League colleges (my Ivy League education on a community college budget) has come to a complete stop. I have even procrastinated using cleaning... CLEANING!!! I would rather be cleaning up the mess my son leaves behind after going to the bathroom than studying.
I know what you are all thinking, "Desiree, what's up? what's going on? and ewww..." I have one answer for you.

Donno.

I'm hoping that when I go tomorrow for my A&P class that the fresh smell of textbooks, the bright colors of a PowerPoint presentation, new lead in my pencil, and my favorite bright orange notebook I use for taking notes will snap me out of it. It should. It will. I'll be totally fine....

If not, at least my toilet will be the cleanest on the block....

(and no, I won't clean yours)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Simplified Chaos

The past year I have been on a mission to simplify my life. The top reasons: money (or lack thereof), time (again, lack thereof), space (also lacking), priorities and all around feel good happiness.

With my decision to go back to school, sacrifices had to be made. I knew I wouldn't be able to work, go to school and raise my two kids and feel good at the end of the day about the time I would be able to invest into each (I didn't add social life there because it's hardly worth recognizing to begin with).
Making the decision to pursue nursing was an easy decision, although it took me a long time to realize it. It's kind of like the quote from When Harry Met Sally,
"when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible."
My somebody became nursing. So knowing all of this, working wasn't going to be possible.

I had already been living with my mom for a few months when I decided to go back to school and, initially, it was only temporary. Not anymore. Think: George Costanza and toss in a pint of student, 2 cups of kids and a dash of divorce....TaDa, that's me (maybe with a little more hair)




With this simplification I have learned to live in a very small bedroom, use public transportation and stretch a buck. I have realized how liberating it is to get rid of a lot of "junk" I do not need, use, and mostly lack space space for (I know those of you who have helped me move in the past wish I had realized this a long time ago... I am sorry, thankful and you're right). I can tell you the cheapest places to shop for _______ (insert object here), take the kids for fun, and grab a beer to watch the game on a limited budget. I have mastered (OK OK, received my associates in) the art of compromise while living with my mom, basically, she's always right and a good "yes, ma'am" goes a long way (a glass of wine and a home cooked meal when she gets home is equally effective). I have worked on keeping the drama of life to a minimum, some stuff can't be avoided, but a lot can. I have had to give up on my love of clothes shopping, but replaced it with my love (adoration) of my local library. I love LOVE curling up with a good book and have learned how to read while I cook/clean/walk/play with kids/etc. Also, screw diamonds... my iPod, Outlook and OneNote are this girls best friends!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Testing testing...um... 1,2,3

So here goes.... my first official blog post.
Um... hi
Isn't this great.
No?
Hmmm.. well I can't even promise that it'll get better since this is purely experimental.
Feel free to add supportive comments, or non-supportive... In reality I'll just be happy to have comments, no matter what content.
Super, glad we laid down the ground work. Important in any relationship.

I guess I should lay out a brief back story as to why I decided to do this.
First, I seem to have really interesting conversations with myself when a) I am doing yard work b) cleaning c) on my way to and from school. All of which during I think at one point or another "I should write this down," but never do since, well, I am too busy or too tired from being too busy, or just plain lazy. Probably more has to do with the fact that I don't have confidence in the fact that (although I think my thoughts, opinions, ramblings are completely relevant) anyone will be interested. Hence....
Secondly, I am on some sort of a.... what's the word? Quest-ish to try new things...ish. yeah... more on that later..maybe. I'm sure.
Third, just because I am between semesters in school and find myself with a few extra hours a day and feel the need to fill my time. I've already caught up with my new favorite show Boston Med. I've caught up on reading the last couple months worth of posts on The Cameronomicon. and seriously thought about doing laundry. Therefore now I am left with a plethora of time on my hands for the next week until Ethan (my son)and myself start school. Then it's back to studying, homework (Ethan's and mine) Boy scouts, field trips, cookie baking (haha, couldn't even say that with a straight face) cookie buying, Den Mothering, fundraising, uniform ironing, left shoe searching, popcorn selling, etc... all in all my very busy, yet pretty boring (and I like it that way) lifestyle.

So, wish me luck, as I hope to update as much as I can...which isn't saying much.