Thursday, October 30, 2008

Writer's Block & Not Much Else

There really hasn't been anything that has caught my interest to blog about lately. My apologies dear blog readers.

Animals~The animal kingdom in the house has settled down a bit. The cats still don't like the dog, but they do enjoy watching the dog get into trouble. They're like little nags watching and waiting with a "this is going to be good when Mom sees this" look on their face when they see things they know Lou will get into trouble for doing. Other than that the cats stay upstairs if the dog is in the house and the dog is restricted to the downstairs so he doesn't get in to things he shouldn' expensive cat food. .oO(I guess the cat food isn't terribly expensive, but we started buying them Science Diet when we had a steady income and they refuse to eat much of anything else now...Science Diet is around $30 for a bag that should last a month, Meow Mix is probably around $15 for a bag the same size...nope the furbabies aren't spoiled {insert HUGE eyeroll} at all.)

No children for us!~It has been brought to my attention, via the animal kingdom unrest, that I am nowhere near being ready to mother anything but animals. If I raise my voice at Lou he obeys and then runs off b/c I have "scared" him. If Dave yells too loudly at Lou, he gets scared and pees a little. If Dave yells at Zeke he runs to his food bowl and eats. As a result we have determined our children would have some kids for us at this point. Furbabies are good for now.

Sickness~Dave was sick last weekend with what he calls "the sickness." I worked every day last wknd so I had little time to do anything but work and try to tend to the sick patient. Meanwhile, I was taking Airborn, Echinacea, and my vitamins daily all in an attempt to avoid "the sickness." Today I awoke to a severely sore throat due to some sinus drainage and am hoping I didn't catch "the sickness." So I'm drinking hot tea and still taking my vitamins in an attempt to curtail any ensuing sickness.

Voting~I happened to realize that we need to vote next week. Then I realized I hadn't received my voter registration card in the mail and I began to worry. A few minutes later as I was watching tv I saw a commercial for a website where I can check the status of my voter registration and find my polling case you were wondering. So I log onto the website, it says no voter located under that name. Panic ensues as I try to figure out what I need to do, my opinion must be heard! {Sidenote: Alabama is the only state in which I have lived that did not offer me the option of changing my voter registration when I received my Driver's License. Alabama, I'm thinking you could save some headaches and time if you offered this option. So I had to mail in a paper application, which I put in an envelope instead of folding in half since I had to put my ss# on it.} I wonder, did they not receive my application...I mailed it over a month ago. .oO(I know I'm a Yankee-a female one at that, but I still have rights here yanno? - That was for Dave who teases me about not being able to vote here.) What do I do now? Then I realized it was time to get ready for work and this problem would have to be put on hold momentarily. Well, my problem was solved yesterday when the mail arrived. I finally received my voter registration card in the mail!

In other voter related news, my mother has already voted. She went and picked up an absentee ballot, filled it out, and turned it back in. She successfully avoided election day headaches. .oO(Wonder if she received one of those cool "I voted today" stickers?) Oh to live in Ohio again....wait a minute, maybe not they had snow flurries earlier this week. Yuck!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Hold Still I Have a Flashlight! I'm not having enough trouble sleeping with the door to our room open so the noisy cats can get in and out. Last night I am finally almost asleep (at 12:30 am) when my dearest husband says "hold still I have a flashlight!" .oO(Ugh, I was holding still...I was almost asleep!!) He repeats "hold still I have a flashlight." I hear him reach around his nightstand and sit up this time. I definitely don't move b/c he has a Surefire flashlight. They're the kind Marines and other soldiers use when kicking in doors or whatever wherever they happen to be and they are blindingly bright. So since I have my sleep mask on (I've been using one lately to make it "darker" in my head so I can sleep better) and I know he has this crazy bright flashlight I definitely don't move for a second or two. Then when I realize he hasn't turned the flashlight on I pull up the sleep mask and ask "are you good now?" He says "yeah, I wasn't sure whether I was really talking or if I was still dreaming." I reply "you definitely told me to hold still you have a flashlight." He lays back down and is sound asleep in minutes. Meanwhile I try to settle back down and sleep. I'm successful until about 3-4am when I wake up b/c fat Zeke (I say that in the most loving way) is sleeping between my feet and I can't move. He won't budge b/c there is a dog in the house. .oO(Guess I didn't need to worry about holding still.) So today I am my typically grumpy Wizzel self after another restless night of sleep. (Wizzel is my husband's nickname for case you didn't know.)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Animal Kingdom

The animal kingdom in our house has been recently disturbed. The cats are angry and hiding in our bedroom all day. They come downstairs long enough to use the litter box and glare at the newcomer in the house. Then it is back upstairs. That means that they are sleeping with us too, which isn't too bad except for the fact that Zeke doesn't share the bed very well and he baths at 3am, loudly. The newcomer is a border collie we have names "Lou," short for Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller. If you aren't aware of who "Chesty" Puller is then I suggest you click the link and start reading. He is a legend in the Marine Corps. Anyhow, Lou came to be part of the family on Sunday when he was being attacked in a neighbor's yard by another neighbor's pit bulls. Dave heard the calamity and went to investigate. .oO(Meanwhile I'm still sound asleep in bed.) He apparently comes back with Lou, a 6 month old puppy. He is very well-behaved, but I'm not really a big dog person. I don't like worrying about when the dog was last outside to go potty, if he is chewing on something I don't want him to chew, if he is up on the in-law's leather furniture, etc. Plus, the aforementioned cat issue. The cats are feeling harassed and are showing their anger via cat glares.

~The Standoff on the Bivins' Stairs~

We'll call this next section "Weekend Updates"...

My Ticket to "The Gun Show"
They kept my ticket this time...I'm sorta irritated b/c I was going to take a pic of my ticket stub. Oh well, this trip to the big gun show wasn't really that entertaining. The funniest thing I heard was "ooooohhhhh, concealment purses, let's go look at these." The purses we bad 80's leather purses. The kind your grandma still carries..."bless her heart."

The uniform of the day gave you the option of wearing overalls or anything cammie colored-it could be actual cammies or just the colors in cammies.

I also saw what I will describe as paper clip confederate soldiers. They looked like they were made out of a continuous paper clip unwound. Then the paper clip wire was molded into a figure, some carried guns, some carried a flag with an "x" I assume to represent the confederate flag. It could be yours for only $10. I can just picture someone buying these goofy paper clip soldiers to stage a reenactment in their basement. Creepy!

One last cute thing I saw was a notice to customers at one gentleman's table. I think this rule should apply to all businesses. I think it might make people a little less grumpy when dealing with clerks. The notice read "Prices subject to change according to customer's attitude." I could cut someone a deal on a product or I could price gouge if they were talking on a cell phone while trying to check out. Seriously, put the phone down! It won't kill you...or the other say hold on one second while I check out. .oO(Sorry, HUGE pet peeve. Also, you best not complain if I don't offer you much customer service while you chat on your phone the whole time you shop. I'm not going to be rude and interrupt your terribly important conversation...I'm assuming it is important b/c you're talking whilst you shop.)

Work at the ATL...Ann Taylor Loft
I am LOVING it. I love the people I work with so far. I get to "shop" the whole time I'm there by helping "clients" not customers (LOL) find the perfect additions to their "wardrobe." Yay! The time flies when I am there. Plus, like I mentioned in an earlier blog...I really love the discount.

More Signs
I simply can't help myself. I had to share more funny signs with "y'all." Ok first up we have "Okra Sale"...I'm guessing this is similar to a shoe sale, but okra instead. My only problem is I can't spot a good deal on okra. I don't know what its regular selling price is and I don't know the degree to which it is "on sale." Plus, the only thing I've heard of is fried okra. Not a huge demand on it in the Bivins' house so I guess the okra sale is one I'm going to skip.

Next up we have "free blood pressure." When I chuckled in the car and Dave inquired about the reason for my chuckle I told him there was a sign for free blood pressure. His reply "no thanks, I'm good. I think I have enough." Now typically blood pressure isn't something you want in a terribly large amount. I wasn't aware you could get it at any store either, especially for free. I'm going to suggest they add the word "screenings" to the sign lest someone be confused.

.oO(Dave also said that we had signs like this in the North...he thinks I am picking on Southerners by pointing out these signs. I'm really not picking on them. There are silly signs in the North too, but I'm not in the North to see those signs...I'm in the South!)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Finally Blogging About the List

Ok, finally had time to finish the blog about the list of things to blog about. (Say that 5 times fast and get someone to understand you, lol.)

1. Signing Issues ~ Mostly the spelling on signs...grrr!
I'm seriously annoyed by typos and the incorrect use of words, especially when it's on something "important" that people are going to read....all the time. I have seen a variety of signs that have made me slap my head and scream "UGH!" recently. My first, most annoying sign is someone's political sign. The person is running for a local city counsel position and their sign proudly proclaims "No Clicks." No clicks, huh? What about booms? Or splats? Or thumps? Did you mean to say cliques? You wouldn't get my vote...if you can't check a sign and know there are two different clicks vs. shouldn't be on city counsel. .oO(Those political signs aren't cheap...I'd be making darn sure that they were correct before they were made.) Another sign I have seen proudly proclaims "Hay 4 Sell." I understand the use of a number instead of the word "for" to save space...but your hay is for sale not sell. You are selling it, thus making it for sale. I know there is another one I wanted to tell you all about, but I've forgotten it. Thank goodness.

2. ATTP Test ~Joke!! Huge joke!
In order to be "highly qualified" in Alabama I had to take a test to prove that I have basic reading, writing, and math skills. I went to take the test Saturday. I am annoyed by people who can't follow directions! First of all, our answer sheets were on our desks when we arrived. People, whom I am assuming have never taken a standardized test before...or who just think they know everything, started filling out their info on the answer sheet. A standardized test is supposed to be given in a "standard" manner. If you fill out the answer sheet isn't standard.

I get annoyed with people who feel the need to talk in between sections of the test. The directions clearly stated "remain quietly in your seats." I'm further annoyed by test administrators who don't emphasize this issue. It goes back to that "standard" thing.

All that being said, this test was really easy. If I didn't pass I shouldn't be allowed to talk, let alone teach...EVER. I'd give out more details, but I signed my life away on all of my test booklets stating that I wouldn't talk about the content of the test, etc...etc...and if I do my scores could be voided. That means I'd have to sit through the test again...and they'd probably prosecute me for "violating their intellectual rights."

3. Bathroom at UAB Humanities Building ~Interesting mirror quote thingy.
I took my ATTP test in this building. When I went into the bathroom (before the test started b/c is clearly stated online in the info about the test that there are no breaks and it is roughly a 3 hr test) I discovered the neatest thing. I'll do my best to describe it. When you walk in the sinks are on the right side and there is a large mirror on your left side. above the sinks there are all these phrases printed across the wall backwards. I started trying to read some of them...they said things like my hair is too frizzy, I need a facelift, my complexion is uneven, etc. I thought...hmmmm. I turned around and much to my delight looked in the mirror and began reading more of the phrases. Only this time they were legible b/c they were put on the opposite wall to read correctly when you are looking in the mirror. It's supposed to make you think about all those things you think about when you look in the mirror. It was cool, I don't think my description did it justice.

4. Buddy the Terrible ~ He's a cat with a really, really, really big head.
Buddy is a cat that has been hanging around the in-laws house. He gets into fights and comes back to the house all beat up and pitiful looking. He did this about 2 weeks ago and this time around it was his looks like something had tried to nearly take his ear off. It was at this point that Buddy became the basement dwelling cat while we decided if he needed to see a vet or what we were going to do with him. He is a sweet orange tabby cat, with a large head (think lion without a mane type head and neck), and a meow that sounds like a nasaly/froggy "maaaahhh." Pitiful, but sweet. So, Buddy is in the basement just chilling and resting. We take him to the vet to update his shots and sign him up to be neutered (hoping this will keep him from getting into so many fights). He returns from the vet with the following report: he's got some sort of kitty STD, he had some sort of infection making his eyes all gooey that they gave him an anti-inflammatory shot, and they updated the rest of his vaccinations. He goes back into the has been spent on this cat and he has an appointment the following week for surgery. He can't be let out b/c he has to have stuff put on his eyes in addition to the shot and we want to make sure he doesn't run off. Well, a day or so later Buddy is feeling fine. We know this b/c the entire house stinks like ammonia. Buddy has sprayed everything he can find in the basment and the house reeks, thus earning himself the nickname "Buddy the Terrible." He's still sweet, but he STINKS! We manage to get an industrial strength fan and use it in combination with lots of open windows and candles to get the stink to a more bearable smell. The household kindly endures this dreadful smell for another week 'til Buddy goes off for surgery. Buddy goes to surgery on a Friday morning. We get a phone call from the vet that afternoon telling us that we can pick him up...normally they keep them overnight, but Buddy is somehow a special case and we go retrieve him. His version of meow is now an octave higher and after another overnight stay in the basement he has gone back to being an outside dwelling cat. The reign of "Buddy the Terrible" is over and we are all glad.

5. Storage~ Ugh! Boxes are my enemy now and forever!
The majority of my stuff is in storage. Any time I want something I must first locate what box I think it might be in and proceed to dig through it. If the desired item is not in the box I must try to figure out what box it might be in and continue digging. Not fun, at all.

6. Job ~ Actual jobs and prospective jobs.
I now have two part-time jobs. I work part-time at Bath & Bodyworks, just like in DC only fewer hours so far. I will soon be starting part-time work at Ann Taylor Loft as well. I'm excited about this because I can buy the clothes I want at a nicely discounted price. Yay! I probably won't actually "make" money there, but at least I'll have nice clothes should a teaching job occur.

Speaking of teaching jobs I found out a christian school in the area was in need of an English teacher. I dropped off my resume last week and met the principal. He said he would look over my resume and get back to me. I'm still waiting to hear about a potential interview. If this teaching job doesn't happen then I guess I will have an answer about what it is Dave and I should plan on doing in the near future. Stay tuned dear blogreaders for updates as they occur ;)

Monday, October 13, 2008

I Smell Pumpkin!!

Blogreaders I must apologize for not blogging about my list just yet. Maybe I will have time tomorrow. Ijust HAD to blog about the newest recipe in my stash. My dear friend Anna e-mailed me a recipe of sorts last week and I had time to try it out. It was a hit! So I thought I would share it with all of you...although I'm adding some of my notations about the journey from ingredients to cupcakes.

This was the e-mail from Anna:

1 can pumpkin (10 oz)
4 eggs
1 c vegetable oil
1 2/3 c sugar
2 c flour
2 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1 t salt
2 t cinnamon
{It should be noted that if you use self-rising flour that you do not need to add the baking powder, the baking soda, or the salt. Luckily, my father-in-law read the recipe and saved me from the disaster.}

Put in a 9 x 13 greased pan and bake for 20-35 minutes. {15-20 minutes if cupcakes.} ~Edit: Bake @ 350~ You may want to cut the recipe in half as it makes a lot. It would make great cupcakes, especially if you added a cream cheese frosting.

This is the "recipe" exactly as I received it from Anna. Anna should know that I need specific directions when cooking due to my inexperience and lack of creativity in the kitchen. I even managed to mess up...I forgot to add the oil at first. The cupcakes were in the oven and I happened to see the unused measuring cup on the counter. Hmmm...why did I have that out? The vegetable oil!! {I go out to back porch where mother-in-law is quietly reading..."what will happen to my cupcakes if I didn't add the oil?" How much oil? "Ugh, a cup of vegetable oil?" They're going to be really, really dry.} So I took them out and scraped the mix out of those cute little paper cupcake liners (threw the liners in the trash) added vegetable oil, mixed the batter, and tried again. Second attempt was a success! I would not half the recipe if making cupcakes unless you only want a few. It made about 24 cupcakes.

Anna's Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe:

3-4 oz cream cheese
1/2 T butter
Equal parts milk and powdered sugar {Ugh, Anna...HELP!}

Cream cheese icing tends to be heavy so you can lighten in up by using some whipping cream. Just buy the regular whipping cream at the store and whip it up a couple of times and you will notice a difference.


I am recipe challenged, among other things so I hunted around and found a more specific cream cheese recipe. There were just waaaayyy too many ways for me to screw this one up.

4 oz cream cheese
2 c powdered sugar
1/4 c butter
1-3 t milk
*I added 1/2 t vanilla as well so sweeten the taste a bit more.

I did mix in some whipping cream and made my frosting too runny so I had to add some powdered sugar to thicken it back up. Overall, this recipe was a huge success despite my challenges. I took the cupcakes to the floorset at Bath and Bodyworks and everyone loved them. You can see pictures of my efforts below. THANKS ANNA!

Mixed Up and Ready for the Oven - Round 1

Looking Yummy!

Ready to Go!
Packed Up and Ready to Eat!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

List of Things to Blog About More Later

1. Signing Issues ~ Mostly the spelling on signs...grrr!

2. ATTP Test ~Joke!! Huge joke!

3. Bathroom at UAB Humanities Building ~Interesting mirror quote thingy.

4. Buddy the Terrible ~ He's a cat with a really, really, really big head.

5. Storage~ Ugh! Boxes are my enemy now and forever!

6. Job ~ Actual jobs and prospective jobs.

Sorry for the list, but if I didn't make one I'd forget by tomorrow all that I want to share.

Monday, October 6, 2008

One Sick Kitty

I love my furbabies. I'm so glad I don't have human children just yet. I'm just not feeling it so far. On Saturday we had a lovely birthday celebration dinner for my mother-in-law's 60th birthday. It was wonderful. We had steak, baked potatoes, and salad. Yummy. Well, when Dave helped clean off the table he took the spoon out of the sour cream and chased Zeus with the sour cream covered spoon. He dabbed some on Zeus' nose. Zeus licked it off and made a face. Dave dabbed more sour cream on Zeus' nose and I wiped it off with a tissue. No problems...til about an hour later when dave spots a pile of kitty puke. Ewwww! Then I notice another pile, and another pile, and yup some more too. I locate the Zeus and the poor lil guy is sick. He is banished to the screened in porch for awhile so we can ensure that his lil tummy is empty and I proceed to clean up the piles. Icky!!! Apparently, cats should not eat sour cream and husbands should not be allowed to torture their cats. On the upside, Zeus is feeling much better now.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Blog Facelift & Other Ramblings

I finally took the time to figure out exactly what I needed to do to update and revamp the background of my blog. I've been blogging for over a year now on this site and this is the very first time its had a facelift. I'm excited.

I love fall! ~ I love that the leaves change colors~or at least they do in OH and I'm told they change here in AL as well. They didn't really change much in NC. One day they were on the trees, the next day they were brown and on the ground. Yucky! I love that school is in session~although I loved that fact a little more when I was teaching. I love that I get to wear my sweatshirts and sweaters!!! Wooohooo! I finally made the dreaded trip to storage to locate my "winter" clothes...also known as anything other than sleeveless shirts, shorts, and capris. Then the funny weatherman decided today would be warm again. Grrrrr. Oh well, I guess I'll be prepared for the next time it cools back down.

Fall at Mill Creek Park
The Frantz Sisters 10 Years Ago
{Katie, Wendy, & Maggie}

Friday Nights With the Girls ~ I sort of had Friday Nights With the Girls in NC. My deployment buddies and I would gather together to laugh, eat, watch a movie, and do anything to keep our minds off the fact that the men in our lives were an ocean away, literally. Sometimes it was all of us and other times it was "Friday Night Date." My dear friend Anna and I would meet up after naptime (teachers are exhausted by Friday night) and we would go to the commisary (the grocery store on base) and buy our measley weeks worth of groceries (aka frozen dinners) and then we would either make something for dinner or order chinese food or pizza, drink some Duplin County Wine (best wine EVER), and watch a movie with her dog Max (an adorable Corgi). I have missed those girls so much! Anna especially since she was my go to girl for everything. Well, twice now I have attended Friday Night with the Girls at Chrissi Sharp's house. It is so much fun!! I laughed the whole time I was there. There are kids in and out of the house (because the moms all bring their kids and they play together) while the ladies all talk, laugh, and share. I came home refreshed, in a great mood, and it reminded me how much I love my husband. He's such a good man even if he does give me headaches sometimes.

Deployment Buddies Painting Steph's House
{Steph, Anna, Max, Jenny, Wendy}

I Miss My Sisters~ The past few weeks I have really been missing my sisters. We are grown up and busy living our lives and we manage to call each other, e-mail, leave messages on facebook, etc...but it just isn't the same as having them around nearby ready to spend time together being silly. Katie celebrated her 21st birthday in Sept. and I wasn't there. Maggie celebrated her 20th birthday this week and again, I wasn't there. Katie has been studying for her LSAT's and is taking it today. I'm not there :( I'm missing out on all these fun and important things. I really hoping that Katie does well on her LSAT and that when she aplies to Samford they accept her and maybe even give her some scholarship money so she has no choice but to move here or be in tons of grad school debt. The plan is that if I can get Katie to move to AL, then Mom and Maggie will soon follow. I'm really hoping that they move closer...because this missing out on fun times with the sisters (and Mom too) is just no fun!

Up to their necks in leaves!
The Sisters in the Leaves~More Than 10 Years Ago
{Wendy, Katie, Maggie}
This is back when I was actually taller than my sisters, lol. Poor Maggie is almost hidden behind the leaves.