Tuesday, February 22, 2011

healthy eating: stir fry

Spring and summer are quickly approaching (yayyyyy!!) and with that comes the typical "freak out" about our bodies. I am fortunate enough that I don't have to do a total freak out and cut back/off all the foods I love to eat (which works in my favor because I have about ZERO discipline when it comes to eating). However, as I have recently gotten more into my cooking I have been looking for and been given some "healthier" ideas to try out. It's tough for me because I am such a picky eater, and though I eat more veggies than I used to (I ate peas last night, for I think the first time in my life - seasoned with pepper and garlic salt :) still progess!) and will try different dishes now, I generally still don't love it. I'd rather stick to some fried chicken fingers and fries, country fried steak or spaghetti =) I have been making myself cook outside of the box I think lately, some for my benefit, but for David's too because he does like a lot of veggies and different dishes. Throughout my adventurous cooking, I have found that I am a pretty big fan of stir fry. As of now, I have made two different ones, and actually I didn't like one, ha. I am doing a third tonight. I do love that you can make it basically how you want and depending what you put in it, it's a healthy and filling dinner- with little clean up!

Fresh Veggie Stir Fry
(I used all fresh vegetables, but they have veggie stir fry bags if you'd rather)
1 pkg stir fry meat
1 T oil (either kind, i used extra virgin olive oil, but can be veg too)
and any veggie you might want, i used about:
3/4 cup mushrooms sliced
1/2 a green pepper sliced
1/2 an onion sliced
1/2 cup carrot sticks chopped
1 cup broccoli chopped
worcestshire sauce
garlic salt

Of course you can use any veggie that you want to and in any proportion. I used what we had in the fridge that day. And by the way, I cook for 2, so this serves 2 with a little left over I think.

1. Marinade the stir fry meat in worcestshire sauce, salt and pepper (I probably left it in there about 2 hours, and I just put enough sauce to cover the meat).. can use soy sauce
2. Add about 1 tablespoon of oil to a skillet, just enough to coat the bottom so that the meat doesn't stick. Add meat and cook until it isn't pink anymore.
3. Add your veggies (Already cleaned and chopped, and I had sprinkled garlic salt and pepper on them)
4. Cook until the veggies are how you want them (Some people like crunchy veggies, some people like them softer)
Takes about 20 minutes. I made rice on the side to go with it. Also, can add more sauce while you cook if you want a saucier outcome, I didn't =)

Easy Pork Skillet
1 T oil
3 or 4 pork tenderloin
2 pkgs pork flavored ramen
1 1/2 c water
1 c red pepper cut to your size preference (I had green pepper so am using that instead)
1 c broccoli
1/2 c green onions chopped (I am just using a regular onion)
1 T parsley or 2 t parsley flakes
1 T soy sauce

1. Heat 12 in skillet over M-H heat, add oil.
2. Add pork, stir fry until pink is gone.
3. Break apart noodles, stir noodles, seasonings and remaining ingredients into ork. Heat to boiling. Boil 304 minutes until noodles are soft.

I am making this tonight, hopefully it will be yummy =)

The third recent stir fry is called Southwest Chicken Skillet
1 T oil
1 1/4 lb boneless chicken, cut into 1 in pieces
1 bag (1 lb) of frozen broccoli, red peppers, onions, mushrooms
1 can (15 oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup chunky salsa
flour tortilla, cut into 2x1 in strips
1 cup shredded cheese
(serves 4)

1. In 10 in skillet, heat oil over M-H heat, cook chicken until not pink.
2. Stir in veggies, beans, salsa. Reduce heat to M, cover and cook 6-8 min, until veggies are crisp & tender.
3. Sprinkle with tortilla strips and cheese. Cover and cook about 2 minutes.

I changed part of this recipe- instead of cutting the tortillas I used the stir fry to make burritos. Just filled the tortillas with the mixture and added sour cream. The flavor was good, I just am not a fan of biting into so many onions and peppers. David was a fan though, so don't be afraid to try it because I didn't like it!

My facebook album 'here there and everywhere" has pictures of all three dishes (as of tonight when I cook dinner).

The last two recipes are orginally from Betty Crocker.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

shopping: 4 rants & a rave

It's been a while since I've posted. We have been redoing the house little by little and just tackled a pretty decent size room and a hallway. Busy! But of course, along with painting comes redecorating, which means I have been out and about, in and out of stores galore. And yet again, OF COURSE with that comes annoying people!

Most recently, about 2 hours ago actually, I was in line at Marshalls. I was just standing there minding my own business, looking at the kitchen gadgets that were on a shelf by where the line formed.. and I heard this annoying noise. At first I was like hmm, annoying, wonder what that was. Then, there it was again. And again.. until it was a constant.. SMACK SMACK SMACK. A lady had come up behind me and was smacking her gum SO LOUD. I am not a fan of gum smacking, I hate to hear people chew their food (even when their mouths are closed, the food is just crunchy). I just do not like it. Sometimes, you will hear or see a child smacking their gum, even then I think they should be taught not too- but it is more understandable than a GROWN woman standing in line smacking loud enough for everyone around to hear.. and stare at her. And as you could guess, she didn't get the hint.

The other day, I was in a store looking at home decor type stuff and turned up an aisle that had a few people on it. Everyone pretty much cleared out as I started walking down the aisle, slowly browsing. Everyone except one lady and her child that was in a cart. Not only did she not move herself out of the middle of the aisle to look- she didn't move her cart out of the middle of the aisle either. That gets on my nerves... SO BAD. Move your cart over so other people can get by! Sometimes I decide to say smart stuff to people, other times I let it go, depends on my mood. This time I just let it go and sighed loudly until she finally moved. I don't know if she thought I was just going to turn around and not look on that aisle or what.. inconsiderate. This is something that I experience way too often, why do people think because they have a cart that it should sit in the middle of the aisle and everyone should just stand their until they're finished? I don't think so. I have found myself moving carts or even hitting them with mine when people don't move them on their own. MOVE.

I was meeting a friend for lunch Tuesday afternoon, and yet again found myself yelling at the idiots around me. As I am waiting to turn into CFA (a left hand turn) the light had changed a bunch of people came and turned in (right hand turn people).. which is fine, I get that. What I don't get are the morons who pull into the drive-thru so deep that noone can turn into the parking lot because their car is blocking it. How about not blocking the entrance and causing another big back up? GET OUT OF THE WAY!

This morning while I was at Pier One I got irritated too. There was only one lady on the floor, I heard her say that the other employee was in the back helping to unload a delivery. I get that, no big deal. What I don't get is being rude to the customers around the counter just because you are slightly stressed that you have to help everyone yourself. It's Pier One.. not an ER. She helped the first lady, sent her on her way. Then, for whatever reason even though I was standing there another lady moved up to the counter before I could get by the stroller of the previous customer. I stand there, somewhat baffled. Then the phone rings, so the lady is even more flustered. She tells the lady she can't help her right now, she has too many people at the counter, she can call back or she will call her back, whichever. I thought that was the point of a hold button, why sit there and take down a bunch of info over the phone and not just say "could you please hold a minute?"... anywayssssssssss, when she hangs up the phone and before she helps the lady who cut me off, I interrupt and ask for a tape measure, which is all I needed. The woman who cut me off knew she did because she was like, "oh, yeah get her that tape measure first" type thing.. since I spoke up. RUDE RUDE RUDE.

I will end my blog of shopping rants with a rave, though it wasn't this week. I was heading down the road, on my way to get some groceries and Footloose was on the radio. Who doesn't love that song? Such a fun, dance silly, sing loud type song. So, my radio is up I'm driving along and I pass a man - probably in his 30's-40's, straight up rocking out in his car to the same song! We were on the road that you turn on out of my neighborhood, so we weren't driving all too fast- it was so very obvious because he was clapping to the beat, (if you can remember how the song go, it was the part that was just the upbeat music, no singing) dancing and smiling soooooo big! I laughed out loud, a lot. Like to the point of tears. He was just as happy as they come!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

prejudice pup

I was never a dog person.. until I got Jude last March. I immediately fell in love with him and he became my "little boy" :) Then, we decided Jude needed a playmate.. so here came Rigby in August for my Birthday. Two "little boys!" Jude is a boxer/pit mix, weighing in at about 85 pounds right now, and a little under a year and half. Rigby is an american bulldog, weighing in at about 65 pounds right now, and just turned 8 months old. They are big, big strong boys. And they really do, on a regular basis make me laugh and make me happy. Love it when they learn new things and obey. That isn't the point of this blog though. I am going to give you a peak into a walk with the boys. This isn't a normal walk with them, but with dogs, just like children I've heard, you have to be prepared for anything. Who knows what is going through their little (or in Jude's case, big) heads!

I should have known that today was a day to walk them separately when I tried to open the gate and it took a solid three or four minutes of me telling them to sit and stay. I had been gone most of the day and hadn't seen them since this morning. For those of you who don't know, mommy, or really daddy too, getting home is a big deal to the boys. They get so excited, and I assure you it isn't because they don't get enough attention. Rigby it is because he thinks it's time to eat, and Jude, well he just gets excited about most things period. Anyways, once I got them hooked on the leash (usually when I walk them both I use the coupler and connect them to each other so I only have to use one leash.. and usually Jude listens when Rigby doens't so if I just get on to him it helps Rigby to listen too) we had to sit in the yard for another good 3 or 4 minutes. Maybe even 5. They were ready to go and tried pulling on towards the road to start the walk, but heck no. I kept making them go back to the fence and sit.. then one of them would get up, so the other would get up.. a nice little cycle. Finally, they sat until I told them to come so we were off.

The first part of the walk is always rougher than the end, they are always excited and pull more at the beginning, not being bad necessarily, just pumped up and walking faster than I want. Rigby likes to run on his walks so it's always an issue getting him to slow down at first. We were having a hard time getting past that phase today so I decided to run with them to help get the energy out. That was fine until the huge concrete truck came by. Rigby has this thing where he feels he has to outrun trucks or something, so he is trying to run full speed, which is much faster than I can run. Apply the brakes too fast and your arm will get pulled out of socket. Whew. Once I get them stopped we immediately faced our next obstacle. A little annoying, loud, yappy dog that is tied up in it's front yard. I am not against dogs being in the front yard, the boys go in the front yard not even on leashes a good bit, especially Rigby. But this dog, seriously. I mean it was tied up, but it was going CRAZY. Just barking away, well, not really barking, yapping, nonstop. Jumping around. Where are the owners?? There's NO way they didn't hear it. Of course my boys notice it. Jude doesn't seem to care too much, until a bunch of other dogs start barking, then he's kind of looking around, pulling, getting excited. Rigby had decided to stop and stare the tiny dog down for a minute. So basically it's let the leash go and let the boys teach the little dog a lesson in messing with big dogs, or pull, with all my strength the dogs forward and back across the street. Made it. Whew. You'd think that'd be enough "drama" for our walk, but no. We had another obstable up ahead. And I think, well no, I KNOW this was the worst.

There is a man who lives a street up from me who is in a wheelchair. No big deal. Except that for whatever reason, Rigby HATES him. Usually if I see him out I will turn up a different street because Rigby will stand up real firm, and start huffing real loud, getting all worked up and angry. Today though, the man wasn't in front of his house where we could turn up a different street, he was up at the top of the hill of a long road, nowhere for us to go. Rigby starts his huffing and pulling backwards while Jude is trying to keep walking. Disaster already because they are pulling in different directions and are connected to each other. Well, Rigby fixed that. He pulled straight out of his collar. AKA Rigby was not attached to me at all anymore and free to do whatever he wanted. Of course I freak out. I don't know if he is going to go up to the man, if he is going to take off and run, if he will just stay beside me. I grab onto him, which is course isn't a good grip because there is nothing to grab except his skin. He continously pulls out of my grab because he's still huffing and backing up, kind of jumping, at this man. The man is just sitting in his chair watching all of this unfold. Thank God Jude decided it was time to start listening so he sat down right beside me and somehow, with one hand I managed to undo Rigby's collar and get it back on him w/o either dog escaping. I think I said something to the guy as I was walking away, but I honestly don't remember what. I was just relieved I had control of BOTH dogs again and that they stayed right with me instead of taking off or heading over to visit the man in the wheelchair. We were in the road, but thankfully there weren't any cars up that way. WHEW again.

I love walking my dogs. I have no problem walking them on my own, I'm not scared to do it because 9 times out of 10 they are pretty good. And of course, I have two big dogs with me so most people are just going to leave me alone. An occasional issue here and there with their behavior. I don't think I've ever had a walk so miserable as today's though. As much joy and happiness as they bring me, I let things like this go usually, but I don't think I've spanked hiney's this much in a lonnnnnnnnggggg time. Today they did NOT make me happy or laugh!!

2 morals of my story. 1. If you have a little dog that thinks it's big and tough, don't leave it outside by itself for fear that one day I will just let go and my dogs will step on it. 2. Don't have a prejudice dog.
Jude & Rigby in trouble.

Friday, February 4, 2011

little rigby wants to play!

It is yet again, another rainy rainy day in Georgia. I don't mind rainy days so much because of the inconvenience of going outside and getting wet for myself. I mind rainy days for Rigby. With all of his skin issues, and then his stitches- he has never really been outside in the rain. Wet grass seems to irritate his belly more than usual, which just causes bigger problems for us. Jude has no problem being outside in the rain. When it's warm outside you will see him running around playing in it like it's the greatest thing ever. When it's cool or cold out (if not so cold that he comes in) he usually hangs out in his mansion of a doghouse. Littleman will barely step off the front porch to pee though. No really, I have seen him stand with his feet still on the porch and try to pee on the ground. Pretty smart little pup. Then there are times when he just wants to go sit out in it. But only if it's that annoying drizzling rain and not too cold out. And you have to sit and wait on him. Not fun either.
Lately, especially after his 3 weeks inside because of him being sick/his surgery, he whines when he can't go out after a while. There is only so much room for him to run and get his energy out in the house and it just doesn't seem to work as well. I have a lucky rainy day every now where he will be like a lazy old man, curl up on his bed and stay there most of the day. Too bad I can't teach him to read!
We play together, but he gets bored. His toys start to bore him, and believe me, it's not because he only has a couple :) We play hide and seek. We cuddle and "chat" with each other. Whatever works to keep him out of trouble! Regardless, the day seems so much longer when we are stuck in the house together all day. Just the longest of days- but I am not going to complain yet. That will come tomorrow if it is still raining, days in a row in the house are not fun for the littleman! :)
You'd think we would be in clear once the rain stopped- but nope. The backyard has some areas that puddle up pretty bad and take days to go away.. FAIL. Rigby will absolutely find those spots then run back in the house with soaking wet feet.. and honestly, the soaking wet feet aren't the bad part. The bad part is when he gets them soaking wet and then plays in the dirt.. the orange dirt. Not fun for this mommy!
If only it were warmer, I might just through him out there. But the poor little guy shivers when he's cold, I just can't do it.

Rain rain go away, little Rigby wants to play!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

monkey see, monkey do. no really.

“I don't need a friend who changes when I change and who nods when I nod; my shadow does that much better.” - Plutarch

Ironically, I came across the quote because a friend used it on a picture edit. How hypocritical of me, right? You decide!

I met my neighbors this summer, saw them in passing, would say hello. The "hellos" turned into conversations and we became friends. I actually started watching their little boys early fall when she decided to go back to work. We did typical things, went to a movie, to dinner, hung out at the lake, whenever and wherever with them, no problem! It wasn't a constant thing, but it was enough to call each other friends. Little did I know, or I guess, realize at the time the issues that would "develop".. ehhh!

Looking back, the first couple of "monkey see, monkey do's" should have somewhat tipped me off. But hey, new friends, you don't really know what to expect or the motives, no big deal.. right? I will just let you in on a few of the things that really irritated me, or looking back really irritate me now. Who knows, maybe I am the CRAZY one.. but I doubt it.

Back to the quote I started this blog off with. I mentioned that I saw it on a picture my friend "fancied" up. Now that friend isn't just a regular "hey, how's it going, wanna go to dinner?" friend.. though that is part of our friendship, she's a "hey, I am having a hard time with this big issue in my life and I need someone to listen to me" friend. A best friend. I think as girls, we all know, there's a difference between YOUR girls, and your other girl friends. Being one of THE main girls, one of the bests, comes with the right of passage for certain things. I can take this quote off the picture and it's a no big deal, though, not her quote, she found it and you got to give credit where credit is due.. thank you Jen! Hahahha. But seriously, we all know that your closest friends can purchase and do similar things, sometimes even the same things. The other girl friends, not so much.. especially repeatedly. Enough is enough!

This fall I bought a new Guess pea coat. Great deal, great great great deal! She went and got the same one, though she asked and I said it was fine, so it's hard to throw that one in there. But it was the beginning of it all. Not realizing that saying "sure, go ahead" meant "sure, go ahead, do whatever you want that I do and buy whatever I buy, no big deal!"

The next thing to tip me off should have been the trip to Disney World. David and I were meeting my sister and her family in Orlando, my cousin and her husband from Alabama were meeting us there too, and then my mom. They had plans to go camping for the weekend and ended up changing their plans and went to Orlando too. And no, it wasn't because we invited them. We saw them and spent some time with the boys for a bit one day at Magic Kingdom and then said hello at Bubba Gumps the next day. Didn't by any means change our plans to match theirs and hang out constantly, but did see them. No problem at the time really, we love those little boys and Disney World isn't a place to be upset. But like my sister said, them changing their plans and taking off to go to Orlando when we went should have been a red flag.

Still, yet again, this past fall there was another issue. At this time the coat and Disney weren't really looked at as an "issue".. more of, well that's kind of weird but whatever. I did find out later that Disney did bother David but he just kept it to himself. But, when D'Wayne told me that he was going to get another big dog, (his big dog got hit by a car last year and they have a tiny inside dog) flags started going off. We all know how much I love my boys and how much pride I take in how awesome my dogs are. We spent a good deal of time with Jude when we got him to somewhat "mold" him into the dog he is today- which really is an awesome dog, trained well, wants to please, just the most loving protective big dog. When D'Wayne was telling me what he wanted in a dog, he described Jude to me. He wanted a large dog, protective, loving, good with kids, obedient.. etc. Okay, who doesn't want those things in a dog? He came home with a dog.. that was the same color as Jude and went as far as to put the same freaking color collar on her. I went and bought Jude a new collar that week. A different color collar. Who does that? He said that he was going to put her in obedience classes, do whatever to make her the "perfect" dog, which annoyed me too, knowing how hard I worked with Jude, just go ahead and discredit all that work, jerk. He wanted them to meet so bad, and be best friends. Yeah, that didn't go well. Jude growled and jumped on top of her and he had to pull her away and David had to pull Jude off. BRILLIANT. Not only did he get a girl dog, he got a girl dog that wasn't (and stil isn't) fixed, knowing that we had two boy dogs. At the time Rigby was having his serious skin issues so was living inside all the time, being let out in the front yard. We taught Jude and Rigby to be out in the front yard without a leash, and most of the time they listen- unless there is a distraction, like their dog outside right near Rigby. Of course if they have their girl dog, who isn't fixed out in the front yard I can't let little Rigby out there without being on a leash. Inconsiderate. How long had we been doing that with Rigby? And the big thing with that is, he was on so many meds he COULDN'T get fixed yet. We didn't have the option on our side to get him fixed, unlike some people. We had been letting him out in the front yard since we got him because letting him out the backyard with Jude was a hassle at the time.

Life goes on, there were issues with me working for them. Supposedly more hours were coming, that never came. I was supposed to know by a certain day the week before the hours I was needed the following week, that dwindled to the point I was even being asked the day before. I won't get into that, it isn't really a part of the "monkey see, monkey do" blog- but it did play into the annoyance and decision to cut them off.

Of course there were comments after Christmas about him having to go buy her a REAL Pandora bracelet, or get her new whatever it was... because of the stuff I got for Christmas. Always got to be on top, apparently. Oh! And for a cheaper price! He must have the hook up everywhere because he can get everything we get cheaper! The day of Rigby's surgery (which included another inconsiderate act on their part, actually two.. that REALLY pissed me off) D'Wayne came to pick up the boys and actually took a picture of my new camera so that he could go and get her a new one for Valentine's Day.. just like mine. Okay, seriously, my camera is awesome. I love it. Love the extra lens. But there are plenty of other cameras out there that I am sure are just as nice. I got a Canon, anyone ever heard of Nikon?? Supposedly she was all upset because I have that camera and I don't even have kids, so now she has to have one to take pictures of her kids? Hunter will be 5 this year. Give me a break. And really, you have to have the model number off my camera? If I realized what he was doing when he took the camera to look at it, I wouldn't have let him see it.

Tired of reading yet? Because I could go on and on.. and I think I will. Just two more examples. Who knows, maybe I'm the crazy one, maybe I should be FLATTERED. I realize I am just giving an example here and there, and I am not the most patient person ever, but I had it. DONEZO!

We have been talking about redoing the floors in our house for a while now, were going to wait until after the Holidays. Waiting on a time when Rigby could be outside without any issues acting up, didn't want dogs in the house once we re-did them. I will admit, when I had talked to the neighbors about it, they too said they were wanting to re-do their floors but were planning on waiting until Tripp was older. Then it changed to possibly in the spring. Then, after I told D'Wayne that our floors got pushed back because of Rigby's surgery.. within two weeks his carpet was out and they were putting in new floors. Coinsidence? Maybe. But the fact that she told me the week after his surgery that they weren't doing the floors yet kind of makes me think not.

The final straw. The absolute final straw was when he parked his trailor back in our backyard with carpet styrofoam and fibers left on it. Yes, David had let him store it in our backyard because it was convenient for them, no big deal. Then the dogs ate the wires off. We got the wires to fix it but with life being so crazy it hadn't been fixed when all this went down about 2 weeks ago. The trailor was actually planned to get fixed that week and given back to them, David told him twice, though D'Wayne kept saying it was fine because he liked it stored back there. I however, did not. My not wanting it back there got much worse that Monday afternoon when I walked outside and saw the trash on the ground. The chewed up trash. If you are reading this and don't know, my dog Rigby had surgery about 3 weeks before for eating something he couldn't digest that caused an obstruction in his stomach/intestines. Now, even if I didn't have a dog outside that just had surgery for eating stuff he wasn't supposed to, putting a trailor in my backyard with trash on it for the wind to blow off and me to have to pick up is inconsiderate. But knowing, good and well that my puppy had just had a very expensive surgery makes it even more inconsiderate to park it back there with crap on it. I was fuming. FUMING. Then, he decides to talk to me like it's my fault and I am trying to keep his trailor from him when I just wanted David to fix it first, (you know, the right thing to do when your dogs ruin something that isn't yours).. yeah right. Door shut in your face.

I quit working for them not long after the trailor incident. It wasn't working out for more than one reason, but everything together made it an easy decision. I don't want my life copied, I don't want to wonder when I get something special, or do something unique to my house if someone is going to take away from that special or uniqueness and copy it. It isn't flattering. It is annoying. I have never been one to put up with inconsiderate people, and I hope I never will be.

I remember hearing Tab tell Hunter "see Hunter, monkey see, monkey do... you go near the road then Tripp will go near the road" - and she was right. Hunter went near the road and so did Tripp. As adults, we should have grown out of the "monkey see, monkey do" phase yearrrrrrrrrsss ago. Just sayin.