Monday, June 29, 2009

The finished product and more

So, like I said in a previous blog about crafting, I was working on a paper mache bowl. After working with it and due to the wonderful sewing talents of a friend of mine, here is what turned out. As I work on a second one, trying to get a more even/less warping bubble forming during the drying process...we will see how it goes. The "e" doesn't stand for anything, just a random letter to pick. Kind of like those numbers on shirts you get at Old Navy. People ask you what they mean thinking you of all people would have an inside connection to the textile graphic designer!
The e was hand painted on. I wasn't about to pay 5 dollars for one of those vinal letters which I am sure would screw up the application of it. This must be where they make all their money at craft stores...having to buy multiple supplies from past experience or fear of destroying what you had.

In other industrious news....

We have these nice Calphalon pans which are from our wedding gifts. After being tired of throwing out a non stick pan about once a year or looking the other way when those black non stick flecks were becoming even more noticeable....I wanted pans which were not hand me downs despite being new or ones which distributed heat more evenly. I hate that where we live, most everyone has electric ranges. Cooking would be much more enjoyable by NOT burning all my food up in certain areas while leaving insides uncooked.

The care instructions state: Do not exceed 450 degree, no dishwasher, no metal utensils. We hand wash these suckers, but then wrestle and struggle on where to put them away as I do not want to telescope them in fear of hurting the non stick coating. So after thought, my space where the sink is looked a little bare. Now with only a common hammer and a few nails...the problem is solved while also looking pleasing to the eye and bringing the effect of a woman who knows how to cook.

No need for fancy Ikea kitchen essentials....just some elbow grease!

Slap it together!

Have you ever had those times where the thought of cooking something just overwhelmed you? You are expected to be a wiz in the kitchen and come up with a hot dish despite what state the kitchen is in.....

A nice surprise was found this morning after I decided to wake up on my day off. Mr. G had taken care of the dishes and put them in the dishwasher! Now things were slightly less chaotic to deal with.

Now things were much more primed to cook.

Here is my concoction from the pantry: Mexican Lasagna


1 can Italian stewed tomatos
1 pound chicken breast
1/4-1/3 cup sour cream
Graded cheese
Burrito size flour tortillas
1-2 cups white rice (I used boil in a bag rice)

Cut chicken up into bite size pieces. Season with pepper and onion powder while in hot pan. After initial cooking has begun, pour in tomatos and its juice. Let simmer until rice is 2 minutes away from being done. Add rice into skillet and mix well. Add sour cream, put on low eat and reduce heat to thicken up mixture.

Take Pyrex dish and place tortillas cut to shape (I used a 9 x9 pan, so I had to cut them square). You will need 4 of them. Once mixture on the stove has thickened up a bit, layer it with your tortillas. Be sure to place first tortilla down on bottom to start your first layer. I found my trim pieces to work nicely around the edges as I layered my insides. Before placing the final tortilla, sprinkle cheese on top. Then add additional cheese to top of tortilla as this will help from it curling off.

Place in oven at 325 for 10-13 minutes.

Pieces should come out easily for serving. Add salsa as garnish if you like. 9x9 size serves 4-5 people.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

In-law Drama

So, just a little over 4 months, we have in-law drama.

Mr. G's parents live on the east coast. Mrs. G's parent lives on the west, but south. Both of us live in the PNW. This means the phone is our best form of communication next to flying out to each respective home.

When we got married, a few days before the wedding we had a brunch with all the parents together. This was right before Mrs. G's mother became quite ill and why most of my wedding pictures have her looking unhappy. In fact, the comment made by her in regards to my new mother-in-law, "Boy, she looks like your real mom."

At Christmas time before wedding and at Fathers day, my mother has sent gifts as a way to say hello and work through the distance gap.

Well, the only way she's heard about their liking the things she's sent is through us. No thank you card or phone call has been returned. This has now rubbed my mother the wrong way and we now get to play mediator.

I tried to tell her it was nothing they have a 24/7 job position and its hard to get those things taken care of. I even mentioned how when we last talked to Mr. G's parents about Christmas in 2010 if we are then living on the east coast to have her fly up and stay with them.

Do I see a favoritism with family? Yes...I do. We call Mr. G's parents more during each week. I talk with my mother-in-law more in comparison with how often my husband talks with my mother.

Its difficult when I do not share the same values as my mother does. She doesn't know of the same love I know to be what love is. Her heart is big and love language gifts. Care packages are her way of saying she misses you. As much as I love these gifts, its hard to not feel guilty about my future plans.

They say you have two shots at a great family.....the one you're born into and the one you marry. The one I've married into is my attempt to change my life 180 degrees. Change, but not to leave out.

So how does one help bridge the gap when two families live miles apart?

Friday, June 26, 2009

Birthdays and your spouse.....

We are closing in on almost 1 month away till Mr. G's birthday. Which has left me a bit puzzled on what to grace upon him that will meet or beat last year. Since he is a man of adventure, I saved up to give him a one hour flying lesson in a 4 person sesna. And yes he had the controls for most of the flying time. He had a great time....I puked in my purse. Needless to say I didn't keep it and was worth the sacrifice of not doing it in my camera bag.

Little to my knowledge, this gift earned me brownie points towards my birthday where I was asked to wed Mr. G while on a dinner cruise.

Now how does one out do that? I can't afford a flying lesson to the moon. Mr. G is also scratching his head as to do something bigger of a proposal since our birthdays are just about a month apart.

Here is what I have tried so far and come up empty handed....

Shooting range-They require you to own your own gun. Another place will let you rent one, but require another buddy to pay also. So combine those costs with amo, targets, shooting time comes out to an expensive birthday experience.

Columbia River- We don't own a boat and have come up with no connections returning my request to go out with them and enjoy an afternoon on the water while we help chip in on the gas.

I have cooked him dinner before as a special meal and done books he likes in the past....The fancy watch has already been purchased in the past, he has business clothes. We don't need more things as we have enough. Much like myself, I rather get him an experience he will treasure for years to come. There is one item I have purchased for a stinking killer deal at 99% off the original. But its not exactly a bells and whistles gift.

So I ask those of you who read this hidden you have any ideas for a great husband birthday gift? Keep in mind our time off together let alone over night is very hard to get and the day falls on a Monday.

Please leave a comment!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Hey, its my mouth and money too ya know!

Why is it that men want to be in charge of their wives that when it comes to talking to doctors and such, they interrupt.........thinking they know your body better?

Due to lack of proper dental care that later portion of growing mouth needs a lot of work. This is on top of the past 3 grand worth getting done before I moved here. I HATE THE DENTIST. Never do I leave with good news. I loathe much like taking the car to the mechanic. How much is it going to cost me this time?

For what they want to do this time around, I think installing multiple laptops would be highly entertaining than boring crowns.

Yet when on speaker phone I get the "be quiet, let me talk" look and lips from Mr. G while the dentist is explaining the estimate. Then I am explained of the reason why he wanted me to not speak, as I was getting agitated at what this would all cost.

OH NO! How about having the control over my body taken away like I was 10 and didn't have a say in my health yet.

Then with cost being discussed, our budget and where are we come up. Since the beginning of our marriage, Mr. G has been the banker. I wanted him to make sure we stay on task while also reduce out debt. But when you are asked if you can afford something and look in your wallet and only see ????.....this leaves me a bit shaken. Turning a blind eye to all the little things only makes things worse about all our bills.

When I get agitated, my body gets tense and I do my own little fit when patience has been for the most part spent.

I don't want to know ALL the details of our money matters, but have some control over the left overs. Putting money in different spending accounts like for clothes, Costco, when the need arises, I have a better way to know if we can spend it and what other accounts would have to give up to cover if done for too much. I think the hardest part is not going out to eat. I don't always feel up to cooking and who wouldn't want a quick fix?

Why is it always the little things?

I guess this is my rant after feeling frustrated........but hey, its the first year!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Alarm Clock

Depending on if you and your spouse/significant other have similar work hours, I am sure you have an alarm clock you share. In my case I just use the cell phone and have my work week and times to get up all programed to run seamlessly. Mr G has his clock CD radio instead.

Which gets me to this issue......

On days where I have the pleasure of having off or going into the office later, I am ROBBED of oblivion to KPAM talk radio at the highest volume level possible. And to add insult to misery, this jolt after recovery comes not once but MANY times as the snooze alarm is slammed.

Mr. G claims this is the only way he can wake up. I see it as a cop out to not push yourself to just get up!

I will soon impose a law in this place where there will be a snooze limit, so use them wisely!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

So...where do you want to eat?

If you are married, maybe you've been in this senario....

I had the day off and had spent most of it with not a whole lot of structure. My new book has sucked me in and I finished my craft project (Pictures to post). With this being said, I caught something to eat in the kitchen at my leisure. This put my lunch at a very unlikely time, pushing to 3:30.

At around 6:45, Mr. G comes home. I apologize for the lack of dinner on the table, stating I was not very inspired (or disgusted at the lack of clean kitchen Mr. G neglected to help spruce up). He said it was okay. Push came to shove, I would make a sandwich and have a snack for myself later.

Back to my book.

Then he comes in the bedroom and says, lets go out to eat...where do you want to go?

I hate this question.

We live at the home of mediocre eating places. Over priced chains and places I am simply tired of. The only suggestion I have is ordering take out and having the night in. This way I can nibble and take the rest for lunch tomorrow....aka pizza. This was not exactly his idea of dinner. Being that my stomach was not exactly hungry, I shoot down most of his suggestions which didn't vary a whole lot to begin with. I am sorry but Sharies and Denny's are the same place with different decor.

We end up having a big fight which finds us at the debating table where if any fight has occurred, it gets solved in a more adult like manner. We decide to start the bedroom discussion over again with said changes.

Instead of giving me too many choices, he says he has as place and we head to the car. The place is Olive Garden. Not high on my list due to cost and portions given, as we park the car and walk towards the front doors, I ask what the second choice was. Remembering this choice was not what I wanted, my mind goes towards Changs Mongolian Grill.

Back in the car and away we go again, mind you its now almost 9 PM.

We are seated and I look at the menu. Dinner had gone up in price and they took away the one dish run making it so you could not take any leftovers home. Grrrrrrrr! Not what I wanted or wanted to pay when I wasn't all that hungry.

Back to Olive Garden.....

I ate my soup and had some bread sticks while bagging the main dish for tomorrow.

Men and women are certainly different. I see going out to eat as a means to be fed. Mr. G see's it as his contribution towards not being able to cook the same that I do for him during the week. Otherwise I would have been just fine going to a place he wanted and nibbling off his and reading a book inbetween. Communication is something that no book can fully tell you how to do it!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

And so let it begin

This summer will by my first one in which I will have never experienced it before. 1st, this is my first one married and 2nd, my job position has me in charge of a lot of chaos. Not to mention my days off will get moved around, but never right next to each other. Registration forms to double check, transportation to cover, people to call and scholarships to issue.

I am left today feeling a little out of sorts. It was hard to tell myself of the day off I had before me. The day had dragged on and I was spent......

I don't feel very inspired to do any house work, but to lay in bed with my new book. I've had quite the kick to utilize the public library far more then anything which came close to my early childhood years where it was a cool place to go. As I got older and would visit here and there, the urge to continue up the stairs to the children's dept crept. Almost like the same sadness of when your health insurance won't pay for you to see the pediatrician who treated you since birth just because you became 18. Or when you out grew the age limit of going to summer camp.

Each summer was never the same, but I can only remember a handful.

Back in the wee days, our family use to take 3 week road trips to see family. Then there was going to Disneyland once a year in the summer. I was never the one to sign up for Summer school unless I could see a very good reason why. County fairs occupied a few high school years where I showed my livestock and sold to private buyers or at auction. When I was too old for camp but too young to get a summer job, counting down the days till school began. Day time television became stale and everyone else seemed to be doing something far more exciting than guessing if the denture cream cost more or less than the box of cereal on the Price is Right.

And if you had nothing else to do but had 75 cents, you could catch a ride in a full mini van and head to the public pool.

Those were the days.....

Friday, June 12, 2009

My sick grumpy bear

When I was single and sick, how I missed having someone there to help and fetch me medications or comfort food from the store. At the time I had strep throat and was engaged, my fiance would drive me to the clinic, get my prescriptions and get me any food I requested in my sad state.

Now the tables have turned. Mr. G and I are married and it was his turn to be sick and I play the roll of nurse. If only he would let me!

For as sick as he was, I had to fight him on everything. from what he would be eating, taking his temperature and what OTC medications to have. He didn't want to go to the Dr. but something told me that things were not getting better and any advice would take some time getting here. We ended up going to urgent care where they did some blood work. But most importantly was the fact of not being hydrated enough. So they tanked him up on 2 litters of fluid.

It was nice to see Mr. G coming back to me after this nasty bear had occupied his seat. By doctors orders, he is to take the rest of the week off. Good thing for PTO.

Now the question is, will I get the same virus? Lets hope my exposure to bugs has helped build my resistance to whatever crap Mr. G brought home.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

I cried uncle.....

So I succumbed to a craft project.

After stopping by the library for some books I judged by the cover in hopes I would like them (So far a lot of un-needed cussing), Craft Warehouse sucked me in. But I like this place far better than the commercial Michaels. They focus on more home decor projects than everything made from foam pieces and floral arrangements.

Running out of laundry soap on my day off proved to provide a needed "free" supply....brown grocery bags.

So I sat and watched day time television of mothers giving birth as I slapped paper mache in a bowl.

I have to say, it came out pretty nicely. Now I have to apply paint and figure out how not to butcher the insides with my only one piece of material. Something tells me I'll be back for a replacement....

finished product to post when done.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Why must we craft?

I am fighting the biggest urge to become crafty again. Seems most married or mothers have an Etsy account and are selling goods from the personal craft room. (no offense to those who do). After getting lost in other blog rolls (peoples public posted links to other blogs they read), I discovered a very crafty one that has something for the sewing/graphic design/Martha Stewart crafter. Something for the kids, house, someone else's kids/home......

There is a box I have that has the last endeavors of my time. You'll find the glue gun here, fabric scraps and jewelery making. Do I dare pull any of it out so I can make something else that stays in the back room because we don't have room for it or pass it on to the next victi...ummm blessed individual :)

Why does it seem to always be the women!

Men work, hunt for the remote, gather to play D&D and play dumb to a messy apartment.

Women work, cook, clean and when its all done...craft!

Its like we have a gene most men lack. We go from turning our office into a nursery only to be converted into our personal craft room after the kid leaves the nest for good.

Then there are those who love crafts and those who love to buy craft supplies. My mother is guilty of this passion. Boxes and boxes full of rubber stamping supplies only to be stocked away for when she has a craft room. I don't know if she'll ever get around to using any of it. Chances are I will inherit most of it when she passes.

Maybe I would feel more productive when inspiration strikes if I had a house to apply it to? My efforts would not be wasted on some leased out place who wouldn't care to keep the abstract wall mural or holes.

I don't sew

I lost my workshop to moving away from home

Our office isn't even put together! It hosts my computer desk and the pile of things neither of us want to deal with until we think we still need it when we move again. Oh how the cycle continues.

I think....

I may have just found a few paper plates amongst all that China. And what a surprise...some of them have felt the same way!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Would you like Porcelain or Paper....

Depending on if you have a local community church, they offer a variety of life groups. Or should I segregation pods.

You will find:

College Young Adult
Single Young Adult
Wishing I wasn't single young adult hoping to find my mate
New Marrieds
Married with company
Given up on marriage single purpose
Single Parents

Commonly, each group consists of a mixer, guest speaker/message topic and ending with announcements and activities to sign up for. It should be of no surprise of which group I've been going to. There was a time when I wanted to be a member of this exclusive club for such a long time. After each time we meet, Mr. G gets to hear the run down of what I observed.

In a nut shell, you could say I've struggled with this group.

Just about each time we meet, we introduce ourselves and state how long we've been married. Right now, the G family is the baby in the group where as 75% have almost 5 or more years experience under their belts. This means we rent an apartment, struggle to have our own allowance money after all the bills and pray things will get better.

Not exactly the same life woes to relate to.

After our discussion, a couple hosts dinner at their house for further socialization. Now what could be wrong with this activity? Free dinner and someone else had to clean and cook. If anything makes food taste even better....its the company you have. As we get older, some things never change. The men group up with the men and the women do the same for conversation. I dread this part the most.

My experience is as follows:

Follow another couple to a nice suburban neighborhood
Walk through well put together house with spectacular kitchen you'll never have
Sit by yourself or hope another group will adopt you into conversation group or better yet see if the guys will let you in.....
Sit and eat dinner where you estimate how much it cost to put on this kind of spread
Smile and nod at conversations which consist of gardening, layovers in airports on your way home from Rome, crafts.....and of course, house buying.

Most of the women look like they came from the same china pattern. Husbands with good jobs, disposable income and bodies half the size of me. I guess I may be more use to nicked/chipped china or paper plates. Not always pretty or the most stable, but gets the job done.

I don't know how long I'll try this group out. Thoughts of doing my own have crossed my mind. Couples who don't have their acts together...still figuring out being married...and can talk about something other than the above conversation topics!

If only I could trade company with those who have kids at those dinners. Reality at its best!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Domestication at its Best

When a woman gets married, its assumed that she'll be the domestic side of her husband. "No need to stress Mr. G, I'll take care of that trouble some laundry that piles up. What? You have no lunch for tomorrows day of work? let me take care of that." Most of my friends will tell you I was domesticated long before I was married. I invested into kitchen and home goods instead of electronics, but I didn't have all the pivotal pieces one registers for their wedding.

Sign.....the Kitchen Aid mixer will have to wait.

But with the high tech trend in gadgets, I felt validated as a wife when we received a glass covered cake platter. You know the one they try and sell you on by showing how you can turn it into a punch bowl. When I bake, instead of a cookie jar, I place the extra goodies under a glass prison.

Besides picking up other wifely duties, the ultimate one would have to be hosting. You host other couples, out of town family and whoever comes through the door. Most of the time, these guests do not make you sweat at the thought of their visit (Okay, maybe an inlaw). Except the one who has the most financial power in your current life.

This would be having your boss or bosses over for dinner.

I have never gone to this much work and fuss over a visit. The above picture is of my new dining room table. A perfect find at Ikea in the As-Is section. For only a few dings which you have to point out, we got 100 bucks plus or so knocked off the price leaving us with the ability to get four chairs to go with. My single days were had at a bare bones table with chairs coincidently also from Ikea when I first moved away from home. Nothing was wrong with it until we started having guests over for meals and were practically eating off of each others plates! A tiny table for not tiny people. After all the plates, glasses, silver wear....there was only room for the salt and pepper shakers.

So what is such the big deal about this table and my bosses? Well maybe the reason could be we bought the sucker the night before! The chairs were unfinished pine which required an additional trip to Home Depot to find a dark enough stain. There we were that night on our deck staining pieces of wood in hopes that it would be done in time for tomorrows pivotal and classic old sitcom episode. I have never gone to this much trouble cleaning and cooking in my life. At least I feel proud to have cleaned the bathrooms and have them used by our guests. It would always be Murphy's Law that if I cleaned a certain room other then the main, no one would see my efforts.

And what did you have for dinner?

Balsamic BBQ sauce..home made
Grilled chicken breast
Mr. G's macaroni salad
Raspberry and walnut salad with spring mix greens
Sliced watermelon

They brought a pie, so at least I didn't have to worry about anything more.

With this being my day off, it hardly felt like one after the business. It could have been the cooking, it could have been the cleaning or spot staining and chair assembly. Or the fact that Mr. G cracked his radiator the night before and had to be his personal driver to the mechanic and to work. Sigh, I guess I'll have to wait until tomorrow on my next day off to sleep in.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Better Watch the Water

So it seems that a lot of people around me or in my network are all getting prego. Not to mention there is a flood of baby boys. Yippie, may our girls have more to pick from than the other current trend most of my adult single women friends are dealing with.

The common joke when there is a baby wave is, "Is there something in the water?" And for all you earth polluting bottled water lovers out are not any more safer. (note, I am not an eco hippie freak, so drink away) Thus far, I have avoided this tainted water. Yet when I hear of good news about the new future family a couple is going to have, my stomach slightly lurches. an old memory resurfacing. When I was single and had no prospects to beat off with a stick, the news of couples getting engaged would hit me like a truck. They had every right to be happy and run to the wedding registry. If only I could bring myself to purchase a ticket on this happy train along with all the other well wishers. Of course finding a suitor and getting engaged myself and married helped those feelings fade away.

Until last night......

Reading the news from a fellow 3 out of 2 that they had started trying and successfuly won the swimers lottery. (Congratulations by the way) The stomach lurching had returned!

My husband and I long to have a family some day. Both being only children, we know the pain that comes with being an only. Plans to start "trying" all depend on future plans/timing of both going for additional schooling and then towards the last of the second year when we will be done...we'll give it the old college try. But since we are not following down the traditional paths of starting a family right now or buying our first home, it leaves one rather alone on this path. The attractivenss of having a little peanut who looks like you both is hard to ignor.

But its a lot of hard work!

As many times that I've heard children are a blessing, they are a lot of work. Wait, hard work seems like an understatement.....they are Superbowl of hard work. No instruction manual, lack of sleep, taxed parents, lack of alone time and hospital bills which could take to pay off until they are out of diapers!

(Looks for her pen to sign up)

As Mrs. Winters would call it, a heart vs. brain. My rational idealistic brain is saying..."Are you crazy!" while the heart coos "But they are sooo cute and God made them from you and Mr. G.

I guess I should just accept the fact that I will battle this until we are given the green light to do a little multiplying.