Monday, May 26, 2008


The National Weather Service said that the tornado that tore up half a town in northeast Iowa and killed seven people was the strongest to hit the state in 32 years. The weather service ranked it an EF5 - at the top of its scale.
Sunday's twister, three-quarters of a mile wide with winds of up to 205 mph, tore a path through Parkersburg, leveling over half of this little town 120 miles west of Dubuque. The storm continued on, with tornadoes touching down several times, with the last big funnel cloud being seen near Manchester, about 45 miles west of my house.
Bailey and I spent the better part of the night listening to the sirens, watching the storm track on TV and wondering if we were seriously in danger. (I actually started packing an emergency bag!) Luckily, the storm veered north and all we got was a severe thunderstorm.

Please keep the storm victims in your prayers...

Memorial Day

Sunday, May 25, 2008

in the kitchen...

I love my crock pot! Here's what's cookin' today:

Slow Cooker Pot Roast

1 T olive oil
1 (3#) chuck roast
4 carrots, sliced
4 medium red potatoes, quartered
1 envelope Lipton Onion Soup Mix
3/4 C water

1. In large skillet, heat oil & brown roast
2. Arrange vegetables in the bottom of the slow cooker; top with roast.
3. Combine soup mix with water and pour over roast.
4. Cook on LOW 8-10 hours.
5. To thicken gravy, stir in 1/4 C water, blended with 2 T all purpose flour. Cook on HIGH until thickened.

at the movies...

It's been 19 years since Indiana Jones has lept across the big screen, but it was worth the wait! Go see Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull! Although it was no Raiders of the Lost Ark, it was still great entertainment. You'll love it!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Pet Diaries

I got this from my sister, a 'cat person'. I have no idea where she found it, but I think it's hilarious!
Excerpts from a Dog's Diary:
8:00 am - Dog food! My favorite thing!
9:30 am - A car ride! My favorite thing!
9:40 am - A walk in the park! My favorite thing!
10:30am - Got rubbed and petted! My favorite thing!
12:00pm - Lunch! My favorite thing!
1:00 pm - Played in the yard! My favorite thing!
3:00 pm - Wagged my tail! My favorite thing!
5:00 pm - Milk Bones! My favorite thing!
7:00 pm - Got to play ball! My favorite thing!
8:00 pm - Wow! Watched TV with the people! My favorite thing!
11:00 pm - Sleeping on the bed! My favorite thing!
Excerpts from a Cat's Diary:
Day 983 of my captivity. My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects. They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while the other inmates and I are fed hash or some sort of dry nuggets. Although I make my contempt for the rations perfectly clear, I nevertheless must eat something in order to keep up my strength. The only thing that keeps me going is my dream of escape. In an attempt to disgust them, I once again vomit on the carpet.
Today I decapitated a mouse and dropped its headless body at their feet. I had hoped this would strike fear into their hearts, since it clearly demonstrates what I am capable of. However, they merely made condescending comments about what a "good little hunter" I am. Bastards! There was some sort of assembly of their accomplices tonight. I was placed in solitary confinement for the duration of the event. However, I could hear the noises and smell the food. I overheard that my confinement was due to the power of "allergies." I must learn what this means, and how to use it to my advantage. Today I was almost successful in an attempt to assassinate one of my tormentors by weaving around his feet as he was walking. I must try this again tomorrow -- but at the top of the stairs.
I am convinced that the other prisoners here are flunkies and snitches. The dog receives special privileges. He is regularly released - and seems to be more than willing to return. He is obviously retarded. The bird has got to be an informant. I observe him communicate with the guards regularly. I am certain that he reports my every move. My captors have arranged protective custody for him in an elevated cell, so he is safe. For now...

Friday, May 23, 2008

my niece, the rock star

Shelby had a Jazz Band concert this afternoon. They were supposed to play downtown at the Town Clock Plaza, but relocated to the mall due to the threatening rain clouds.
It was so fun to see her play the bass guitar! Of course, I was snapping photos, envisioning the next scrapbook page... (She's the one on the right.) If you look over her right shoulder, you can see our family front and center!
What fun!

Monday, May 19, 2008

in the kitchen...

This was last night's dinner. Fifteen minutes of prep time and bam, dinner! It was good; not too spicy...

Speedy Mediterranean Chicken (serves: 4)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 16-ounce jar thick & chunky salsa
1/2 cup sliced green olives
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup honey
1 deli rotisserie chicken cut into pieces, skin removed

1. In 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Stir in curry powder. Cook over medium heat 1 minute, stirring constantly.
2. Stir in remaining ingredients except chicken. Add chicken; turn to coat.
3. Cover; cook over medium-high heat 5 to 6 minutes, turning chicken occasionally, until sauce is bubbly and chicken is thoroughly heated. Serve with brown rice or couscous.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Guys and Dolls

Last night was the local middle school's production of 'Guys and Dolls'. I attended because (niece and nephew) Shelby and Jacob were in the cast and had been working on this for almost the entire school year. It was a fun evening and all of the kids did a great job. Now, here's the part I don't understand: before the curtain rose the director made an announcement that no photographs or video would be permitted during the performance because "the contract we signed with New York forbids it". Apparently, when they bought the rights to produce this musical, they got a cheaper deal if they promised not to allow photographs or video... It's junior high, for goodness sakes! These kids have been practicing for the last seven months. Entire families have rearranged schedules to work around rehearsals. For the last two months the kids have stayed after school until 5:30 pm every day to work on this production, causing families to pick them up at school because the bus is long gone. The kids have worked hard and parents have sacrificed and nobody gets a picture of the kids in action? Doesn't seem fair to me... What do you think?

Saturday, May 17, 2008

at the movies...

Go see Iron Man. It's hip, funny and action-packed!
What a comeback for Robert Downey, Jr. He was amazing!

Friday, May 16, 2008

What a week!

Okay, I'm a bad blogger, but it's been a mentally draining week, mostly because of work. Let me recap for you:

Saturday - I worked half the day, but left at noon because my computer was jacked up and I couldn't really get anything done. (Brother) John came into town that afternoon and we met up at 4:30 Mass to see the last performance of the kids' choir. After that, we picked up some pizza and hung out at (sister) Mary's house for the evening, eating pizza and watching 'Cloverfield' (
Sunday/Mother's Day - I worked another half day and then the entire family met for brunch at Catfish Charlie's ( Yummy! Afterwards, we hung out at Mary's for the afternoon. I headed home about 4:00 to spend time with the Beagle (yes, I was feeling a little guilty), and then, of course, there was the season finale of Survivor: Fans vs Favorites... I cannot believe that Parvati won, but I guess she was the most devious and manipulative, wasn't she? After all, wasn't it her idea to get rid of Ozzy?
Monday - Without boring you with all of the details, let's just say that work is kicking my ass these days. I am incredibly busy; I feel like one of those people who spins plates on sticks and is running back and forth to keep all of the plates spinning... The tech from NCR came to fix my computer, so at least that's back on track. Home, exhausted, early to bed.
Tuesday - Work, work, work. Then, it was off to Shelby's band concert. She played the flute in the regular band and this was her first performance playing the bass guitar in the jazz band. She was pretty good; my little niece is turning into a rock star! Home, exhausted, bed.
Wednesday - My day off, so of course it was laundry and cleaning the house first thing in the morning. My friend, Leia, drove up from Worthington with Chopper, her 2-year-old male Beagle and it was off to the Bark Park. It was a beautiful day, so we let the dogs run for almost 2 hours. Then it was home for a much needed nap.
Thursday - Work, work, work. Home, walk the Beagle, dinner, 'Ugly Betty', 'Grey's Anatomy' and then pass out.
Friday - Work, work, work. Today was a good day; I got a lot done and made a big dent in the pile of research that I'm working on. Home at 7:30, walk the Beagle, and now I'm looking forward to my weekend off. This is the weekend of the local middle school's production of "Guys and Dolls", featuring, of course, (niece & nephew) Shelby and Jacob. {Watch for my complete review later this weekend.}
Well, faithful readers, that's my recap of the week. I know it doesn't seem that busy, but that work piece is wearing me out, causing everything else to seem hectic.
Good night!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Friday morning...

Another day off, another load of laundry. I'm pretty tired this morning. Last night was (nephew) Jacob's final orchestra concert of the year and after that I decided to go grocery shopping. I haven't done a 'big grocery list' for quite some time so I hit every single aisle and really stocked up. I got home at 10:30 but then had to carry all of the bags into the house. What was I thinking? I was exhausted! Bailey was pretty excited to see about a month's worth of her favorite dog food pouches though. I can always count on her, LOL. She was right there with me, bag for bag, while I brought it all in and put it away. She loves to look in all the bags and I think she's convinced that I'm going to just slap a steak or roast down onto the kitchen floor for her. Silly little girl!
I finally collapsed into bed around midnight, but then remembered that I had to watch 'Survivor'. Did you see it? Erik giving his Immunity Idol necklace to Natalie had to be the absolute dumbest Survivor move ever! OMG! What an IDIOT! Here's a look at list night's Tribal Council:

Enjoy your day!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Soggy Saturday

Another chilly and rainy morning. Yuck! I decided to go to the Farmer's Market anyway, just to get Bailey out of the house. What a dissappointment - there were only about 10 vendors set up in what is usually several blocks crowded with booths. We did visit each booth, though, just to see what vendors were offering this morning. Most of the selection involved greenhouse plants to take home and start your garden with. There weren't many fruits or vegetables yet - (obviously the growing season is just starting), but there were plenty of homemade baked goods, LOL! I broke down and bought a little mini rhubarb pie, which I will savor, bite by bite, for the entire weekend.
Happy Saturday!

Friday, May 2, 2008


Whew! Long week! Now I remember why I like working a couple of days and then having a day off and then working a couple more days... I am dead tired. Still, it's 7:15 pm and I've got the laundry going and have already made a trip to the grocery store for milk, bread, etc. Tomorrow will be a big day:
  • It's opening day of the Farmer's Market (Bailey and I will be heading out first thing)
  • It's Mary's birthday and she wants a family afternoon @ the movies (I think we are seeing Ironman)
  • Birthday festivities will continue with dinner out somewhere...

I'm afraid to lie down before the laundry is done because I think I will probably fall asleep immediately! I guess I'd better get up and straighten up the house while I wait for the dryer. Have a good evening...

Thursday, May 1, 2008

May Day

Wow, May 1st! Hard to believe that it's May already... I'm working a mid-shift today, so I'm spending a little time at the computer (with a cup of coffee, of course.) CoffeeMate has come out with a 'Special Edition' flavor - Cinnamon Buns. It's my new favorite!
Last night, Mary, the kids and I went over to Mom's to help her move furniture and vacuum all of her nooks & crannies. Personally, I didn't see any dirt, but she can't move the furniture by herself and I think that watching us clean makes her happy in some sick, twisted way, LOL. (I remember when we were little we used to have to clean up before the cleaning lady came...)
I'm off to get ready for work. Have a great day!