Thursday, June 30, 2011

My Top 5

This is how I would round out my "Top 5" (in order:)

1. Henry Cavill

2. Jason Statham

3. Gerard Butler

4. Chris Evans

5. Ewan McGregor

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

My inspirational quote for the rest of the year...

"Some of them were naysayers and didn't think I could do it. But, the majority of them said they saw it in my eyes ...I was going to do it and they were watching to see my progress."

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Gag-worthy Hypocrisy

Warning: Adult Content. 
I have never seen such hypocrisy as that surrounding politics and religion. 

I realize that I am stating the obvious, but it wasn't until recently that I was thoroughly blasted with it.  For all intensive purposes, I am renaming the individuals in this story: "Bill" and "Mary" are the married couple.  "Lucifer" is the "other man."  Yes, this is real.

"Bill" and "Mary" were perfect for each other.  They shared the same goals, morals, and religious beliefs (among other things.)  "Bill" and "Mary" were married a few years ago, and it seemed like the perfect marriage.  "Bill" and "Mary" decided to pursue a sexual lifestyle out of the norm.  I have nothing against swinging couples.  I know many of them.  (For a brief rundown, "Bill" and "Mary" never followed the "full swap" mentality of just what it sounds like.) So that was that..."Bill" and "Mary", but they did have rules and set standards, etc. for it all.  What makes this even more humorous is "Mary" was raised in a very strict, religious upbringing.  "Mary" studied religions at her university.  "Mary" received an upper-level degree in theology and religious studies.  "Mary's" sole goal was to become a Minister.  Already, I'm seeing some hypocrisy.  I'm pretty sure there aren't any passages in The Bible (the religious beliefs they followed) that condone "swinging" or an alternative lifestyle.

We hadn't heard from "Bill" in awhile until we received a note from him just signed as "Bill" and not "Bill and Mary."  We contacted "Bill" and weren't expecting to hear such a tale: "Mary" and he were getting a divorce.  They had been having issues, went through counseling, and nothing was working.  The straw that broke the camel's back is when "Mary" ran into someone from her past and began an extramarital sexual relationship with "Lucifer."  Now, the way that "Bill" and "Mary's" lifestyle was, this was absolutely NOT part of their "rules" for their lifestyle.  This was nothing more than infidelity.  "Bill" was devastated.  They are now legally separated.

The kicker is "Bill and Mary" were invited to our wedding.  "Bill" said he was coming, and he said "Mary" wanted to come, too, but she wanted to bring her new boyfriend, "Lucifer."  (They had received the invitation right when they decided on the divorce/info came out.  What?  This isn't Jerry Springer, folks. 

Thanks to social networking, my fiancĂ© "proved his real friendship" (joke) by "friending" "Bill" online.  While he was looking through "Bill's" picture, he sees a photo take a few months ago.  "Mary" in full Minister attire.  She had become an ordained Minister.

Now, I seem to recall back in my days of CCD (Confraternity of Christian Doctrine - Catholic) that nowhere did it say anything about infidelity being acceptable, and nowhere did it say anything about "infidelity is unacceptable....except for those of 'the cloth.'" Instead, this hypocrite is teaching others how to love one another, respect one another, honor one another, but yet....clearly, this person is not doing so.

This is not my first run-in with hypocrites and religion.  When I was in college, this seemingly nice young man and I chit chatted for YEARS.  He was "single."  He would say things like, "I wish you could have come with me to my high school reunion!" etc. and when I saw a photo of some girl kissing him on the cheek, I laughed and said, "High School sweetheart?"  (He and I weren't dating, what did I care?) He laughed and said, "yeah -she's a good friend of mine from back home."  He made statements like, "one day, I hope to get married, have kids, and live the ideal American dream." 

Six years later, I found him on a social networking site, and it said "Married" and showed photos of three smiling children.  I sent him a message and said, "hey! Congrats on the marriage and the new family!" The response I received was, "LOL - what are you talking about? I've been married for ten years.  They are mine and my wife's kids."  Sure enough, he had been lying the entire time.  I don't know what made me more angry - the fact he was trying to pick me up or the fact that he had lied about the woman in the reunion picture (his wife) and that he "hoped to have kids someday," but was already a father!  A quick message later he said, "sorry about that - my wife was standing nearby.  I had been cheating..." yadda yadda yadda.  Guy was a youth minister and radio host for a Christian radio program. 

Thou shall not covet thy neighbor's wife........................unless you're a Minister.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Two tomato tidbits

Our lovely trio of tomatoes have been attacked by Tomato Hornworms.  They're nasty buggers that are camouflaged so neatly in the plant's foliage that they are hard to detect.  I noticed perfectly quadrilateral droppings, but I couldn't find the source.  Andrew noticed some of our leaves missing.  When I looked around, I was faced with a fat sucker chowing down on the leaves.  Andrew removed him and two of his buddies and threw them in the fire.  Die, MF'er, DIE! Our tomato plants are okay.  We haven't found anymore nor have we seen signs of anymore of them.  We have around 50 tomatoes waiting to ripen.  Tonight, I will pick three more softball-sized tomatoes.

A few weeks ago, we saw a plant in our yard that looked like a tomato plant.  I said, "no, we haven't planted any out there."  Sure enough, tiny green globular things started growing.  I thought, "don't pick them.  They are probably berries."  I got home from work last night, and my fiancĂ© says, "yeah....they're tomatoes."  I walked out with him, and sure enough there were bride red things on this plant.  We picked one, cut it open, it LOOKED like a tomato, and it SMELLED like a tomato.  By, George!  We have cherry tomatoes in our backyard we never planted!  The only thing we can think of is maybe a bird ate a seed, pooped it out, and now we have cherry tomatoes!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Southwestern Chicken Burritos :)

We've ditched all of the sodium-laden seasoning mixes for our meals and instead have made our own seasoning mixes.  This one is a good combination for Southwestern dishes (because let's face's not really Mexican!)  I don't really measure out my seasonings as some meals require more than others.  This should give you a good base.  Next time I will measure :)

2 lbs chicken breasts: boneless, skinless, chopped into small pieces (I use a cleaver)
Cumin Powder (to taste)
Chili Powder (to taste)
Cayenne Pepper (to taste)
Paprika (to taste)
Garlic Powder (to taste)
Salt (to taste - but I don't use a whole lot in this recipe)
Lime juice
Dale's Reduced Sodium Seasoning (liquid) - 1 capful
Frank's Hot Sauce (two shakes)
8" flour tortilla
1 x can Rotel tomatoes (drained)
6 oz. crushed tomatoes (more or less)
1/2 cup shredded colby-jack or any other cheese
Philadelphia Cooking Cream - Santa Fe Blend (optional)

Preheat oven to 350.  Cook chicken breast pieces in frying pan with some olive oil in the bottom.  While the chicken is cooking, add in all of your dry seasonings as well as Dale's and Frank's.  Continue cooking until chicken is thoroughly cooked.  Drain, if necessary, and return to the frying pan.  Mix in the Rotel tomatoes (diced tomatoes and chiles,) the crushed tomatoes, 2/3 of the cooking cream, and the cheese.  Stir and heat until well-blended.

Fill tortillas down the center with mixture, roll, and place the seam down on a cooking spray'ed 13" x 9" pan (you will need a smaller pan, too - 9" x 9" or so.)  Once all of the tortillas have been made, use about 1/2 - 3/4 teaspoon of the cooking cream per burrito and smear it on.  Make sure you try to cover as much of the burrito as possible, but don't make it TOO thick.  Top with shredded cheese.  Cover with tin foil, and bake for 20 minutes.

YUM!  For a lower fat version, omit the Philadelphia Cooking Cream and opt for another can of Rotel tomatoes and crushed tomatoes, and spread evenly across the tops.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

15 June 2011: This day in history...

1215: Magna Carta sealed.
1300: Dante is named prior of Florence.
1776: Delaware declares independence.
1846: US-Canada border established.
1877: First African-American graduate of West Point Military Academy.
1945: Judy Garland marries Vincente Minnelli.


We have over forty tomatoes waiting to spring forth.  Our three plants are 6 feet tall.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Why are so many dog owners lazy?

Yesterday, we were out trimming our shrubs.  The teen that lived diagonally across the street from us walked next door to mow his neighbor's yard.  While he was mowing, I heard someone yell, and the next thing I see is a small dog darting over to the lawnmower (push mower,) then take off trotting across the street into the far end of our yard.  Thinking (because we heard someone yell about the dog) we'd soon see the owner come racing out of the house after their dog, we just watched.  The teen mowing the yard kept on mowing.  The dog trotted up to the next house, crossed a street in our neighborhood, walked up to the next house, and continued into the neighbor of that house's yard.  The dog was a good 100 yards away...............and nothing.  No one bothered to go after it.  I thought, "well maybe it's a stray.  Hey, I wonder if that's the dog in the LOST posters!"

We thought we were about to see a dog get run over by traffic on the main highway, I took off my gloves, and I headed up the street.

The kid mowing the yard stopped to wipe sweat off his face and just stared at me.  I tried to yell, "do you know whose dog that is?" but he turned his back to me and kept mowing.  The dog is now 50 yards from me - sniffing, trotting, and in no way wanting to head home.  I bent over, clapped my hands, and made incredibly-annoying calls of "c'mere puppy-puppy! c'mon, buddy!  c'mere puppy!  here puppy puppy!"  The little dog caught sight of me and came running down the hill.  When it approached me, it was VERY wary.  It would run up to me and then jump back.  I held my hand out, talked softly, and it started to approach, then jumped backwards.

I noticed that while this dog had a highly decorative collar, it didn't have a single tag: Rabies? ID? Nothing.  After a few minutes, I asked, "do you wanna cookie?  wanna treat? c'mon!  let's go!"  I started to walk away, hoping it'd follow me (still no owners.)  Instead, it started growling at me and did a "I'm a big dog" nasty bark at me.  Eventually, it thought it was actually getting a treat and started to haul ass down the street and into its own yard.  (At least it wasn't up near the highway, and surely the lawnmower kid will grab it.)  Nope.  He just watched me.

Next thing you know, the dog is heading over to his yard and running laps: trademark "you can't catch me!" game. 

Eventually, out walks the owner and says, "there he is!" and the dog continues playing its game.  Now that the female owner was outside calling to her dog, the lawnmower kid stopped and was trying to catch the dog NOW.  Another owner calls the dog, and it goes running into the house.  The lawnmower kid says something to the owner who turns and stares at me (me - now back in our yard.)  I smile at her, she gives me a nasty "stink eye" look, and walks back in the house.  Well excuuuuuuuse me!

I know that if either one of my dogs were runners and got loose, I would be freaking the "f" out! My ass would be running down the street, leash and treats in hand, trying to get my dog.  Not these folks.  Their mentality was, "aww, hell.  Fluffy's out again.  It's hot out.  Eh - he'll come back if he wants to."  What is wrong with people? The owner? The lawnmower kid?  Why were WE the only responsible people trying to get this dog home/into safety? Why give me a nasty look because I was trying to catch your damn (mean little bastard) dog?

As we were finishing up our yard work, I could hear the dog screaming and barking from the house.  It sounded like (and it probably was) the owners were beating the dog.  For running out of the house? For running up the street?  It's your own damn fault that you not only didn't take the time to train your dog, but it has no tags, and you never even bothered to go after it.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

How to save on your Summer cooling bill in Georgia....

If you have central air conditioning, and you want to save money during the Summer.....break it. 

Okay.  I'm not being serious [obviously.]  We noticed on Sunday that our AC unit didn't seem to be cooling our house down (when your thermostat is set on 74, it should not be 86 degrees inside your home.)  We tried working on our unit until around 2:30 on Monday morning (both of us having to work the next day) before we said, "well that's not working" and suffered through sweat-drenched sleep (or attempt to sleep.)  Before we left for work the next morning, we moved the dogs' crates downstairs in our finished basement.  At least it was 10 degrees cooler down there.

One of my brother and SIL's friends is an HVAC guy so we gave him a ring.  Unfortunately, he was out of town.  We found another guy who said he could come around 6 or 7 that night. 

7 o'clock passed - no phone call.  We called and left him a message.  8:30 came, and he called back saying he'd be at our house around 9:45 / 10:00 p.m.  At least by that time, the outside temperature had dropped enough for us to open our windows. 

Long story short: our AC is now fixed, but what we've noticed is that we can run our AC at a higher temperature (thermostat) because without AC for three days, ANY bit feels great! 

Monday, June 6, 2011

EASY recipe!

( I call it "Robin's Pie" after my friend that introduced it to me...)

1 x 8 oz. Cool Whip
1 x large Chocolate Bar (I used the Hershey's bar that is about 6" in length and 4" wide)
1 x graham cracker pie crust

Melt chocolate in a double boiler, stirring sporadically.  When the chocolate has just melted, mix the chocolate in with the Cool Whip in a large bowl.  Mix thoroughly.  Spoon the mixture into the pie crust, cover, and freeze. 

** I top mine with additional Cool Whip before serving.  Your friends will think it's a glorious masterpiece!  They don't have to know it only cost $6 to make :)

What's worse than Georgia Summer heat?

What's worse than the scorching and humid Georgia Summer weather? No man-made relief from it as in...air conditioning.

We had noticed on Saturday that our AC may not be running up to par.  There's no reason why the temperature inside our home should read "85" (Fahrenheit) with our thermostat set at "74" (Fahrenheit.)  There's no reason why wearing close to nothing should still produce rivers of sweat.

We went out, noticed the unit was running but was covered in dirt and leaves.  We hosed it down, and we prayed for the best.  Nope. 

Last night we were sitting in bed, melting, and I said, "I don't think the AC is working properly."  We have an oversized ceiling fan in our bedroom, and it was just circulating heat.  I stepped outside, and it was cooler outside (no bueno.)  Even our dogs (inside dogs, of course) were restless. 

After putting our hand near a vent, we noticed it wasn't blowing out any cool air (or air) whatsoever.  Great.

It's now 12 a.m. (midnight,) we're melting, we're having AC issues, and we both have to work in the morning.  After checking around and doing some quick fixes, we were able to wash down (again,) and head to bed (at 2:15 a.m.)  I was woken up at 2:37 a.m., drenched in sweat.  In a half asleep-daze, I reached down, and the AC was barely blowing.  Instead of turning it off and opening the windows, I went back to sleep until waking up at 6 a.m. completely miserable and exhausted (I couldn't get to sleep the night before, and now this makes night #2 - prepare for Ms. Cranky today.) 

I turn off the AC, open all of the windows, turn on the ceiling fan, and cook breakfast.  When Andrew wakes up, I tell him what was going on, and he was less than thrilled.  Luckily, my SIL informs me that she and my brother's friend is an HVAC guy (I sent his wife an e-mail as soon as I got into my office!)

In the meantime, we moved our dogs' crates downstairs in our finished (and cool) basement so they wouldn't get heat exhaustion today, and I'm crossing my fingers that "HVAC" can help us!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Heartwarming story ;)

I received this via e-mail today, and I had to pass it along :)

Here's a truly heartwarming story about the bond formed between a little 5-year-old girl and some construction workers that will make you believe that we all can make a difference when we give a child the gift of our time.

A young family moved into a house, next to a vacant lot. One day, a construction crew turned up to start building a house on the empty lot.

The young family's 5-year-old daughter naturally took an interest in all the activity going on next door and spent much of each day observing the workers.

Eventually the construction crew, all of them "gems-in-the-rough," more or less, adopted her as a kind of project mascot. They chatted with her, let her sit with them while they had coffee and lunch breaks, and gave her little jobs to do here and there to make her feel important.

At the end of the first week, they even presented her with a pay envelope containing ten dollars. The little girl took this home to her mother who suggested that she take her ten dollars "pay" she'd received to the bank the next day to start a savings account.

When the girl and her mom got to the bank, the teller was equally impressed and asked the little girl how she had come by her very own pay check at such a young age.

The little girl proudly replied, "I worked last week with a real construction crew building the new house next door to us."

"Oh my goodness gracious," said the teller, "and will you be working on the house again this week, too?"

The little girl replied, "I will, if those assholes at Lowe's ever deliver the damn sheet rock..."

Kind of brings a tear to the eye - doesn't it?

A Tribute: what you don't hear.

A friend of mine forwarded this e-mail to me, and of course, being the skeptic that I am, I looked it up on Snopes.  While I am sure many of you may have known about this, THIS forward is actually true, and it needs forwarding.  I did some editing to insert the facts versus the embellishments that often come with e-mail forwards:

The Sailor [in this story] is QM2 (Seal Team 3) Mike Monsoor (April 5th, 1981 - September 29th, 2006.)  Mike Monsoor was awarded "The Congressional Medal of Honor" in April 2008 for giving his life in Ramadi as he jumped on, and covered with his body, a live hand grenade saving the lives of two of his Navy Seal colleague.

During Mike Monsoor's funeral at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in San Diego, California, the six pallbearers removed the casket from the hearse, and lined up on each side of Mike Monsoor's casket were his family members, friends, fellow sailors, and well-wishers. The column of people continued from the hearse all the way to the grave site.

What the group didn't know is that Navy Seals were scattered among the column of people.

As the pallbearers carried the rosewood casket down the column of people to the grave site, the column would collapse which formed a group of people that followed behind.  Every time the rosewood casket passed a Navy Seal, he would remove his gold trident pin from his uniform, and slap it down hard causing the gold trident pin to embed itself into the top of the wooden casket.  Then the Navy Seal would step back from the column and salute.

Now for those who don't know what a trident pin is, here is the definition:

After extensive Navy Seals Basic training and then an additional fifteen weeks of advanced training, completed Navy Seals trainees are given their Naval Enlisted Code and the gold trident pin.  With this gold pin, they are now officially Navy Seals.

It was said that you could hear each of the slaps from across the cemetery.  By the time the rosewood casket reached the grave site, it looked as though it had a gold inlay from the trident pins that lined the top.

Memorial Footage:

This Should Be Front-Page News instead of the garbage we read and hear everyday.