Saturday, April 23, 2011

I Can't Be Blamed For This

I try to be a good person. I really do. I put my cart in a corral after grocery shopping. I give the evil-eye / loud-sigh / disappointed-head-shake to those who don't. I occasionally make dinner for my husband. I smile and wave when people let me in their lane while driving.  I rotate Hubby's sock drawer so all of his socks get equal utilization. All of these things are done in honor of trying to be a good person.

And then they go and do something like this to me. After all I've done to try to be good!

They've gone and combined my two favorite treats in the world. Ice Cream and Red Velvet Cake. I'll let you read that a few more times before we move on.

It's been years since I bought ice cream. No, really. At least since mid-March. Which is quite a record for me, and ever impressive. If you know me, then you know that I think about eating ice cream about fourteen dozen times a day. And that's just before my workout each morning. I am not adverse to the proposition of eating Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream for breakfast. And I occasionally do such. Who needs cereal when there's a much more wonderful way to get calcium?

But, alas, all of this addiction appreciation for ice cream has led to some rather inappropriate consequences. For instance, I can no longer run a mile in under twenty minutes, like my glory days in middle school (just kidding...they gave up timing me after the bell rang for the next class to begin. I'm a genius!). I can no longer eat whatever my little heart desires because I no longer run three hours a day for volleyball, basketball, or softball season, depending on the time of year. And I thought I was fat in high school! I was in the best shape of my life! And I lived on pasta and ice cream. But, due to a slightly lower activity level over the past eleven years, I can no longer get away with such fun meals.

Good grief. Did I just say eleven years?

We've been trying to do better in the eating arena. I say "we" very loosely since Hubby experiences no detrimental impact on his body from food. He can come home from work, telling me about the six donuts he ate for lunch, and then step on the scale to show a three-pound weight loss. Fair? Not even slightly, but I promise I won't complain about that too much.

So why did Blue Bunny do this to me? I've certainly never done anything to them except show undying support and enthusiasm. And another question...why are Rhodes Rolls, which are a necessary part of my hosting Easter Dinner tomorrow with family, located in the same freezer section aisle as ice cream? Why not next to vegetables or (gasp) pizza. I always win the battle against such shelf items staring back at me. But ice cream? That's more of a challenge. One I most likely lose. I walked slowly past all the flavors today...enjoying their pretty packaging and wiping drool from my mouth. And then I saw it. And I just couldn't say no. I was so exhausted from working inside and outside the house all day (see hosting-Easter-Dinner reference above). So a nice, cool, calming bowl of ice cream sounded really good. It ended up in my cart, car, and freezer before I knew what happened.

Red Velvet Cake Ice Cream. You're welcome, Love Handles. I should capitalize them, since they are practically a part of me now.

I better go...Hubby just came in and threatened to eat my ice cream while I blog about it! The nerve! And even as he's wearing properly-rotated socks! Sometimes I don't think he realizes how great he's got it!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Heart Stealer

And you thought I was going to post a huge play-by-play of our new shed being built! Well, I thought so, too. But we still have to staple-gun the screen to the top of the walls before I can post "It's Done" pictures. So I'm headed to Home Depot this morning to purchase a better staple gun, since ours stinks like a skunk.

Since the shed update was a bust for today, I thought I'd post a picture of my favorite little man. I got to watch Evan yesterday while my sister ran some errands. He was down for his first nap of the day when I arrived, dang it. But I patiently waited an hour and a half with T'liese's Better Home and Gardens in my hands. When I finally heard him stirring, I went in to pick him up out of his crib.

And then he did something that I've never seen before. He laid his head down on my shoulders and snuggled up to me. It was the sweetest experience I've ever had with Evan, and certainly something I needed yesterday. When T'liese called on her way home, I was still holding him like that. I asked if it was normal behavior from him, and she said lately, yes, but just for a few minutes. He had kept snuggled up to me for half an hour! It was pure bliss, and I really needed to feel that love.

Sometimes you just need a hug. And if it happens to come from a 14 month-old sweetie, so be it.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Dead, Shriveled Green Thumb

It's been over two weeks since we transplanted our little seedlings into their new home in garden boxes. It goes without saying that we get an "A" for effort. Here in Arizona, we have very hard, clay-ish dirt that makes growing things pretty tough. It's almost like we live in the harsh desert, or something very close. After sixteen days of trial and error, the verdict for the garden is in. Hubby isn't happy with the dirt he made, and neither are the plants, it would seem.

Even the few things we planted from Home Depot as full-grown plants are dying a slow death. The zucchini already arranged to be cremated, and don't be fooled by the cherry tomato plants. Despite having adorable little tomatoes blooming, I keep tearing off dying stems just below. Death is slowly creeping upward, so who knows how long those little guys will hang on before succumbing to the terrible dirt as well. We've lost three of the six Better Boy Hybrid Tomato plants, which are bred to withstand the terrible heat. We are down to just three Roma tomatoes as well, but not a single plant has gotten any bigger or better since getting into the garden boxes over two weeks ago. We've lost all four banana pepper plants and four of the six sweet peppers. I'm so bummed because I use a lot of those in my cooking! I'm tired of paying $1.99 for one green bell pepper! The two plants that are left are barely hanging on and certainly aren't showing any positive signs of growth. Hubby still has all four jalapeno plants, which makes him happy. But they aren't growing, either. It's just a huge graveyard for plants, it would seem!

The only thing thriving in these harsh conditions are the bulb onions we planted during transplant day. Amazingly enough, they are doing very well and growing like weeds. Maybe they ARE weeds, and I just haven't figured that out yet.

On the bright side, the herbs are doing very well in their small pots. Look at my basil! Isn't it beautiful! I go out there a few times a day just to admire it and smell it and pet it. I can't wait to start chopping it up for pasta dishes, and it looks like that time isn't too far away!

I think what we will end up doing is growing our garden in large pots from now on. We will use good potting soil from top to bottom, and the plants will have no choice but to grow and prosper. I admit it has been frustrating watching all of our hard work and effort die off one by one. Hubby has dreams of making better soil, but I hope we can use large pots in the meantime. This would make them easily mobile, too, in case we needed to move them to shade to protect them from the sunlight. I bet most things don't like 120 degrees. I know I don't.

While Hubby worked to clear some gravel last night, I worked on some weed-removal and whacking. Over by the lemon tree was looking a little too jungle-ish, but now it is much more habitable for weeds to move right back in. I am headed out to surprise Hubby by painting his shed so he doesn't have to do it when he gets home from work. The finished product should occur in the next few days (and a post all about the shed will follow). Then we can mow the lawn and grab the last few weeds out front to make our house presentable for hosting Easter Dinner with family. My Dad arrives from Mexico today, and it will be fun to show him all the changes we've made in the past six months!

I took a few pictures of the gigantic tree behind our house. I didn't notice until my Mom and sister pointed them out last month, but we house some pretty loud birds in that tree! I like waking up to the happy sound of chirping, but these guys sound like they are murdering each other. One of them even sounds like the music from the shower scene in Psycho. It's awesome. And now I hear how loud they are all the time. I still like them, though. Kind of like I love living underneath the approach path of Sky Harbor Airport.

Off to outside. I am sure painting a shed will cheer me up about my failing garden. Who says vegetables are necessary for life, anyway?!

Monday, April 18, 2011

A New Development

I've been a little busy. Several projects going on at the same time over the past month has led to some fun time-management skills returning from the days when I worked four jobs. I don't miss that time in my life...but it IS weird only having one form of occupation to pay the bills, I must say.

One project that I've been working on for over a month is designing a website for some good friends. It doesn't normally take me that long, but I had to find the best way to display tons of information. These folks have a furniture store and have become some of our favorite neighbors. After ordering my couches from them a few months ago, it donned on me that I could make something online that was much better for their customer utilization. They, of course, fell for my evil plan and were just as excited as me to bring their website into the modern age.

And it's finally finished! Welcome to Cortate Furniture!

It has certainly been a work in progress, but it's amazing to compare their old website to this new one. The information is much easier to find and is slightly more aesthetically-pleasing. It's been fun to improve their site. I only hope it brings in even more business for their thriving company. They are such neat people and certainly deserve it.

Check it out and fill me in. I am open to constructive criticism or changes that could still be made!
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