17 June 2011

what i'm reading & watching

Since we moved, we don't have cable. This is a huge change for us. We're really TV junkies. Husby works for the cable company that services 99% of our area. Unfortunately, we moved to this little bitty area that isn't serviced. This stinks for two reasons:

1. The littlebittycablecompany is reportedly awful.
2. As an employee of BIG CABLE COMPANY, Husby got a major discount. Like almost free. Like we got every single channel for free. We only had to pay $15 a month for DVR.

Mourn with us, please. I have a plan for BIG CABLE COMPANY to take over littlebittycablecompany. I just need to pitch it to someone other than Husby. Evidently, he doesn't think it'll work. What does he know? He's only worked there 14 years.

(If you're counting, that's before I graduated high school. He's my sugar daddy. And he's super sweet!)

We haven't signed up for cable, since most of our shows won't start until the fall. Even then, we're not sold on paying for cable. We'll probably Netflix and watch shows on the websites. To satisfy our TV addiction, Husby suggested watching Veronica Mars. I agreed. Typically, we enjoy the same type of shows.

(Exceptions: Bethenny Ever After and Game of Thrones.)

Let me tell you, Veronica Mars has NOT disappointed. I love it so much that we usually watch more than one episode at a time. We're 16 episodes through the first season, and I can't wait to finish it. I didn't know how much I liked Kristen Bell. Sure, she's been in a couple of chick flicks (ugh...I hate that term as much as chick lit), but she's a really good actress in VM.

As if it weren't obvious, when one cannot watch TV, one has more time to read. I just finished:

I really liked this book. Krakauer (who wrote Into Thin Air) gives a raw look into the Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints. (You might remember a fairly recent raid on their Texas compound.) I was hooked after the first sentence. The underlying story is about the Lafferty brothers who murder their sister-in-law and her baby--because they believed it was a revelation from God. Of course the FLDS polygamy belief is intriguing to me. I am WAY to jealous a girl to be okay with this, and I don't think it's what the Bible describes as marriage, even though some in the Old Testament practiced it. (But did it ever really work out? Usually it was a mess.) After reading this book, I can sympathize with the FLDS followers who are hurt that the Mormon church turned away from polygamy. Although I doubt Joseph Smith's revelation, it was an accepted practice in the church that was abandoned because of pressure from the United States government. They conceded and abandoned this belief because of a government. I think I'd be a little upset, too. Don't get me wrong, I don't think that their beliefs are sound--and I certainly respect government, but I can understand why they feel as they do. Under the Banner of Heaven also gives lots of information about the Mormon tenets of faith. I really recommend this book.

I have another book that I started last night. Since I'm already a quarter of the way through, I except to be able to share my thoughts soon. And it's rocking my thinking about food.

16 June 2011

my summer so far...

I enjoy the summer. I know I'll probably complain in September when it's still 100 degrees, but for now, I still like it. I like the feeling of getting into a super hot car, and then blasting the air conditioner. And I typically don't mind being outside. It's like I was made for summers in Texas. :) Last weekend, I threw an outdoor party for Husby. This December, he'll be 40. (Yes, he did rob the cradle. I officially have a sugar daddy, although I have to work. Something about a new car and new house.) I wanted to give him a birthday fiesta, but with holiday parties and cold weather, I didn't want to do it in December. So we did a 39 1/2 birthday party. It was so much fun! I'll post pictures  soon.

Speaking of cars. I'm sad to report that Genevieve (my 5 month old Kia Sportage) has already been to the body shop. A few weeks ago, Husby and I traded cars for the day. On his way home from work, it was drizzling; he was stopped at a light and was rear-ended. $5000 in damage and 10 days later (paid for by their insurance company, thankfully), Genevieve is back home. The upside is they vacuumed the inside really well and washed her. She looks brand new. Again.

Our new house is in a more rural area. I like to call it the country, even though we're in a neighborhood. The country seems to come with wildlife that I didn't see much in the city. Yesterday, I put Crickett and Persephone outside. Before I could shut the door, I heard something land behind me. Evidently a lizard mistook the inside of our house for where he should be. I panicked. I'm not particularly afraid of lizards, but I couldn't figure out my method of getting him outside. I didn't want to kill him, since he kills more bugs than the dog and cat combined. (The cat likes to WATCH bugs crawl across the floor.) I couldn't pick him up quickly and throw him out the back; I had a cat and dog who would have loved a little snack. My only option was going out the front,  but I couldn't determine how I would pick him up, carry him, unlock and open the door, and then deposit him accordingly. And I didn't want him making an escape. Again, the cat and dog would have fought over who got him.

In my decision, the little lizard decided to climb the fireplace. I stood guard, watching him while I called Husby. Thankfully, he was less than ten minutes away. I stayed on the phone with him the whole time repeating things like:

"Please don't fall. Please don't fall. Please don't fall."
"Oh, my goodness."
"If he jumps at me..."
"Where are you?"
"Where are you now?"
"He's on the CEILING..."
"Come in through the front door as soon as you get here!"

And my knight in khaki pants and a Polo shirt came to my rescue. Only after the lizard jumped at me after an attempted capture. Which caused me to scream, then the lizard ran like a little thing you'd see in the desert, afraid for his life. Then I screamed and shook a plastic grocery bag, chasing him down the hall, hoping he wouldn't climb into the pile of empty boxes and paper. Husby was laughing the whole time, trying to catch him, but supposedly distracted by my screaming.

Once captured, we both ran outside to deposit him next to our bathroom window. (We have a family of geckos that climbs on the outside of the window at night, so we thought it was appropriate.) It being the country, I went barefoot. This is where I mention that we've been plagued by nasty brown spiders (no brown recluse, thankfully). As we were walking back inside, I saw one in the grass and told Husby to step on it. He did. Then we saw another and another and another. ALL CRAWLING TOWARD OUR HOUSE. Confident they were coming for me and my bare feet, I ran.

Next week the exterminator will be here. And summer will be even better.

02 June 2011

a challenge

This week, I've read a handful of blog posts about spending quality time with the Lord. Or for me, more accurately, NOT spending quality time with the Lord. I grew up going to church quite often. Twice on Sundays and Wednesday nights. As a college student and adult, I stayed in church, for the most part. But I'm afraid that often--for me--church replaces relationship. This isn't good.

Most often, spending time with the Lord daily isn't a priority. I want it to be, but I just struggle with it remaining a priority. You know, things get in the way. Things like facebook, blogging, reading, watching TV, hanging out with friends. These all seem to get pushed to the top of the list. If you looked at a log of how I spend my day, you'd think that I cared more about these things than cultivating a relationship with Christ.

This is a quote from Nancy Leigh DeMoss (found through Jess' page) that just resonates with me:

(Speaking of Nancy Leigh DeMoss, if you haven't read Brokenness, you should. It's amazing. I probably need to re-read it.)

I want it to be priority. So for the next 30 days, I'm joining a challenge to spend quality time with the Lord. Since I have summer hours at work (I don't go in until 9), I plan to do this in the mornings.

If you're up for it, you should join the challenge.

One last quote that is really powerful for me (and feels like a sock to the gut each time I read it), from John Piper:

01 June 2011

a (monthly) meal plan

If you've read my blog for a while, you might remember that last January I made a meal plan for an entire month. It was ambitious, and it worked. I love to cook, and I love recipes. I've had several people remark about my reliance on recipes, as opposed to just whipping something up. Honestly, I love recipes. I love a plan. Thus my return to a month of meals planned, inserted onto a calendar with recipes printed and in order of use.

Perhaps we don't know how to do it, but during our packing-moving-painting-unpacking time, we ate out a lot. Too much. Like when you don't ever want to step foot in a restaurant again, especially of the fast food variety. And it's expensive! We spent way too much money eating out in the last month. My declaration last night was we can eat out and stray from the meal plan, but we have to use a gift card. And there could be an occasion when we don't want to turn down an offer with friends, which will be fine. But we have to reign in the spending on food!

From now until June 30, I know what we'll have for dinner. I gathered recipes from Tasty Kitchen, The Pioneer Woman, a high school friend Lori (who's doing 30 days of cooking on the George Foreman, and has posted some great recipes) and SkinnyTaste.  It includes tons of fresh fruits and veggies. I've also decided to have fish once a week, and a vegetarian meal thrown in most weeks. Husby and I usually eat dinner with his family once a week, so that's a plus. (And we're often sent home with leftovers. Score! Since we live too far away to drive home from work, I have to make sure Husby is well fed at lunch, so this is perfect.)

This weeks menu includes:

Monday: Okay, we ate out. Last time until July 1. Unless we use a gift card.

Tuesday: Chicken & Veggie Kebabs

Wednesday: Homemade Fish Sticks, Red Corn on the Cob (yes, it really is red), Applesauce (it's yummy with fish!)

Thursday: Eat at Husby's parents

Friday: Farro Salad with Cherry Tomatoes and Fresh Mozzarella

Saturday: Graduation Party (I'll be at the sushi station.)

When I come across a recipe that we love, I'll be sure to share it. And I'm in the market for good summer lunch ideas, so if you have any, send them my way!