Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Down and out in Atlanta

All has headed down hill at our house. Shooter has come down with the flu. I am on flu meds as well to hopefully prevent me coming down with it. I may be begging for someone to come and put us all out of our misery in a few days.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008 new fave website! I've been looking for all kinds of interesting and unique pieces to add to my home. I stumbled across a website call Etsy a few weeks ago and have absolutely loved wandering around there. It's like a really good online flea market - only better, like a high brow craft fair.

There's artwork galore - originals and prints. I adore this print and think I will order it for the house. This one is by the same artist and it's vying for my attention too.

This is one of the coolest shops I found - Retired Records creates all kinds of cool things out of old vinyl LPs.

I'm also loving this shop. Crystal's Creations has some wonderful monogrammed coasters and some oh so cute reusable coffee sleeves.

Also, I know a few gals who're pregnant and these shops offer some items that would definitely make nice gifts for them: Easy Edges Studio and Sunny Stitches.

I hope you guys go check out Etsy and find something awesome!

Okay...maybe it's not that bad.

Alright, so I went home last night, dusted off the old flute case, and found my box of music in the hall closet (go figure). Believe it or not, it all kinda came back to me. Of course, I was never all that good at sight reading music so the piece I'm going to do is one that I've played since I was in high school. I know the nuances in an out. Now...if I can only get my embouchure in shape. Egads it was rough going at first. I hope that a little practice every night will help get me in shape so that I can make a decent showing at my audition.

Oh...and apparently the dogs can't stand to be in the same room with me when I practice. Shooter says it's because (and I quote) "Laura, I think your flute playing hurts their ears." Needless to say he spent the night on the couch. Well, okay, he didn't - but I got really mad. Well, okay I didn't get all that mad, but I gave him a good poke in the ribs for it....and made sure the dogs slept between us in the bed. ;-)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

I'm in over my head....

Oh boy, oh boy, am I in over my head or what? I don't know what I was thinking...maybe I had a temporary loss of sanity. I don't know what propelled me to sign up for such a thing...and to even think I had an ounce of that talent still left in me.

Oh lord....what have I done!!!! I went and signed up for an audition with the Greater Atlanta Community Christian Orchestra and Choir. Ugh. What WAS I thinking!?!?!?! I haven't played my flute in an orchestra in like....ummm....7 years? Argh...I'm doomed.

I am going home tonight to dust off my flute case, pray that all the pads are there and the thing is in working condition. Tentatively play a few notes and see if it all comes flooding back, it's like riding a bike, right? God I hope so.

The next hurdle is figuring out my audition piece. I hope I can put my hands on some of my old pieces, if I even have them - Mom, they're not in that box of memorabilia in my old room are they??!?! If I can't find them I may have to cancel.

How do I do this to myself......

Monday, January 21, 2008

MMMmmm....Heartwearming Banana Bread

I try to make daily visits to a wonderful food porn website called Tastespotting. There I can find pictures of delicious goodies and savory delights and wonder how I'm going to explain my weight gain to my doctor. Needless to say I saw the most appealing picture of a delicious banana bread, and thought hmmmm...that sounds just like it would hit the spot. So, I clicked on the picture and was greeted by Rasa Malaysia's website and found her receipe for a wonderful banana bread loaded with bananas.

We always have bananas left over at the end of the week at work, and I'm going to try to rescue as many of them as I can each week and create some wonderful banana recipes with them. I'm going to have fun developing new ideas.

Also, I must say that I absolutely hate my measuring cups. I got them at one of my wedding showers....almost 9 years ago. They're hateful things and I vow to get new ones. Perhaps some wonderful All-clad ones? Nah...too pricey. Anyone have any recommendations?

Oh, I decided to put these in three smaller tins thinking that it will help me with portion control. Heh...yea, I'm sure that'll keep me from eating all of it. Really, I'm a sucker for the crispy top, and this way I get three times the amount of crispy top.

I do hope you wander over to Rasa Malaysian and check out the blog. There are wonderful recipes there. Also, check out Tastespotting - you'll love it even if you just check out the pics. The great thing about it is that you can find some really great blogs out there.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

The Elusive SnowSchnauzer

Yesterday, Atlanta was hit with another round of snow. I thought it would be a good time to go out and hunt for the elusive snow-schnauzer. We've heard such a beast exists, but alas have not been able to either find one or capture it on film.

Today, however, I was VERY lucky and photographed not only one but two of the elusive creatures! They blend in so well to their surroundings that I almost couldn't distinguish their figures.

See how well they are camouflaged. It is so easy to understand how they came by their name.

See, here I completely lost the subject, but luckily once I examined the photo was able to see the figure blending in so well with the habitat.

Ah, it sees me. After this photo my cover was blown and the creature retreated and hid until the next snow storm. Perhaps I will get lucky and capture it again on film.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

My Brother, Beavis

"My name is Cornholio, I need TP for my bunghole!" we haven't called him Beavis all his life, and no my Mom and Dad don't have sick senses of humor and decide to name him that. It's just that this picture taken at Christmas just lends itself to this nickname.

And I'm going to start calling Shooter "The Amazing Kreskin".

Friday, January 18, 2008

Pepto is our friend

Okay...I absolutely love Andrew Zimmern. He's just amazingly witty and pals around with a huge crush of mine, Anthony Bourdain. *sigh*

I came across this video and thought I'd made my day.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The First Snow of the Season!!!! I know other parts of the country have had scads and scads of snow....but here in the South we got our first snow in a long while.

Of course, we're talking about Atlanta and Atlantans become paralyzed by rain much less the mention of the S-word. When it finally starts coming down, people panic and run into the streets screaming and then jump in their cars to wreck havoc on the roads.

This, my friends, is what happens when Atlantans hit the road (AT RUSH HOUR) with snow coming down.
This is the view from my office building. This street is North Avenue in Atlanta (down in the bottom corner you'll notice the World Famous Varsity restaurant). North Avenue is a main artery in Midtown Atlanta. As you can see, everyone within a 2 mile radius decided to hit the road at the same time!!!!
Now, this picture is another shot from my office's looking North at what we Atlantans call the "Connector". Basically that's the stretch interstate through the heart of the city where Interstates 75 and 85 come together. Yea, it can be nasty - on a good day it's bad...on a day like yesterday, it's atrocious.
So I arrived at my car, in the open parking lot, at the train station....and this is what greeted me. I started to get a little nervous because we were getting a lot of slush on the roads...but travel was just fine.
I got home and our neighborhood was a winter wonderland and looked so pretty. The dogs had fun romping in the snow covered lawn and the flakes falling down were huge. We didn't lose power and we stayed all nice and tasty warm.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Happy Birthday Mom!!

Today's my Mom's birthday. Today is the day that the world was graced with the arrival of Alice Faye. *sigh* If it weren't for her....well, I wouldn't be here.

Loves ya Mom!!!!!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


I'm on a mission. An organizing mission. A mission to purge. A mission to rid my home of excessive amounts of junk and things I don't want/need/like anymore.

It's kinda like Spring Cleaning Mode has hit our house early this year. It started with the weeding out of my Christmas decorations. I'm going in a whole new color direction next year, so out with the old and in with the new! This last weekend I spent Saturday morning going through all my drawers and cabinets in the kitchen. Tossing, organizing, cleaning, sorting. I was a whirling dervish!

Now...if only I had an entire week of those moments of clarity. An entire week where I had boundless and endless energy and could knock out all the nooks and crannies of my house. To tackle that desk that's become the buffet in the dining room. To work my way through Shooter's "Man Cave" and not run screaming from the mere sight of his desk. To work out other storage solutions so that my guest room closet doesn't look like the upper shelves of a Sam's Club. To figure out how to make my master bathroom a more usable and lovely space.

Actually...I might need more than an entire week to accomplish all that. Perhaps I could just declare myself a stay-at-home mom (even though we don't have kids) for a month and just take care of all that stuff. Oh, who am I kidding. If I had a month off, I certainly wouldn't be spending it working in my house all day.

Oh's to hoping that I get more days that inspire me like Saturday morning.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Anatomy of a Schnauzer

Okay...more crazy pictures of my fabulous puppies....

We call Morey "Mr. Velvet Ears" because he has the softest, silkiest ears.

This is Morey's grows so funny. As his fur grows out, he gets this fan growing that makes him look like he's part retriever or something. Quite funny. About now he's also demanding a neatening of his sanitary cut...he's not one who appreciates the occasional dingleberry.

Ahhh...da nose....but whose nose is it?

Oh of the cutest things in the world....a schnauzer butt. I don't know why, but they are. This is Leah, and her funky tail. For some reason the groomers can't get her cooperation when it comes time to trim her tail, so they leave it. Sooooo...about a week or two after a grooming she has a tail that looks like she's growing an afro on her butt. The fur on her tail is still really wiry and coarse and just poofs right up. Personally I am enamored with the way their fur grows on their butts...those cute little curley cues...hehehe...

The ear....unlike her brother's ears, Leah's are cropped. We adopted her at the age of three so we didn't do that to her. Personally, I am a huge fan of the natural ear...we call them flops in our house. Morey ended up with the perfect floppy ears.

Leah's also a burrower. Must be the ratter instinct in her. She likes to sleep under the covers down by my feet, until she gets too hot and emerges around midnight panting so hard she wakes us up. This particular morning, I woke up and found her with her entire body under Shooter's pillows and laying on her back (as usual).

Friday, January 11, 2008's caucus time again...

Yes, I said Ugh. It's because I don't know who in the heck I'm going to vote for. No one is a clear favorite of mine. I wish I could take a little bit of McCain and a little bit of Paul and a little bit of Huckabee and a little bit of Romney and make the perfect Presidential candidate.

I've really been chastising myself about not researching the platform of each candidate to see what each one stood for. I've been following the news and watching the debates but haven't really researched the candidates online. Well, a friend of mine send me a link to a Washington Post quiz where you answer questions according to what you believe and then rank how important that topic is to you. It then spits out which of the candidates you're most aligned with.

Let's just say that the person I figured I was most aligned with came up third. Another I liked but didn't think I'd probably vote for came in second. The candidate I thought I'd be least likely to vote for came in as my best match.

Guess I'm still stuck not really knowing who I'm going to vote for.....

Thursday, January 10, 2008

No punishment is severe enough

Here in the North Georgia area we've been struggling to come to terms with the murder of a young woman by the name of Meredith Emerson. She was abducted from a trail in the Blood Mountain area, held for several days, and bludgeoned to death. She was then decapitated after her death. Area authorities have arrested a man they believe to be her killer, Gary Michael Hilton.

Hilton is also being sought after in the deaths of two North Carolina hikers, John and Irene Bryant (79 and 84 yrs old respectively). They went missing on October 20, 2007 - Irene was found bludgeoned to death and John's body has never been found.

Another death in Florida is possibly being linked to him as well.

If he committed these crimes, there is no punishment out there that is severe enough for him.

I struggle with how someone could be so disconnected emotionally to commit crimes such as murder. I cannot even begin to imagine what her family must be going through. I was talking about this with my podmate at work yesterday about this story and we were both amazed that Meredith's father had the self control to keep from physically harming Hilton when he appeared in court. I know the only time I ever saw my father scary-mad was when someone had hurt me. You don't mess with Daddy's girl. *smile*

I keep Meredith's family and friends in my prayers as I am sure they need God's peace and understanding now more than ever.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Internet Irritation

Okay...I don't know why this bothers me like it does...but I absolutely cannot stand the internet add for They have that stupid avatar doing that stupid dance and for some reason it seriously creeps me out. Maybe it's because it moves it's limbs in completely unnatural ways or because it just looks plain bizaare. Regardless, it's creepy - I wish it would go away.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Just call me a fish out of water...

I will start by stating this....I am truly a girlie girl. I love pink. If it's pink, I want it. See, here are the shoes I wore today.

So, today Shooter finally got me to agree to going to one of his steel matches. It's about as non-girlie as you can get. It's reeks of so much testosterone it's highly unnerving. So, if you're not as well versed in pistol shooting competitions as me, then I will explain. See, a bunches of folks convene at a specified time.

They then walk all over creation with their guns, and coolers, and carts.

They stop every so often at stations where they try to shoot these little metal plates as fast as they can.

Personally, I chose to focus on the object of all my affection. Shooter.

*sigh* Isn't he handsome.

What a grin he has.

He's so sexy when he's engrossed in something he loves to do.

Oh...and he made the mistake of letting me shoot his gun at the last station....I did pretty well. So next time I'm going with him - provided it's not raining or freezing cold. My plan is to beat him, not that I'm competitive or anything. I'm a girlie girl, so I need to go and get me some pink muffs and shooting glasses.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

The party is over....


I sit at home, with my pups, wallowing in a mountain of self pity and laundry. Today is my last day of vacation. I go back t owork tomorrow. I have been on vacation since December 20th. That's two whole weeks. It makes it VERY difficult to think of going back to the office. However, should anyone come and try to take me away earlier than scheduled, I have my watchdogs in place.

They'll eagerly jump on you and lick you to death if you try to come and take me away. I promise don't come if you're allergic to doggie slobber. Really, they're mean, very mean, they'll bite your toes off. Well, okay, maybe not...but they'll tear your socks off and run away with them.

They're really excellent watchdogs. Really, REALLY good....

Well, okay, I'm off to finish my laundry and somehow mentally prepare myself to be an adult and go back to work and earn an honest living. Who am I adult...pshaw!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Peanut Butter Cookies - Round 2

On Sunday morning, after Shooter and I decided to sleep in and be backsliding heathens and not go to church....and after my parents had headed back to Tennessee....I decided to try the Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies again. Not sure why, other than I had peanut butter and chocolate chips leftover from making them before Christmas - and I was convinced I could make them better than I did the first time. Boy howdy was I right. They turned out great....which is probably a really bad thing since I've decided I'm going to try to eat right and workout more this year. Oh well....what can you do....

This time I didn't beat the stuffin' out of everything. I also only had dark brown I used that. They were delicious....unbelievably good, delicious, soft, chewy and heavenly. Here are some new pictures that I'm definitely proud of.

Hmmm...look at that gorgeous texture, would ya?

Trust me, kids, you NEED a glass of milk with these cookies. They also make a mean ice cream sandwich.

Peanut Butter Cookies

Courtesy of Smitten Kitchen and adapted from the Magnolia Bakery Cookbook

The brilliance of these cookies is that they have include two different formats for peanuts–three if you use chunky peanut butter. They’re crisp on the outside, and almost cakey on the inside. Bake a batch and then hide the results in the furthest and most forgettable reaches of your kitchen. You’ll thank me later.

1¼ cups all-purpose flour

¾ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

½ cup unsalted butter, softened

1 cup peanut butter at room temperature (smooth is what we used, but I am pretty sure they use chunky at the bakery)

¾ cup plus 1 tablespoon (for sprinkling) sugar

½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1 large egg, at room temperature

1 tablespoon milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ cup peanut butter chips

½ cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, the baking soda, the baking powder, and the salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat the butter and the peanut butter together until fluffy. Add the sugars and beat until smooth. Add the egg and mix well. Add the milk and the vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture and beat thoroughly. Stir in the peanut butter chips. Place sprinkling sugar on a plate. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls into the sugar, then onto ungreased cookie sheets, leaving several inches between for expansion. Using a fork, lightly indent with a crissscross pattern but do not overly flatten cookies. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Do not overbake. Cookies may appear to be underdone, but they are not.
Cool the cookies on the sheets for 1 minute, then remove to a rack to cool completely.


Okay....somehow I've become fascinated by the Bud Light "Dude" commercials. In watching the Georgia/Hawaii Sugar Bowl Game, I saw several versions of the commercial and couldn't help but laugh out loud at them. I don't know why but I find them so funny. I guess it's because I and so sensitive to inflection usage when speaking that I can completely understand each and every situation and use. Anyway...if you haven't seen the are some links:

Dude, you gotta go see these now. Duuuude, forget about work and do it now! Deeeewwwwwde, I understand, best to read my blog from home then.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year!

I promised that I wouldn't make resolutions this year. Resolutions are rather stupid in my opinion. They're usually goals that are incredibly too lofty (and thus we're discouraged with ourselves on January 4th and give up) or they're ideas given to us from those marketing products that prey on our insecurities (notice all the Bally Fitness commercials this time of year). Personally, I have just thought about some things I'd like to change or accomplish this coming year.

I hope to blog more and grow my site and viewership. I hope that I can get my butt in gear and get to the gym like I should. I hope that I can learn to appreciate those around me more and stay in touch with those far away from me. I will definitely try to get out Christmas cards next year. I will continue to tithe as I should and save like I should. I look forward to continuing the redecorating wave that has hit our house - look out master bath, here we come! I hope that we'll have a new addition to our family this year. I hope that I can get my butt in gear and clear out the clutter in our house. I really hope that I can find a Wii before next Christmas. there are some of my not-a-resolution hopes for 2008. I hope you have a good list of hopes and wishes and dreams for this year....

And...I leave you with this oh so cute I know we all hope for Whirled Peas....can't we all just get along?