Friday, November 28, 2008


Of course everything that I do has to have the (belated) with it...I'm never on time!

So, everyone, how was your Thanksgiving? Mine was good. Blair and I are on two different sleep schedules so I woke up about four hours before him. (He only got up then because I couldn't stand it any more and woke him up....can you hear the maniacal laugh in the background?)

So, while I was fixin' our 'Very First Thanksgiving Dinner' he put up our Christmas tree (in front of the chic FALL swag my lovely sis sent me). God love him, it took him the entire time I was cooking to put up a spindly, 'can definitely see through the branches' tree. BUT the end result is lovely. Of course, he didn't appreciate the 'odds-n-ends' decorations I had from last year, so the tree only has white lights to adorn it at the moment. He would rather a mono-chromatic theme, whereas I prefer the "rainbow belch." But you know, this is his tree too, so whatever, he's doing the work!!!

Anyway, back to our meal. Yeah, it was good, but it didn't taste like Mama's. I called her in advance for the recipes and what does she tell me?! "Well, I don't measure anything so you just have to taste it."

Ok, so those of you that know me know that I have my moments of anal-ness. Moments where I want things to be just so, like our first Thanksgiving (remember Blair was TDY up here to Minot last year this time) and I don't want him to take a bit, curl his lip and say 'good job, baby' while pushing food around on his plate to make it look like he'd eaten. Granted, he's never done that, but theres a first time for everything right? And I definitely didn't want to be that day.

So what you ask went incorrect (not wrong, right Ash?) with our meal? To be honest, and not trying to pat myself on the back (ok, maybe a little) but the cornbread and the dressing were the main things with the sweet potato souffle bringing up the rear. I'm not telling you that the only other thing I made was green bean casserole (besides the turkey), and I couldn't screw that up since the recipe was right there on the can of French Fried Onions!

Let me just give you a run down. First of all, I thought I'd be smart and make the cornbread the night before and be all prepared (what an ugly word). I should have known better than to be prepared. I did make the cornbread, chopped the onions and celery Mama said just had to be in there, but what I didn't do is taste the corn bread.

Bad decision number uno. The first problem with the corn bread was, well, you could have used it for an ocean liners anchor. Who needs a few little itty bitty teeny teaspoons of baking soda. I didn't have any (the only thing on the back of the corn meal bag recipe I didn't have) so I figured I didn't need it. Um, yes, yes, I did. I looked it up on the 'all-knowing internet' and it's what makes the bread rise apparently. Ahh, I think to myself, that's why its an inch tall and dense as a rock! DUH!So to be frank, mistake number two (don't know how to spell it in Spanish...), was not running frantically to the nearest grocery store with a wide-eyed look that tells the clerk, back off this lady, she's desperate, to buy baking soda. UGH!!

*Note to self, get baking soda.

So since the corn bread was screwed up...the dressing was a bit 'off.' However, not by as much as you'd think. I sauteed the onions and celery, chopped the apples (yes people, Mama uses apples, yum), and made it 'soupy' like she said. Then I put it in the oven to cook. Actually the only complaint Blair had about the entire meal is that the dressing was a bit bland. (Oh, but, he didn't eat the cornbread I made extra...wonder why?) But if that's the only complaint, I can definitely live with that.

Now, onto the sweet potato souffle. This, my dear friends, was just poor planning. I mixed up one large can of sweet potatoes (yes, I used canned potatoes, don't hate), but it just didn't seem like enough. So I went to get the other large can of sweet potatoes and proceed to make it like Mama, to taste. Bad decision number tres, not using a large enough baking pan...You got it, folks. The butter I used in excess (since Thanksgiving calories don't count) bubbled over and dripped all on the bottom of my stove. On which I had not yet put the God-blessed tin foil, so it got everywhere. Another ugh. However, once I seperated the 'too much for one pan' souffle, it baked well and turned out delicious.

And the turkey. The whole point of Turkey Day. One word. Yum. I am huge fan of crock pots. Since I didn't stay up late enough to put it into the crock pot, I left specific instructions for Blair. To his credit, he followed them to the letter. He put it in at 4 a.m. and it cooked on warm for a long time (until I realized it & turned it on low...). Point being, after cooking for 12+ hours in a crock pot, it was so tender it practically fell off the bone. And moist! Whoo boy, it was melt in your mouth moist. Score one for me!!

Anyway, all of this is to say, in the process of cooking I thought our Very First Thanksgiving Dinner was going to be a world-class flop. To my surprise, it turned out really well. Thank the Lord Jesus!

Maybe my attempt at Christmas dinner will be better...

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Hey everyone! Just wanted to update you on the house situation. Two days ago, the rental agency lady called and said there was a woman who wanted to put a contract on our house!! She's single so that's a plus. The only downside is that she has a dog. That's not something we were crazy about having in our house, but at this point we didn't care! So we told the rental agency to go ahead with the lease signing!! Yay! We are so excited to finally have someone in our house! God is so good! Thank you all for wracking your brains to try and help me out!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I need HELP!!!

Ok, y'all. I need your help. Most of you know that we decided to put our house up for rent when we left LA. I don't know if it's common knowledge, but it has still not rented!! If anyone, I mean anyone, knows someone who would like to rent a house, please let me know! The specs on the house are:

1,114 sq. ft.

3 bedroom

2 bath

ceramic in entryways, bathrooms and kitchen

carpet in the rest

garden tub in master bath

rent (at the moment) $1100

to see pictures go to

I know that it is a small house, but it's perfect for a family/couple just starting out or a single person. We have already lowered the rent twice. We are using Coldwell Banker as the rental agency, so if there are any problems with the property someone will promptly attend to it. Please, everyone, rack your brain to think of anyone who might be interested. Thank you sooo very much!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

My Favorite Movie...

Ok, so I just got done watching P.S. I Love You. I absolutely LOVE that movie. It has just the right amount of humor mixed with tear-jerk-i-ness. (I know that's not a word but I have to express myself somehow...) I first watched this movie with friends from work and felt like a big dork bawling my eyes out and sniffing every three seconds. But y'all, I could watch that movie back to back for an entire day and still love it (well, to be honest I might get sick of it after a day, but you get the euphemism, right?). Let me tell you a little about it for those of you that don't know. It stars Hilary Swank and Gerard Butler (the guy from 300 if anyone is into Spartans...). They are married, living in New York City. The husband, Gerry (oddly enough played by a man named Gerard), gets a brain tumor and passes away. But in an effort to console his widow, he writes letters before his death to be sent or given to his wife in many various ways. The whole story is about her healing from his death. It is a wonderful love story that just touches my heart. Anyone who knows me knows that I'm a sucker for love stories! And this is the best to date! I totally plan to read the book, which was written by Cecelia Ahern, an Irish writer. So, I suggest the next time you girls get together and want to have a girls night in, bring along this movie. And maybe it'll feel like I'm there with you, kind of......

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

November 6th, 2008

Well, folks, for those of us in North Dakota, winter is officially here. On November 6th we got our first snow of the season. It was crazy! I went to bed at five a.m. on Thursday the 6th, and when I woke up this is what I saw!

It's so weird, in the summer, when the weather is beautiful and wonderful for being outside, everyone is in their houses (myself included!), but for the first snow of the season, everyone comes out! Probably out of necessity since driveways and sidewalks have to be shoveled. It was fun talking to my neighbors and mutually freezing!

I love the snow...except when I have to get out and drive in it!! It's kind of funny watching me drive, because I go about twenty miles under the speed limit! Everyone passes me!! I don't care though, as long as I'm safe!! Well, I'll quit blabbing and show you the money...or pictures...

Blair and the neighbor-men shoveling snow!

This was after it melted a bit.

My fall wreath got layered with snow!

Folks, I drive in this!!

Isn't this gorgeous!

The drive home...

A beautiful North Dakota sunset.