Wednesday, November 28, 2012

After Thanksgiving Randoms... Picture Heavy!

Finally, after Thanksgiving randoms…Where do I begin?

My Friday was last Tuesday so I left my full-time job and headed to my part-time job giddy and apprehensive at the same time. I was praying there would not be a manager’s meeting and guess what? God heard me. No meeting, but the Manager took great pride and having me whine about a meeting only to make me so very happy saying there wouldn’t be one! Seriously, I just wanted to have a good night and finish the schedule for the next two weeks.

So I left work that night and went home to mop and wax my kitchen and foyer and hit the bed as soon as possible. My back doesn’t like me mopping or waxing. I finished but my goodness the spasms were ridiculous.

I woke up Wednesday ready to finish my last bit of cleaning and hit a store or two before coming home and doing some marathon cooking. And I did. In fact, I didn’t even take a nap that day, was too wired with all I had to do.
My finished turkey breast, which was tender and juicy!

When I began my cooking, I put my brined turkey breast in the oven. While it was baking boiled my sweet potatoes for the soufflés and mixed up sugar cookie dough. Yes, I did.
Sugar dough ready for my niece to roll out and make!

Then I mixed and baked the Oatmeal Cranberry Orange cookies. I also had to do the Mini Salted Caramel Apple pies.
Oatmeal Cranberry Orange Cookies

Mini Salted Caramel Apple Pies

When my sweet potatoes had cooled, I put them in my mixer got them season for the soufflés I would fix on Thanksgiving Day.

Then, I realized my azz had forgotten to do the Millionaire pies. I was so out done I was ready for a bath and bed and those on my nerve pies had to be done. Sighing… I am so over those pies. However, I finished them and was ready for the night to wind down.

I was up at 5:30 am to make my yeast rolls and cinnamon rolls. I know I could freeze the rolls and just bake them when I need them. Yet, my aunt always made them on Thanksgiving and Christmas morning and that is how I learned to make them. So up I was, but I had the foresight the night before to have my counter ready to rock and roll. Once I got them ready to rise, I hit the store for some last minute items and to get a newspaper.
Homemade Yeast rolls

Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

Once the rolls had risen, it was time to roll out the rolls and cinnamon rolls and let them rise again. They were ready for the oven by 8 am and I was actually done with them by 10 am. So it was just a waiting game for my sister and her family to arrive.

Of course my sister was worried about Lala flying since the airline was asking for her birth certificate and she couldn’t find it. Alas, I prayed over it and was over it. No problems with the birth certificate coming or going. Once they touched down in Atlanta, they had to wait on my oldest niece to land. They got to my house at a little after 11 am. I was polite and then I proceeded to lie down, because it was in everyone’s best interest that I take a nap. No seriously.

Upon meeting the baby, whom I hadn’t seen in person until now, she let me know in uncertain terms she wasn’t feeling my azz at. all. LOL! And plus, she was a bit under the weather as well.
Lala tormenting folks while they are eating...
Hunny Bunny normally hugs me upon seeing me and this time she didn’t so I asked her why and she thinks about it for a second then says, “Sneak attack!” And runs to hug me. Moments like that can’t be reproduced.

After my nap, I got up to finish off the soufflés and everyone was sleep except my sister’s husband, who offered to help me in the kitchen, but shoot I am a pro and I was basically done. I did appreciate the offer though. Then it was time to get ready for Thanksgiving at my cousins.

Ya’ll know I love my cousins, right? I need to ask you a question. How do you tell your cousin that her turkey and ham are just too damn dry without hurting folk’s feelings? The ham is the spiral kind that all you have to do is heat up, not cook. And the turkey, even the dark meat was dry as hell. She tries and the sides she cooked were delicious, but the turkey and ham? Ugh! Lawd, forgive me! And how do we tell her that her baking has fallen off? I want to introduce them to brining the turkey so it will be moist and flavorful. Really.

Having family for Thanksgiving is the best part of the holiday. Spending time with folks and having a great time. At one moment when I was up rolling out the yeast rolls, all I could think about was my aunt and how much I truly miss her. It has been two years and although it doesn’t hurt as much as it did two years ago, my heart still aches.
In her mind, "I don't know you like that.  Get the camera out of my face."

My sister and husband decided to sleep in the guest suite. She said she prayed over it. Um, hmm. She did tell me that the room has a lot of Energy in it. She said Lala tossed and turned and laughed and answered, huh? all night long. My aunt and uncle were just playing with her. LOL!

We did hit black Friday sales. But let me tell you something, my newspaper was the pits I had one that had about 5 circulars in it and they had given me 3 copies of each of them. Seriously. Pissed me off. I knew I wasn’t going out on Thursday and it seems most folks did though. When we went to my other cousin’s house for a bit, the Wally World parking lot was packed; I saw no parking spaces left. I chucked the two deuces and went home and got out at 4:30 Friday morning. Didn’t have any big ticket items to get and since I wasn’t mailing a bunch of stuff I wasn’t going hog wild on buying stuff. And we even let my oldest niece tag along. Her mother couldn’t believe I said yes, but hell she is 17 years old and the gig is up.
The Shoes

The only things I really wanted for myself besides a new purse, where my gun wouldn’t keep falling into the hole in the lining was a toaster oven and mini blender for smoothies. At J.Cpenney, they were on sale for $8 apiece and since they weren’t opening until 6 am, I knew I was going to be a happy camper. Well, let me tell you about the Penney, when we pulled into the parking lot of course it was already full at 5:54 am. But when we got out of the car, we noticed that folks were leaving the store with bags on top of bags. When we got to the door, there was a big sign saying they didn’t open until 6, but baby they had been open much longer than that because folks had the items we were searching for in bulk standing in line and it wasn’t 6 am yet. Pissed me off! I was livid. My niece is a lover of scarves and she had her eye on the $5 ones. When she found the table, there wasn’t even lint on that bad boy, it was empty! I have never left the Penney without a load, but this year I left without purchasing anything, at all! Real talk. I walked around talking about how devastated I was. There was lady in front of us on her cell phone talking about how messed up it was for them to open earlier than advertised. I was like tell it sister! We were able to commiserate on our woes of not getting an eight dollar toaster oven.

After that debacle we decided we would go have breakfast and then hit up DSW, because it was the only way I could feel better. You know, shoes always make me feel better.

Friday night my sister got to meet The Guy. My nieces got to meet Uncle “G” as my sister says. And guess what? They liked him and he liked them in turn. He also got to meet one of my cousins, who I call my child. We have been together almost 2 years, wow and he is just now meeting some of my folks. I probably just wanted to insure he met my sister first. LOL!
The only time she would let me hold her, was when she was sleep.
Isn't she adorable while she is sleeping and not crying?
Saturday, I cooked breakfast for my sister and family. I had my niece help me get the Christmas stuff out of the storage shed and of course we saw a lizard. Sweet baby Jesus! I can’t with them, but none of them were in my containers. After last year’s incident, I taped them bad boys and to death. Really. Of course, Lala was dealing with me by then. Then I sent them off to Atlanta and I decided to take a little nap and then watch the Iron Bowl. I woke up when the game was already on and Alabama had already scored 14 points in the 1st quarter. I texted The Guy and called the game BS and turned right back over and went back to sleep. When I finally got up and saw the final score, I was livid. Auburn lost so bad I didn’t even have to wait until they announce the coach was fired. I knew and I wasn’t mad.
Hunny Bunny in her Mom's lap, and her mom's husband's legs.

I am cute! Falalalala...lalalala!
Hunny Bunny and Lala before they left Saturday.  She did allow me to give her a kiss and she blew me a kiss.  So cute.  But I still hear her crying in my sleep!

I actually put up my tree Sunday and did some decorating. I hope to finish this weekend. With all the cooking and cleaning I did, I managed to really hurt my back. I had spasms most of Saturday and Sunday and Monday it didn’t get much better. Sad, my body is betraying me.
As my oldest niece said, "She's cute."  I never thought of my tree as a girl...

I did manage to make the Tomato Basil Soup and hopefully it will post by next week.
Tomato Basil Soup, delish!

Although my brother didn’t make it down, I did talk to him on Thanksgiving and of course he put in his order for cookies. Shyte! I had no plans to mail nothing but Christmas cards. Sighing…Yeah, he will be getting some cookies.

Hope you had a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving as I had. Enjoy the rest of your week, because before you know it, Christmas will be here. Somebody pump the breaks!!!!

Me in my contacts and done all up on Thanksgiving day!  Curls looked great!

Just so you are reminded, Christmas is almost here!  And plus she is cute!

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Saturday, November 24, 2012

RIP Larry Hagman, aka JR Ewing. Dallas won't be the same without him...

Thursday, November 22, 2012

All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth...Just kidding!

If I was Oprah, I would be able to do a post of a few of my favorite things and everyone would be able to ooh and aah over my impleccable taste.  Well, we know I definitely am not Oprah or do I have Oprah's money, but I can make a list of things I would like to have and be my very own Favorites...A girl can dream, right?  So without further adieu and in no particular order...

1.  Samsung Galaxy III - I have been with T-Mobile since they were Powertel...Now that is a long time.  However, their SGIII is ridiculously priced compared to other cell phone providers.  And since my contract is up... I have options, but I really want this baby in my stocking this year.

2.  Yorkie - I have been wanting a doggie for over 2 years now, but I keep saying to myself I don't have the time for a puppy, but my heart still wants one.  Preferably a boy dog. 

3.  Simmons Beautyrest Mattress Set.  Yep, I want a queen size mattress set.  Just because I know I will sleep better with one.

4.  Cavit's Pinot Noir because a girl can never have too much wine.

5.  Home Depot Gift Card.  Because come March I will need new items for my container garden.

6.  Amazon Gift Card.  Because I still like to hold books in my hand.  I still like to turn pages.  I still will pick up a brand new book and smell the new ink and pages.  I can't with a Kindle or Nook or Ipad.  How can I read with those items in the bath tub, which is where I do a good portion of my reading.?

7.  DSW Gift Card.  Because I love shoes.  Seriously, shoes are my weakness.

8.  Starbucks Gift Card.  From now until December 31st, I will be indulging in a Grande Peppermint Mocha.

9.  A new tattoo.  Because I want to commerate my aunt. 

10. A new car.  A Chevrolet Cruze.  I have had my eye on this car since before it came out.  I prefer American made cars, because that is what my aunt preferred.  So Santa...

**Disclaimer see to your right and for good measure, I did not get compensated to recommend or suggest any of the items listed, nor have I been given any other compensation for making these items as my Favorites. 

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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thanksgiving Randoms...

                                                                   Pomegranate Seeds

I started some randoms on Friday, but didn’t finish them to post. Horrible, right?

Thanksgiving is two days away. I feel unprepared but seemingly almost done with the majority of my tasks. The cleaning and my cooking will be done Wednesday and Thursday morning. This year has gone by so fast. It has been filled with happiness, sadness and stress but I can honestly say I am blessed.
Carson is not really walking, but it sure looks like he is.

My cousin sent me a picture of Carson. What does he look like he is doing? Yeah, that is what I thought too, but um, he isn’t walking yet. He stands very well for very long time, but she says he isn’t confident enough to walk yet. I told her it will not be long.

Does anyone else watch Sisterwives? I don’t watch much of the reality shows, because of all the drama, but this show catches my attention on Sunday nights when I get home from work. I keep waiting for one of them to opt out of the lifestyle.

My cleaning is over-the-top especially using Pinterest as a guide. I have cleaned more things with vinegar, baking soda and Magic erasure. My house should be spotless. But alas, he is not because I am too old to be on my hands and knees scrubbing like my life depends on it.

My yard guy hasn’t gotten to my yard. Yeah, kind of upset about that one. On Saturday, his neighbor’s 3 pitbulls got into his yard and he couldn’t get into the yard to do anything. He tried to get the neighbors to wake up and everything. He ended having to call the police. He has children, but he also has a young female dog too and you know those pitbulls were trying to get to her. So he had a good excuse for Saturday, not sure why not Sunday, but I hope he keeps his promise and is there today.

I think one of the reasons I was perturbed about not getting my yard done was I got up early Saturday to clean out my raised garden and prepare if for the winter. I also worked on my poor rose bush. I was cleaning out the leaves from the pot they are growing in and there was this one green leaf that I was trying to remove. You know where this is going right? Yep, it was a damn frog. I screamed and nearly broke my neck trying to run backwards. And you know what I did? I just put fresh potting soil over it and water and feed it. Sure did. The next day I saw where it had gotten out of the soil because of the hole I saw in the pot. Feeling a frog, even with gloves on is still NASTY!

Book club meeting was really nice on Saturday. Went to a neighboring town because they have a fire pit, but hell it was too cold to be outside. I was disappointed they no longer have their signature crab claws dish. Man, I had my mouth salivating over them. I did however get the best tasting Tomato and Basil soup. It was amazing. A little funny, when we were discussing current events of course we were talking about the election; the host comes to our little room and asked if we wanted the doors closed. I waited a moment and said yes, but I knew exactly why they wanted the doors closed. Get over it people!

My plans for my 5 days off are to spend time cooking, relaxing and spending time with the family. I do plan to do a little Black Friday shopping, but I really don’t have much to get and since I don’t have my eye on anything right now the trip shall be short. My sister isn’t going to want to get too much stuff because they are flying so this Black Friday maybe one for the record books. Very little purchases and home before the sun rises.

I plan to replicate the Tomato and Basil soup for a Creative Cooking segment.

My sister thinks I am going to be baking cookies all Friday, but that is a negative. I ain’t got it in me. LOL!

The Guy asked me last week what I wanted for Christmas. Ya’ll I have the favorites or wants list to post, but I don’t know what to tell him to get me. I know what I am getting him. Sighing…

When you see the list, don’t laugh. And I don’t mind you getting me anything listed on there. Just kidding…kinda!

Here are some of the randoms I did last week:

Do you ever get tired and I mean really tired from doing a thorough cleaning because company is coming? My goodness it seems like I have been cleaning for weeks now, because it really has been. However, I can now see the end. Tonight after the second job, I will dust furniture in my living room and dining room. Tomorrow a complete cleaning of my kitchen, I already cleaned the oven and my deep freezer so I am ahead of the game. And Sunday I will finish with the cleaning of the last bathroom. Yeah, I still have to clean my bedroom but that will be done on Wednesday as I laze around. (I tried desperately to finish the kitchen Sunday, but I underestimated the time it would take to clean the stove top and the refrigerator. Hopefully, I will finish tonight. Cross your fingers.)
I voted...

Last week I had planned to come back on this blog and talk about the conclusion of the election, but the election really tore my nerves up! When I got to my polling area and no one was in line at 6:15 am, I got scared that folks didn’t have the passion they had in 2008 and weren’t going to turn out. By 6:55 am, they proved me wrong. The line was stretched to the middle of the parking lot before 7 am and the line snaked through the gym and down the hall when I finished voting. And I was the 11th voter. And as a red state, I already knew the GOP had the state, but in my county, Montgomery County, President Obama won the popular vote. Yes! My day after voting was productive, but baby by 11 am I had a headache so bad I couldn’t work out. In fact I got so nervous and worried, my stomach got to boiling and I had to go home early to take meds for the headache and the stomach. I also laid down for about 30 minutes, because I still had to go to my second job. By the time I got there, I was just peeved and worried out of my mind. I just couldn’t seem to let it go, but during our weekly managers’ meeting I just breathe in the sense that it was in God’s hand. And I made it through the rest of the night. Just a little info we have a worker who is a GOP advocate and all night he had been joking with the other workers about the only reason they voted for the President was because he gives them food stamps and such and ya’ll he was as giddy as a man on his first date. He was so sure of what the outcome was going to be. I even had to shush the fuss because it was getting out of hand and politics have no place in the workplace. Anyway, after his candidate lost he decided he was going to write a petition stating he had been harassed by the other employees and he was going to present it to the owner. Of course, I called BS on it because I heard him make the statement about food stamps and he sure had better said something about it in his so called petition. He was mad about the outcome, because his folks were mad. He couldn’t even vote and the folks he was making fun of on Tuesday could. He wasn’t talking to no one when he came back to work after the election. (And no he didn’t do his so called petition.)
The line to get out of the parking lot.

For the record, I never received my so called gift from President Obama as has been intimated by the GOP candidate. And for the states, including my home state who want to secede, good luck with that. You can’t. Hurricane Sandy wasn’t sent to insure President Obama won, but if that was God’s will… Finally, GET OVER IT! He won not by a small amount but the majority and he won the popular vote as well and when they break down the numbers he didn’t win just because blacks voted, he won because America voted for him and America is more than rich, white men. Now get the hell over it. Time for this country to get to work on the things that matter for all of us.
I still plan to go out Black Friday, but seriously with stores opening on Thursday I can be in and out and done by 9 am. And no, I will not be riding out Thursday to catch some sales I will be spending time with my family. And it seems kinda weird that salespeople will not get to enjoy their family because they have to be at work on Thursday. This is inherently wrong. I can’t imagine not going out for Black Friday even if I ain’t buying much.

The weather here is crazay…I told my sister I can’t tell you what to wear because it will be a hot 70 something on the weekend and during the week you need to break out a jacket and sweaters.
Dirty carpet.  Sorry I forgot to take an after pic...
I got my carpet cleaned yesterday and it looks so much better. As the guys were finishing and draining the water, some of the bad ass kids from the neighborhood were outside screaming about how nasty the water was and how much it smelled and on and on. I stood in the house shaking my head. I can’t stand them hellions. Seriously, they are disrespectful and I don’t trust any one of them because their mama or daddy broke into my house and tried to steal my identity.

Alice, I don’t know you and I want you to know, I do not appreciate you commenting on my blog with advertisements. Stay off my blog! I don’t play with things of that nature. Commenting on my blog posts about some damn expensive boots, really?

I do not watch the news often, but all week I have had to hear and see the scandal with the CIA director and his mistresses and I wonder, when did folk’s immoral behavior become newsworthy. I mean if you turn on the Today show they will talk about the real news for a minute then they will talk about Snooki’s baby. I don’t get it. We have become a world of shallow people.

Speaking of celebrities is anyone watching the Houston’s? I tried the night it debut and I couldn’t. This family is grieving and to actually follow them through the process is just painful to watch. And, honestly the few times I will try to watch it I am sadden because it obvious this wasn’t the time for this show. Bobbi Kristina has the husky voice similar to her mother’s, but she also appears to be slurring her words and obviously under the influence of something. And the other family members and Nick make watching this show very uncomfortable. I pray for the family, but I wish this show would end, quickly.

Yeah, I had a lot to say last week and this isn’t all I had either.

I hope you all enjoy your Thanksgiving and take the time out to give thanks for all you have been given and thankfulness for your family and friends. Life is funny because there will be days everything is copacetic and other days when you just want to crawl back into bed and hibernate, but seriously each and every day you awaken is a blessing. Learning to enjoy them is our task and one we should take seriously. Allow no one to steal your joy and allow no obstacles to keep you from being Thankful for all life brings to you. Happy Thanksgiving!

Me on Saturday on my way to Book Club, protective style.  11/17/12

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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Lawd, I am so wound up after watching Scandal...blood pressure goes up & I stay worried during the whole show. Columbus Short.."I am your gladiator!"

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Tales From The Book Club...So Many Questions, So Few Answers

I will be back this week with some randoms…But I just needed to put this out into the universe or something.

As long time readers of this blog know, I started a book club in 1999 and we are still going after 13 years. Starting the book club was a labor of love and it was my way of giving back to others. I wanted to spread the love of reading. Before I started my book club I did a lot of research and put out feelers and basically worked hard on creating, establishing and building the brand. None of this was easy and I can tell you all I was on the verge of disbanding in 2010, because the book club had strayed too far from its initial goal of spreading and supporting African-American authors and books. We were a book club on the pinnacle of true disaster. I had to put on my big girl panties and make some hard decisions, which included asking two members not to return to the group and asking another member to apologize to the group. In the end, they all left and the book club continued on. We continued on because I as the leader had to accept some things about myself. I knew there was a problem about 2 or 3 years prior to 2010, but I didn’t want to and then I just didn’t have the energy to deal with the issues because of my aunt’s illness. My excuse was we were all adults and we needed to act accordingly, I wasn’t going to allow negativity to permeate the meetings, but not dealing with the problems did just what I was trying to avoid. Failure to address the problems caused me to lose several members because they couldn’t take it anymore. I was lacking in my leadership skills.

In 2010, I explained to the members we were getting back to basics. All the fish fry’s and fundraisers were taking away from reading and discussing the books. We aren’t and will never be a social and savings club, we are a book club. There would be no more parties and raffles; we would use our dues for our social service events and our own money for events we wanted to participate in, which meant we would cut back tremendously on events outside of the book club. We had done much for the community, but now our help in the community would be scaled back. This meant no more author events and all-you-can-eat-and-drink parties. And we all agreed to our new normal. We also changed our way of bringing in new members.

We decided, well they decided to allow potential new members to meet with our group for three meetings. This would give them an opportunity to see how we worked and whether they would fit in with us and whether we thought they were a good fit. We still had our application process, but now there was more personal interaction. After the three meetings, the current members reviewed the applications and acknowledge anything they saw as benefits and as hindrances in bringing in said new member. Members voted and actually all 3 folks who were potential members were accepted into the book club. I also gave the new potential members an outlet to acknowledge things we as a book club could improve upon. I loved the feedback and it was quite helpful.

Now the reason why I wrote this long ass blog post. I get inquiries about the book club all the time from folks new to the area and want to join a book club to meet new people. I have been getting inquires for as long as the book club has had a website presence. I dread these inquires because there is a damn if you do and damn if you don’t whether you respond or not. In recent years, I may or may not respond to such inquires. I used to keep a waiting list, I don’t anymore. Last week I got an email from a young lady who was new to the area and had perused the website and wanted to join us for our next meeting. She had even gone so far as to purchase the November reading assignment. Wow! Red flag number one. Every book club is set up differently, I know of book clubs that are more transient where anyone can attend and that is cool. However, that isn’t how our group is organized. We would not have the bond we share now, if we just let folks float in and out at their convenience. The dynamic of the group would change and bonds wouldn’t happen and folks tend to clam up when around folks they don’t know. I didn’t respond to this young lady because although we have 12 members currently, I don’t want the group to get any larger than 14 people because when there are more people there seems to be too much chaos and we all agree we love the intimate gatherings we share nowadays. And in order to consider new members we need to discuss this at the next meeting, the very meeting she wanted to attend. Red flag two came when she sent me another email inquiring about the last email she sent and her desire to join our group and how excited she was for the prospect and she left a number for me to contact her. Too eager always scares me. Why you may ask? I have been cussed out one too many times about not openly bringing in new members immediately, from potential new inquires. Needless to say, I blocked those people and they of course weren’t ever invited to join our group. When they are that eager to join a well established group, something tolls within me that something might be off with them. Since the young lady was so eager, I figured I needed to send her a short and quick email. Please understand I don’t call folks ever regarding membership, not my style, because it isn’t part of my personality. I do not talk on the phone to strangers call me shy, anti-social or whatever. I don’t want anyone I do not know to have my number to harass me or hell just call me for unknown reasons. I am too busy for all that.

Thank you for inquiring about the book club. I was hoping to bring up the topic of new members at the next meeting. We are currently trying to keep the number down to no more than 14 members; however, we do have a process for potential new members. Because our fiscal year is almost over, this is a decision we must all agree on and the earliest we will be able to discuss the possibility will be November's meeting and we would not bring in potential members until the first of next year. If you are still interested after we discuss at the next meeting, I will be glad to send you the information regarding the application and the process.

We have been together for a long time so we want to insure that new members will be a good fit and we are a good fit for potential new members.

Continued success and blessings,

Now I thought it was a proper response, granted I wrote it off the top of my head and in about 5 minutes because I didn’t have time to really respond. I actually started not to respond, but because she sent a second email I thought the above response would suffice. Well…it didn’t. She sent a response to my email stating she was thankful I responded to her emails and she understood how important it was for a new member to fit into our group. Then shit went left and red flag 3 emerged. The rest of her response was as follows: “Based on the information you provided about your book club, I will not be a good fit. I was really looking for a book club a little different. I'm a very outgoing and happy spirited person. I think God is beautiful in everyone and everything.” You read my email and I was so confused about these particular statements, birds started chirping around my head because I was totally lost in her response. I took from her statement she thought she could join the group by being happy and outgoing without there being a process and how dare we keep out a person of God. Okay, maybe I read too much into the response, but this solidified my reasoning for not responding to new member request inquiries based on our website. I forwarded the entire email to my sister for review and basically she said ignore that shit, something isn’t quite right with her. But I was still asking where did her response come from and why did it have such an undercurrent of negativity within it. Basically, I said I have so many questions but few answers. My sister responded, “U thinkin too hard. When I got confused I stopped reading. LOL” She didn’t help.

So many questions but so few answers. Anybody know where I went wrong in my email? Seriously, I am done responded to these emails. I hate being cussed out because I won’t let just anybody into the group and I hate being left confused when folks go into realms unknown!

FYI – A lot of folks want to join a book club, but don’t want to put in the work it requires to be in a book club, which is mainly reading. They like saying they are in a book club, but don’t care about reading one little bit and just want to participate in the social aspects of the group and that my dears is where book clubs start failing themselves. I have had past members who never read a book and then they would get mad at the meetings because those who read the book were responding and interacting and they felt left out. It is a book club, read the book. If you can’t finish it because of life, that is fine but hell make an attempt.

The stories I could tell you about being a book club president and being in the literary world would make for some great blog posts. Like the time a book club asked me to add them to our book club list and they sent me their motto and it was word for word my book club’s motto and purpose. Which is why you don’t see too much like that on our site right now.

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Thursday, November 08, 2012

Creative Cooking...Chicken Tortilla Soup

Chicken Tortilla Soup

This weekend I decided to try my hand at a simple dish that would provide a light lunch for me this week. I am a fan of Chicken Tortilla soup. I don’t remember when I first had a bowl, but I remember distinctly when Chic Fi La had it on their menu last winter and boy was it really good. Now trying to find a good version of the dish can be a bit daunting, because there are varying versions, but I wanted one that was simple, flavorful and could be done in the crock pot. I use the hell out of my crock pot. So my search began. My version combines ingredients mostly from the Spark People site and a bit from Ree Drummond of The Pioneer Woman site.


1 pound of frozen boneless chicken breasts

1 can of diced tomatoes

1 10 oz can of enchilada sauce

1 medium chopped onion

1 can of Rotel tomatoes and green chilies

2 cloves of garlic

3 cans of chicken of low sodium broth

1 ½ teaspoon of cumin

1 teaspoon of sea salt

1 teaspoon of black pepper

1 10 oz package of frozen corn

1 can of rinsed black beans

Corn tortillas strips for garnish

Lime slices for garnish

Every thing in the crock pot.  You can see my crushed black pepper.

I find using frozen chicken breasts in crock pot dishes works best. So in my crock pot went my frozen chicken breasts, the can of dice tomatoes, Rotel, onions, enchilada sauce, garlic, chicken broth, corn, black beans and salt and pepper. Cooking the ingredients on low for 6 to 8 hours and about 2 hours before done, take out your chicken breast and shred and add back to simmer a bit longer. Only issue I found at this point is my whole house was so fragrant my mouth was watering. I served with the tortilla strips as garnish and a squeeze or two of fresh lime juice.
Just a little closer look at the items as they began their journey in the crock pot.

Yes, I got a little fancy with the tortilla strips using the tri-color.  Doesn't it look yummy!

Verdict: This was entirely too easy. Although I could have just followed the Pioneer Woman’s recipe, her version is a slow cook on the stove type deal and since this was my first time making this I wanted to go the easy route and see what I liked and disliked about the easy version and customize it more to my taste. Seriously, just throwing everything into the crock pot made this a cinch to make. The aroma was so intoxicating. The actually taste was great. I loved the subtle and boldness of the soup itself. When I make this one again, I will be adding the tomato paste, which I intended to do so, but forgot and add another can of black beans. Frankly, I just love black beans so adding another can just plays into my taste buds of wanting more beans. As far as garnishing, I didn’t want to buy a bunch of cilantro for this one dish and end up throwing it away a week later. Too bad my cilantro was done from my garden. I also found a simple recipe for enchilada sauce, which is an easy way to encourage me to make my own, but frankly I doubt I will because the sauce in the can is cheap and you all know I am lazy when it comes to cooking. I enjoyed my first taste out of the crock pot of this Chicken Tortilla soup and I know during the next week the flavors will meld further together to magnify its richness. This is a light but filling soup. Well worth giving a try.
I love that you can see every thing.
All dressed up with no where to go except into my tummy!

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Tuesday, November 06, 2012

And It Is Time...And History Will Be Written

The Election is upon us and we all have a civic responsibility to exercise our right to vote.  I am doing my part and that is vote.  My choice is for President Obama, and as much as the GOP would like to believe I am voting for him because he is black, they are absolutely wrong.  I have had to change radio stations because of the most recent GOP ads, which basically insult my intelligence.  Playing an ad which states Abraham Lincoln and Dr. Martin Luther King were Republicans is a sad and equally ill advised way of courting voters.  I make my choice not on the color of one’s skin, if that was true, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to vote for a President until 2008 and I have been voting since 1987, I make an informed decision based on the stance of certain issues and what I think benefits everyone, not just a few.  This election has been horrid in the sense of the propaganda and barrage of negativity being spouted.  What hurts more, is many folks are going to vote against President Obama not because of valid issues, but because of the color of his skin.  And it is that type of ignorance that scares me the most.  The most recent effigy and cartoon had me crying long and hard. America comprises all races and nationalities and all of us deserve to have someone lead us all, not a select few.  I hope you vote or have voted and no matter what your choice may be, we owe it to those who died trying to vote to make our voice heard.  See you at the polls!


Friday, November 02, 2012

Fall Behind Randoms...

What a week, what a week. This week has gone by mighty fast. The temperature has dipped and we have been over here in Alabama freezing every morning since last Saturday. My prayers go out to those affected by Hurricane Sandy. She wasn’t playing with the east coast and northeast. So much has happen this week, I would be remiss if I didn’t give you all some randoms to tide you over until I feel like rambling again.

I have yet to start cleaning up for the holidays. I will start this weekend most likely cleaning up the debris from the remnants of my gardening months. Time to put the pots away and clean out the garden and yes, I do still have a few peppers. (I did make the pepper sauce, it is doing its thing right now.)  I also need to give my roses some tender loving care, they look like they need it bad. It is hard to go outside when it is chilly. But I will do that much so my yard guy can get in and do his fall/winter thing for me.

I already know what I am giving people for Christmas and it ain’t going to be much. I am not mailing any gifts unless they can go in a Christmas card. I like having a list of things and can scratch them off so must of my shopping will be done by Black Friday.

Speaking of Black Friday, I was contemplating not going out because I don’t have much stuff to get. However, since my sister is coming home for the holiday, this will give me the opportunity to get some things for Lala and Carson for Christmas. Usually there is something I have to get each year, but this year there is nothing. So we shall see, but the thing is I thrive on the hunt for sales and cheap shyte. I love getting out there getting bargains. I do not appreciate the large crowds and the fact the stores are opening up earlier and earlier, but the excitement is amazing! Okay, I get a thrill out of it.

I already know what I am getting The Guy and since his birthday is in January, I already know the b’day gift as well.

Oh, and my sister and her family are coming for Thanksgiving and hopefully my brother will make it down as well. I told him last week it is time to reintegrate with his family.

I do need to get a better camera so I can take my Creative Cooking pictures to the next level. I use my cell phone most of the time instead of my digital camera because it is so much easier. However, if I want to take this blog up a notch I need to take better pictures and think about attending a blogging conference.

I need to lose 5 more pounds before Thanksgiving so I got to ramp up my exercise and detox some as well. So wish me luck!

I have political fatigue. I am so over the Presidential race I do not know what to do. I purposely do not talk politics at work, but you can’t escape others discussing it and it is getting difficult to handle the blatant disrespect and the racist propaganda in the media and at work. Tuesday can’t get here soon enough. Those of you lucky enough to vote early count your blessings. Alabama doesn’t have early voting. So I have to get my azz up early as hell on Tuesday and stand in line in order to vote. And no, there is not time off to vote so you must do it on your own time. And Tuesday is my work both jobs day so Tuesday is going to be a beast for me. However, I will be there because our President is the one I want to see continue to move this entire country and not a small percentage of folks forward. Come hell or high water Tuesday is too important not to do my civic duty. And now I step off my soapbox.

Last weekend I made lasagna (I haven’t decided if I am going to post that under Creative cooking or not) and roasted some asparagus. Ya’ll I was eating the asparagus right out of the pan it was just that good. All I did was sprinkle with olive oil and sea salt and pepper and roast them in the oven. I am still thinking about it…
Lasagna w/turkey meat, italian sausage, roasted asparagus, green salad with balsamic dressing and garlic toast.  Yummy!

Last Saturday it was so cold when I was running my errands and I was so tired from the week, I could barely keep my eyes open so I made it my business to stop at Starbucks and get me a tall Salted Caramel mocha. That was amazing. I was in heaven as I shopped and sipped through Walmart. Unfortunately, I was sleepy again an hour later.
Yes, I drank my coffee in Wally World!

My second job husband got me an electric screwdriver. I am going to be messing fixing up some stuff now for real!
Don't be jealous because my 2nd Job Husband feeds into my weird desires for crazy stuff!

My cousin made me so proud last week because she sent us the Thanksgiving menu. Brought tears to my eyes. She NEVER does a menu so this was EPIC. Yes!
My responsibilities are highlighted.  I am so over the damn Millionaire Pies.  This is a Spring/Summer dessert!

The Guy and his youngest son went to Zoo boo last weekend. Last year he returned home sick as a dog because it was so cold and he wasn’t properly dressed. He sent me a picture where he dressed appropriately, because he didn't want to hear me fussing.
He does exist, but um, I had to cut out his son and blur his face.  One day I will post him on here, just not today! LOL!

I so missed Scandal this week. Last week my cousin called me during the last five minutes of the show, and I was so nonresponsive because if you are a fan of the show, you understand if you miss one minute or second of the show, your azz is going to be lost. You know the whole cast talks fast. And she was interrupting me gasping over all the people in that ROOM! I told her, “Um, catch up on the show online. I got to go!” Scandal is serious folks and if you don’t have an hour to spare on Thursday, I feel sorry for you. And the show has been given the green light for 22 episodes instead of the original 13. It is that Good!

I need to wash and retighten my hair this weekend as well. Any takers or this task? I didn’t think so. I don’t know why I whine about this all the time, because it doesn’t take but 15 minutes to wash my hair, it is drying that causes me so much pain and suffering. I retighten fairly quickly now so even that isn’t a problem, but drying this hair…Ugh!

I have a post I started this week that I think I am going to name as my favorite things, ala Oprah. Except, these are things I want in my life, but can’t get right now. Plus, folks always ask me what I want and why not point them towards those things. And let’s face it, most of the stuff no one is going to get but it makes my heart lighter knowing I actually have some wants in my life, because most of the time I say nothing. Now, when folks ask I will send them to the blog and then they will probably never talk to me again. LOL!

Music sucks right now on the radio.  I like Miguel's Adore, but most of the stuff is so blatantly sexual and crass I can't with the music industry right now.  This coming from a person who exercises to Watch the Throne, every single day!

I will continue to pray for those affected by Hurricane Sandy. I pray you all have a wonderful weekend as well.

Don’t forget to set your clocks behind before you go to bed Saturday night.

P. S. I can't leave you without some pics of Lala, Hunny Bunny, Carson and of course Me!

As her mama said, "No costumes, but she is cute."  Lala

Hunny Bunny as your Australian Tour Guide.  I let her know she would be on here, because she likes to know these things.

Carson, The Tiger
Carson, The Sleeping Tiger.  This will not do when we go clubbing, he has to be able to hang, Geez!

Hair is still cute!

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Disclosure: Just so we are all clear any opinions or thoughts made on this blog or site are my own. Comments and statements from third parties may or may not be the opinion of Cashana Musings. I do not get paid to write book reviews or reviews of products or services. All reviews are based solely off my opinion as Cashana of Cashana's Musings. While I may receive review copies of books and even products or services they in no way influence my writing. All items that were received by me for review are disclosed as such. All advertising is in the form of advertisements generated by a third party ad network. Currently, we do not do advertisements.