Thursday, July 31, 2008
In the Mervyn's parking lot they had this big white tent set up with racks and racks of goodies. I went through the racks outside and found about 12 blouses. They also had some purses and I found a really nice one that would have been about $10 but it was kind of a lime green color, and really...what am I gonna wear with a lime green purse?
They had a ton of men's and kids clothing as well. I wish they had had more shoes, they just had one rack with some kids tennis shoes.
I went inside to try on the blouses and found a few more on the way. Inside the store most of the items were 40 to 50% off. The dressing room was a mess and the three young girls working in there apparently thought people who are trying on clothes don't have the ability to hear anymore because they whined and whined and whined! But anyway, that's another story.
So I tried on my items and I ended up buying 7 blouses. Three were from the outside sale and were 8.98, 8.98 and 9.48 each. Then another one was 14.39 (kinda iffy on this one, I may take it back, we'll see how it looks with my jeans tomorrow morning for casual Friday). There were two that were regular price $36.00 but I got them for $21.99 each. I got a red one and a white one. I hate to buy two of the exact same design, just a different color, but I really have been wanting a white one for a long time and you can hardly ever find red tops for adult women anymore unless they're tshirts.
I was very happy with my purchases and called Lisa on the way home. She met me at my house and immediately wanted to go back again. Well you don't have to twist my arm when it comes to shopping. So we went back to Bakersfield and she bought some really beautiful tops too. All in all, we did really good, especially me since I hadn't bought any new clothes since I bought my house. Now I have to go and hang them all up and decide what to wear tomorrow. It's kind of late or I would take pictures of them, but maybe tomorrow.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
So the day was looking up by the time I got to the office. I was a little apprehensive though because my boss from Fresno was coming down today to do my 1st annual review. I had one at 6 months and that one sucked! I've never had a bad review so I guess I was due, but still...I never had a bad review. So I really wasn't looking forward to this one.
Joe's. They have really great tri-tip and chicken and I usually have the petite pair, so you get both the tri-tip and chicken, plus a side dish, I usually choose coleslaw and some salsa and a couple of tortillas.
But today I decided to try a chicken burrito and the girl at the counter asked me if I wanted to get the "works" for an extra dollar. The works included rice, lettuce and pico de gallo. Well I'm all for anything with pico de gallo. It was sooooooo good, and just enough for a lunch meal without making you feel all bloated and too lazy to get anymore work done. And even better Angelica offered to pay! Of course, I told her I would pay her back, so I guess next Tuesday I'll take her to lunch, but for today...I got free lunch!! Yippee!
And wait...it gets better because my review was very positive and left me with a very good feeling about job security, which is nice since I just bought a house in September! After my review it just seemed like everything I touched was handled smooth as silk. No problems, no stress, no complaints and everyone was my friend. Funny how a good attitude about yourself and your future makes everything else brighter.
So then, I remember that I finished my book last night and when I go home I will have nothing to read and I can't sleep without having something to read, and as embarrassing as this is...I can't go to the bathroom without having something to read! I'm currently reading the Left Behind series of books. I know I'm alot late as everyone else was reading these books in about 1999 or so, but better late than never.
Last year around October my neighbor across the street had a yard sale and she had the first eight books on sale for a dollar each, or some crazy price like that. So I bought them, intending to give them to my mom for Christmas. I had once given her the VHS tape of the Left Behind movie starring Kurt Cameron and she really liked it and I've searched for the rest of the video's ever since but never found them.
So I gave my mom the books for Christmas, but later on she told me they scared her and she didn't want to read them. So I took them back from her and I've been reading them. I just finished book #7 The Indwelling last night and I'm hooked. So I had a little bit of birthday money and a coupon for 25% off at Borders and was going to hit Borders after work where they are $14.95 each and I got this brilliant idea to hit the local Goodwill Store on Rosedale Highway where they sell nothing but books! I called them as I was leaving the office and got a really nice lady who said they had tons of those books! So I braved the 5pm rush hour on Truxtun Extension and the traffic on Calloway Road, then made a left onto Rosedale and braved traffic again til I got to the store and they did have tons, tons and tons; tons of the first 7 books which I've already read.
But luckily...they had one of book #8, The Mark. And it was a hardback in great condition! And they also had book #11, Armageddon. The cover on the book said original price was $24.99 and there was a sale price on each of $12.89 but get this; I bought both those books and another book called 365 Foods Kids Love To Eat, a cookbook all for $2.70!!!
Am I a great shopper or what? The lady there said they get new ones all the time and she'll keep an eye out for book #9 and #10 and I told her I will check back next week. So I made a new friend, kinda; and I also got something to read tonight. So as it is already 9:21pm and I'm really tired and I've had such an exciting, ok maybe not exciting, but an eventful day; I think I will go wash my face and brush my teethies and get into bed and read for a bit. I'm definitely going to take my time reading this book and not just devour it in two days.
Oh yeah, and I'm going to be checking out the new little cookbook and maybe I'll be making some new grub and posting pics. See...this day even ended with a good thought!
Sunday, July 27, 2008
I know that I did bake a few cakes and some cookies out of this cookbook, but it was always a basic chocolate cake and usually peanut butter cookies or oatmeal. We lived out in the country and couldn't just walk over to our neighborhood Apple Market to get ingredients.
When I married, I continued with my love of cookbooks by buying up as many as I could find at yard sales, used book stores, thrift stores and book stores. I must have at least 50 of them. And again, I would sit there with my kids playing on the floor in front of me and just look at all the different recipes and pictures and then go into the kitchen and make plain old hamburgers or Hamburger Helper meals. I had a few signature dishes when I was married that my ex husband used to really like, such as Meatloaf Pie, Oven baked baby back ribs, scalloped potatoes and ham, and I made the best homemade peach pie on the planet...the secret being tons of butter. Tons!
But after my divorce, when it was just me and the kids I kept up with the old basics and boxed up all my cookbooks. Well the cookbooks are still boxed up and I'll probably sell them at a yard sale in the spring, but they aren't really necessary anymore. Not because I'm not going to cook anymore, but because I have the "world at my fingertips"! Literally I have spent the whole day today reading cooking blogs and saving the best ones in my favorites file. Ok, just so my sister won't get mad...I also did my laundry and made myself a dinner of red bell pepper with dressing and elbow macaroni sopa...mmmm.
But anyway, now that I got the guilt of being a lazy good for nuthin all day out of my system, let me continue. I never imagined all the wonderful things that can be done with squash and spaghetti, with apricots and coffee flavored liqueurs! I'm in hog heaven!
One of the my favorite websites is The Pioneer Woman Cooks. She has so many wonderful recipes on her site and it's so entertaining to read and she usually takes photos step-by-step as she's cooking. I've spent many a lunch hour reading her recipes and dreaming of making one of them...someday.
Well along comes my sister Lisa, who isn't one to sit around reading cookbooks and wishing she could make some of them...Lisa is a Do'er! So we did. She and I made a recipe we found on the Pioneer Woman's site and here are the pictures and story to prove it!
PW (Pioneer Woman) calls her recipe Farfalle with Zucchini, we call it Bow tie Pasta with Squash, not as elegant a name, but just as good tasting. Now we did make some changes to the original recipe...as all good cooks do. The main reason though is that neither Lisa and I cook with Wine, therefore the only wine we had available was Mango Wine Coolers and it's really not the same thing. PW's recipe also called for an ingredient Arrowroot which is a thickening agent (hah! how about that? I may not know how to cook, but I know technical terms. I didn't spend years watching Emeril and Bobby Flay for nuthin I tell ya!) Well Lisa and I both know flour is a great thickening agent so that's what we used and since we didn't use the wine, we used chicken broth as the liquid to combine with the flour for thickening. And one other thing we did differently, is PW says to use fresh basil, lemon thyme and chives. Fortunately, I did happen to have fresh basil as one of my co-workers had brought me a big batch of basil and another of rosemary. Being that my sis and I are of the Latino persuasion instead of lemon thyme we decided to use cilantro and we just forgot about the chives altogether, although after, during the taste test we both decided some small, chopped up green onion would have been great.
We chopped up 3 zucchini's by cutting them in half longways and then cutting each half in half again and then cutting small bite size pieces and we sauteed them in Olive Oil. Olive Oil being again a fancy-schmancy oil that I never used, but Lisa happened to have some for some reason. So we sauteed the zucchini with olive oil and some sea salt until it browned as you see below and then we removed it from the pan onto a plate as the next photo shows.
Using the same pan, and some more Olive Oil, we sauteed one small white onion and as we didn't have any fresh garlic we improvised by using garlic powder which worked just as well and didn't leave our fingers all garlicky smelling!
After the onion caramelized a bit (browned for those who don't know those professional technical cooking terms) we added the tomatoes. PW called for small grape tomatoes cut in half, but I prefer Roma tomatoes so we cut those into bite size pieces and added them to the onions in the pan. While that was sauteing, we mixed the flour with some chicken broth and then added that to the onions and tomatoes in the pan. Once that mixture thickened a bit, we poured the previously cooked zucchini back into the pan. Oh yes, PW also called at this point for some cream, but we didn't have cream and figured good ol 2% milk would work as well...and it did, so we poured that in too.
I forgot to mention previously that while Lisa was at Apple Market buying Zucchini and Onion and Mango Wine Coolers I was home doing dishes and I also got a jump start on the whole recipe by boiling the bow tie pasta. So that much was done ahead of time. In the next picture you see us adding the herbs, then basil and cilantro roughly chopped up. I will say here that I have cooked with basil before, but I have never just added it dry and raw to a dish and I loved it! Oh my goodness, what a great flavor. I went on and on about it to the co-worker that gave me some that she brought me a small plant from her garden that I'm trying NOT to kill in a planter on my patio.
Here is the finished product in the pan ready to be mixed in with the bow tie pasta. It looks good enough to me to be eaten as is.
Ok, here's my motivator in all this my sister Lisa. She's pouring the bow tie/herb mixture into a bigger bowl as we didn't estimate right the first time and we wouldn't have been able to stir in the old bowl. I actually chose the old bowl because it's pretty and one of my favorites, but we had to use this ugly old white plastic dime-a-dozen bowl! Can you tell it's not my fav bowl?
So here's Lisa, pouring the zucchini mixture into the bow tie pasta. She's such a great helper and it was so much more fun doing this with her. The only drawback was that I don't have a printer at home so we had to keep running back to the computer to check out PW's instructions.
A close up look of the zucchini on top of the bow tie pasta.
We had some shredded Monterey Jack Cheese and also some Cotija Cheese, that's a Mexican Parmesean Cheese. We sprinkled that on the top and mixed it in. The hot Zucchini mixture reheated up the bow tie pasta and melted the cheese, making it an ooey-gooey luscious mix. Oh, and that's my favorite bowl again in the picture, sorry you can't see the side, but I love this bowl.
Here it is, all served up on my Corelle Dishes that I've had ever since I was married. I swear you just can't break these things...and I've tried because I would love to have new dishes! But back to the food...it doesn't look photographically as appealing as the one PW made, but then I'm not as good a photographer as she is; but...it was pretty darn delicious!
And here's Lisa enjoying her first bite. We actually both had seconds and then she took some home to her husband who said, "Its OK." Men, what do they know of pasta? I took the rest to work and shared with my co-workers and they LOVED it. One has already been to the PW website and made her own version using my idea of the chicken broth. So there you have it. And we had a good time and I think we're going to do this again. I saw a recipe on a website today, it's kind of a dessert/breakfast thingy with apricot glaze on it. Hopefully I can get the motivator motivated to do this again!
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Better late than never I'm posting my birthday blog. Birthdays have always been difficult times for me. I think it all started way back in 1959 when I turned 1 year old. My parents threw a huge party for me, inviting all my relatives. As the story has been told to me, my dad and all my uncles, for whatever reason, decided, after a few beers, that it was boring on the farm and they all drove into town and left me and the rest of the womenfolk at home!
Once in town, they hit the bars. For some reason or another, the got into a fight with others in the bar and they were all arrested. My mom has the newspaper article that says, "Arrested for Disturbing the Peace" and then it lists my dad's name and several of my uncles.
And my birthday's have sucked ever since! Well for the most part. I have had some memorable birthdays. On my 15th birthday, I didn't get a quinceneara, but there was still a big party because my aunt Lupe was married to my uncle Gilbert that day. And to mark the big event for me, my mom and dad had delivered to my grandparents house in Santa Maria (where we were staying for the wedding since at the time we lived in Arizona)15 red roses. Those were my first roses ever and I will never forget them!
I also remember my 21st birthday, because my ex husband, who was then my future husband took me to Magic Mountain for the day and we stopped on the way back at a bar that served these wonderful little drinks in hollowed out pineapples with little umbrellas. I felt like a movie star and so special. Needless to say I had more than one of those little drinks and don't even remember the drive home.
And for my 50th birthday, my sister Lisa made it special by taking me to Santa Barbara for the day. We had a blast as you can see from the slide show below. Thank you Lisa, I love you and as you can see...you're in the top 3 of awesome birthdays!
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Today I went to Google to pull up the website for the California Dept of Motor Vehicles to check the CA permit for one of my clients. And when I pulled up Google, I saw that Estelle Getty had passed away. Estelle played Sophia on The Golden Girls TV show and I loved her to bits as I loved the rest of the Golden Girls and the show itself.
My first thought was to call my mom because I know she loves them as well. I called mom and she was cleaning her kitchen counters at around 11:45am simply because the grout was dirty. I let her know that Sophia had died and we talked about how sad that was for a little bit and then she asked me what I was doing. I told her I was at work but that I was just goofing off for a little while. And you know what she told me? She told me..."Do you know that goofing off at work is a sin?"
That is why my post today is about work ethic. That's the way we were raised, by parents that understood the meaning of hard work and of giving your boss 100% of the time that they are paying you to give them.
My parents both were and are hard working people. My dad was blessed to have a job he loved, being a farmer and working with agriculture. He still has a little garden in their backyard, I'll post some pictures later. My mom was a homemaker her whole adult life. She did work in a packing shed for a little bit and she loved that as well, but duty at home made her come back to being a full time homemaker. And neither of them ever thought about shirking their duties or looking at their jobs as labor. They were both doing what they loved to do simply because it needed to be done.
At this time, with the job market the way it is, with the unemployment rates we are seeing, I know that I am blessed to have my job and it's a privilege to have it; as the quote I used above says. I am fortunate that I love it. I thank my parents for teaching me to have work ethic as a youngster and for reminding me about work ethic in my advanced age of 50 years :-)
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Here you see her with her paternal grandmother, my mom Tomasa. When Bebe was one year old my mom for some reason decided that every Christmas she would buy Bebe a Teddy Bear at our local Kmart. The bears had that year imprinted on the bear's leg and she bought one for Bebe each year from age 1 to this birthday...her 15th. Below this picture you can see the bears displayed at Bebe's Quinceañera. In the very middle you can see one bear that stands out because he's black. My mom forgot one year and ended up buying Bebe a bear in February, so my mom calls him the Black Sheep.
This is Bebe's family. My brother Fred, his wife Norma, oldest daughter Alicia, Bebe of course, little brother Fred Jr. and Melissa...the star of the previous post. You can see Bebe's cake, which was delicious and a bottle of champagne which was also delicious! The flowers arrangements on all the tables were made by Bebe's aunt, Norma's sister Adrianna.
Here's Bebe and her older sister Alicia and her favorite aunt Alicia...that's me of course. You'll have to pardon our shininess? glowiness? glossiness? Anyway, the sweat! It was one of the most humid days on record. But in spite of that, I think we look beautiful! (Although my hair was a bit flat!)
And this picture is a little dark but this is Bebe dancing with her Daddy, my baby brother Fred. I know he looks drunk, but he wasn't...he was just exhausted. It was a long day for everyone, but it was beautiful and I'm sure a day Bebe will never forget. She looked beautiful and she was all smiles the whole day. A true Princess, long may she Reign!
Sunday, July 13, 2008
1. ugly and unpleasant in disposition or temper.
2. stubborn: I can't do a thing with that ornery mule.
3. low or vile.
4. inferior or common; ordinary.
When it comes to Melissa, definition #2 is the one that reminds me of her. And even though she's ornery, she's as cute as all get out ornery and I just love her little attitude. When I watch her I imagine that may be that was what I was like as a child. I know I grew up to be an ornery adult!
Picture #1 she's searching for something under Tata's shirt...
Picture #2, she's made Tata unbutton his shirt and she's still searching.
Picture #3 she obviously didn't like what she saw as she closed his shirt up all by herself!
As you can see...Tata was just delighted by her and loves her to bits, just like I do!
But in looking at this last picture, you see she's spied something on Tata's arm. A bandage and here's a little video since of course she could help ripping the bandage off Tata's arm and throwing it to the ground.
One thing about having a baby around, there's never any sadness when a baby is around. She keeps us laughing and I'm sure she will for many, many years. I love her!
I wonder if this little game would still hold the attention of today's younger generation. With all the things they can do on a computer now, with games like Sim City and programs like Paint Shop and Corel, would this even entertain them? Hmmmm, something to think about and maybe do a survey and post as a separate blog. But for now, back to my images of July 4th, I think they're pretty cool!
I call this one the C-firework because I see a bunch of little C's in it. It's very pretty and frail looking.
This one I call my Ribbons-firework, because I think the little symbols are shaped like all the different symbols for different causes, like the pink ribbons for Breast Cancer Awareness and the A.I.D.S. ribbons.
This one is the one that looks the most like an actual firework. I know that in order to take pictures of fireworks properly you need a camera that will allow you to adjust shutter speeds and such...and maybe mine does, but I've never read the book, I just wing it :-)
I love this one, I wish more of the little questions marks had shown up, but they look like little questions marks don't they?
This is the one that most resembles the little drawings we used to do with Spirograph, just a bunch of little circular squiggles.I like the colors on this one, almost blue and gold for Shafter Generals!
And last but not least, the one that is my favorite color...Green. It's also odd in that it looks like a bunch of 2's doesn't it?
Happy 4th of July Shafter!
Thursday, July 10, 2008
- It's so hot you have to eat spicy hot jalapenos just to cool your mouth off!
- It's so hot the birds have to use pot holders to pull worms out of the ground!
- It's so hot farmers are feeding their chickens ice cubes to keep them from laying hard boiled eggs!
- It's so hot you can get sunburned through your car window!
- It's so hot that I determine the best parking space by shade...forget distance!
- It's so hot it makes me want to take off my skin and sit around in my bones!
- It's so hot the squirrels are handling their nuts with pot holders!
- It's so hot I can roast marshmallows on my belly!
- It's so hot that hot water comes out of both taps!
- It's so hot it's like living in the french fry bin at McDonald's!
- It's so hot the Walker Senior Center is having a wet t-shirt contest!
and last, but not least...
- It's so hot that Satan went home til it cools off in Shafter!
As Paris Hilton says.....THAT'S HOT
Friday, July 4, 2008
I spent the first 4th in my new home last night. Wait, but last night was the 3rd wasn't it? Well, in Shafter we celebrate the 3rd of July. Why you ask? Well, as I understand it, pyrotechnicians are hard to come by and apparently Shafter can only afford one the day before the big day. But that's ok, we have gotten used to it and actually it's easier and extends the holiday. On the 3rd we go to the football field at the high school and watch the display there, then go home and go to sleep. Then on the 4th, we can just stay home and display the fireworks we've purchased.
This year I didn't go to the football field, just wasn't up to it. So when they started I ran out to my front yard and oh my gosh!, it was just like being at the football field! They were that close. I was standing out front leaning on my car feeling sooooo lonely because I was alone when a car parked in front of my house and two women with 4 little girls got out and started getting their lawn chairs in order to walk over to the high school which is about 3 blocks away. The little girls were complaining about having to walk so the ladies asked me if it was ok with me for them to sit on the sidewalk, I offered to let them put their chairs in my driveway so they could get a better view, they were so grateful!
Then I called my sister, Lisa, and told her how close the fireworks were to my house and she said, I'll be right there. So she came over with her son Sean and his childhood friend Alvin. So without even planning it I had a whole party of people there!
What a country! This was a favorite saying of the father of a great man who died last month, Tim Russert, and I agree totally. What a country! I know we have lots of problems right now with gas prices being so high, unemployment being so high, food prices being so high...ok, everything but our salaries being so high, but all members of my immediate family this year are living the American Dream. We are all homeowners, we are all gainfully employed, our children are all safe and healthy. We don't have all we want, but we have all we need and we can thank two people for that, our parents, Tome and Federico.
Tome and Federico both worked hard their whole lives so that their children and their children's children could have more and be more than they ever had or dreamed they could be. I appreciate so much the hard work and sacrifices they made for us, for making sure that we were all born Americans!
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
Uh oh, I just heard a firework, probably an illegal one!
But anyway, what I was talking about...what is this place? YouTube tutorials! I'm hooked, I'm addicted, I can't get enough of them. I've watched tutorials from makeup application to how to sponge paint and everyday there are more of them. I used to think, "So many books, so little time", but now it's "So many tutorials, so little time". I spend so much time watching them I don't have time to actually do the things I'm shown!
For example, tonight I ran across a tutorial on how to clean your makeup brushes. I've never cleaned my makeup brushes...ever...have you? Well I cleaned them tonight right after watching this tutorial. Let me see if I can figure out how to post it here.
Oh my gosh, I think I did it. We'll see if it shows up when I publish this post. Now this tutorial isn't super exciting. The young lady is easy to listen too, it's just the idea that she washes her makeup brushes and now so do I.
I should have taken my own video, but I forgot and it's almost nine pm and too late for me to take a picture of my clean brushes and download it and then upload it, so just take my word for it, they were super dirty and now they are super clean and I hope they dry by morning so I can use them. Enjoy the video and remember to wash your makeup brushes!
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
I saw people NOT talking on their phone! Usually when I'm waiting at the stop lights I see every single person in their cars talking on the phone and today....nothing! Hahaha!
Now I myself am a car cell phone talker, but usually if I have someone in the car with me, I pay attention to that person as I feel its rude to talk to others and ignore the person who actually took time out of their life to physically hang out with you. So it was nice today to see so many people not on their cell phone but instead talking to the people with them, or just noticing the people around them.
I think it's going to be a good thing to have this law.
Had a great dinner. George Foreman'd a pork chop for today and one for my lunch tomorrow.