Monthly Archives: January 2014

Thursday Never List

ZOMG!!! My 20th TNL!!!

Not counting the ones bumped to Fridays due to laziness.

It’s hard coming up with Never Lists. Pretty soon I’ll run out of Nevers and sound like a Puritan. But on the plus side, there is a lot of stupid out there from which to choose, so I have that going for me.

(So, Hubby came home early and we decided to watch A Good day to Die Hard, and then my mom needed some stuff, and then dinnertime came, and went, and so I am just now getting back to this post. I suck at blogging, I know.)


Advice One Should Never Ignore

#5– Always have an umbrella

Yes, even in South Texas. Because the day you don’t have one is the day you are all dressed up for that date you have been planning for months, wearing your new silk dress, and that just-out-of-the-salon hair style. So I hear.

#4– Keep spare glasses in your nightstand

Last thing you need is to look for things you can’t see.

#3– Play more

Be active and enjoy life. There is nothing worse than being dead inside. Unless you’re a zombie, I guess.

#2– Find a happy place

You don’t have to be happy all day, but you should find something to be happy about every day.

#1– Never get involved in a land war in Asia

Seriously, remember Qin??

Anyway, I do hope y’all had a wonderful day and are relaxing now. If not, then I hope the non-relaxation is worth it 😀

Mmmm, Mmmm, Stew!

It has been a while since I have posted a recipe here. With the passing of our blogging friend Yabu, I lost the desire to annoy food pic haters, as he used to call them. But after yesterday’s near debacle, I felt I should share the wondrousness of the beef stew. So easy, and so good, you’ll want to make it every week. Or so my kid tells me.


It was inhaled so fast I had no time to take nice photos.

Simple Beef Stew

(Adapted from Lipton Recipe Secrets™)

  • 2 lbs. Sirloin, cut up into cubes
  • 4 medium gold potatoes, halved and quartered
  • 4 carrots, cut into 1 inch lengths
  • 1 small white onion, halved and quartered
  • 2 envelopes Lipton Recipe Secrets™ Onion Mushroom Soup mix
  • 2 Tbsp. Tomato Paste
  • 1 C water
  • 1 C Red wine*
  • 1 C peas (waaaaaay optional)

*You can substitute a cup of water for the wine.

If using a Dutch oven, preheat oven to 275* F.

Brown the sirloin in a large pan with a bit of cooking oil. Once browned, transfer all the sirloin and the collected juices to a Dutch oven. Add the carrots, potatoes, onion, and peas (if you must…). Add the soup mix and tomato paste to the water, and mix well. Pour over meat and vegetables. Pour wine if desired. Stir well, and close lid. Place in oven for three hours or until meat is tender.

If using a crock pot, follow the same steps but heat on low for six hours, or high for 3½ hours.

Good food doesn’t have to be complicated. Thank goodness 😀

What a Crock

This is just not happening. NOT. HAPPENING!!

It is freezing today by Texas standards, which means hot comfort food is a must. I don’t get the chance to make beef stew often, but today was the perfect day for it. Sleety, windy, gray, cold: just like winter should be. Not what I want in a winter, but nothing I can do about that except maybe place The Goron on my Voodoo List™.

Not saying I did, mind you.

Anyway, I go to do my kitchen prep: peel and dice potatoes, carrots, onions, brown stew beef cuts, and open the red wine. Yes, I cook with wine. Sometimes I even put it in the food. I place all that heavenly goodness into the crock pot, plug it in and….. nothing.


darth noooo

I am aghast. My crock pot is dead, y’all!!

I am at a loss. I love my crock pot. I use it at least once a week. After hyperventilating and walking around the kitchen island sobbing, I calmed down and decided to put it in the oven to cook, like a boss. Actually, like a boss that has a ton of cast iron dutch ovens. I’ll be danged if I let this setback ruin dinner. I mean, there is no way I am going out in this weather. Not even for a dinner out.

On the upside, Hubby has an idea of what to get me for Valentine’s Day 😉

Musings on Being Nostalgic

There are so many things I miss.

I never seem to give them any thought, though. Sometimes one or two things will quietly slip into my mind and remind me of good times long past. It may sound maudlin, but I am sure I’m not the only one that has a thought spring up like that.

I miss running after the ice cream truck. It was a challenge to see who could get to it first. Saving nickels and dimes every week just so you could get a Drumstick™ was fun, but eating it all before it melted into a sticky mess was an achievement.

I miss being able to slam down a phone. There was a satisfaction of hearing that BAM!! and knowing you had really made your *ahem* dissatisfaction known to the person on the other end.

I miss the card catalog. I loved, LOVED running my fingers down the index cards, reading the books’ information, pretending to be a detective trying to figure out the cryptic synopsis. It’s not as fun to look it up on the computer and have the whole plot outlined already.

I miss roller skates. Not roller blades, mind you. But the metal, scrappy, key-to-adjust kind that you put over your sneakers. That screech the wheels made as you tried to glide gracefully on the sidewalk was like music to my ears.

I miss Polaroids™. It was fun to wait for the film to develop right before your eyes, and yes, I shook the heck out of them. Before Photoshop™, before Instagram™, all you had to do was wait a few years and the film would antique itself quite nicely.

Anyway, I have been sentimental long enough. Time for me to take advantage of current technology and do some laundry in my high efficiency washing machine 🙂

Snowday, Texas Style

Today we are enjoying a snowday, that rarest of holidays here in South Texas.

By “snowday”, I mean there is ice on the ground and the vehicles are iced shut. And by “enjoying”, I mean the kids are testing my patience.

Snowdays down here are nothing compared to what Michiganders endure. I am sure they are laughing at us down here for shutting down schools and businesses, but the reality is we are not savvy drivers on icy roads. Heck, rain freaks us out. So better safe at home than sorry wrapped around a light pole.

Of course, Michiganders would probably melt down here in the spring, so we have that going for us.

But I am ready for Winter to go away.

die winter die lol

Soooooooo done with winter. I want to feel the sun as it turns the asphalt into a mushy mess. I want to see flowers bloom in the adversity that is a Texas summer. I want to see water boil off the sidewalk. I’m getting nostalgic just thinking about it. If we humans could hibernate, I wouldn’t have such an issue with the cold. Or with shaving my legs.

Anyway, I hope that wherever you are, you are keeping warm and safe, and stabbing winter in the head 😉

Thursday Never List

I still remember the excitement of going to visit my cousins when I was younger. Usually going to San Juan meant an overnight trip, so my mom got to pack the bags and make sure we had everything we could possibly need without taking the kitchen sink.

Although there was this one time we did have to take the kitchen sink, because my uncle was going to use it in his work shed. But that’s another story.

You may think that packing a bag or a suitcase requires no skill, but you would be wrong. You aren’t using Mary Poppins’ carpetbag, which means you have a finite amount of space to use so you have to pack accordingly. However, there are some things one should never do without when doing an overnighter.

packed suitcase

Never Leave Home Without It

#5– Toiletries

Specifically, toothpaste, shampoo, and deodorant. You can do without everything else, but these are non-negotiable.

#4– Extra socks

No one likes sweaty feet.

#3– Pain medication

Better safe than tripping on someone else’s meds.

#2– Sweater or light jacket

I don’t know of anyone that has been able to predict the weather correctly. Ever.

#1– Reading material

Just because you are visiting someone, doesn’t mean you have to be a Chatty Cathy. And nothing works as a shield better than reading some deep literature, like Zen, and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. Tried and true.

And with that, I’m off to get medicated against the pollen count, put on an extra pair of socks so my toes don’t break off from frostbite, and hope to Hades I don’t need to clean the mouse cage. Have a good one! 🙂


That’s how I feel.

Apparently we are in a record-breaking season for pollen. And this year is when my body decided I have allergies to pollen.


This wouldn’t be so bad if they were Midichlorians.

Anyway, I figured y’all could enjoy an obscure Sithy.

tiefighters punny lol

That is so full of win, I can’t contain myself.

Ok, time for more medication. And by “medication”, I mean coffee. Hope y’all enjoy your day 🙂

Thursday Never List

As y’all know from yesterday, my mom is coming for a visit and I am in full panic mode. And by that I mean I am obviously sitting at my laptop wasting precious time.

If you wait until the last minute, it only takes a minute, right? RIGHT??

It doesn’t matter how often I tell myself, “Aggie, why not do this, or that, and get it out of the way before X comes over?” Usually when I do ask myself that, my other self retorts with, “HELLO?? Drama isn’t going to read itself, you know!” It’s a vicious cycle. At least it’s not viscous. That’s a whole other level my other other self would love to dissect.

I love my selfs. Heh!

Anyway, when it comes to cleaning, there are some things one should never skip. I mean it. Some things you can’t just ignore. It’s like giving Godzilla a key to Tokyo and a coupon for all-you-can-eat. Maybe that doesn’t make sense to y’all, but it sounded pretty awesome in my head.

cleaning lol

Cleaning Jobs One Should Never Skip

#5– Refrigerator bins

Ignore it, and next thing you know the tomatoes are conspiring with the lemons to kill the lettuce and take over the fridge.

#4– Garbage disposer

Disposal… disposer… poh-tay-toh… poh-tah-toh. No matter what you call it, that little contraption hides all sorts of gunk and can really stink up the house.

#3– Towels

Any towel used for the express purpose of drying, be it a body or a dish, will start to smell of stagnant pond water.

#2– Stove pans

You know how you start cooking and suddenly the delish dish smells of dead rodent? Yeah, that’s why.

#1- Commode

Y’all should know this would be #1. If you didn’t then you have issues, and should call Molly Maid™ ASAP.

And those are my tips for today. Remember, the floor can be crunchy or sticky, as long as A) it’s not from bones or blood, 2) people wear shoes, and iii) Legos are safely stored away.

Those suckers can pierce leather 😉

Mamma Mia

My mom is coming for a visit this weekend. And y’all know what that means.



(I started writing this this morning and then a friend came by for a visit, so I took time to bend her ear as far back as Canada. We now resume the post. Don’t complain about your free entertainment.)

Anyway, I have made a list of the stuff I wish to accomplish before she gets here. Keep in mind this list does not include mundane chores like scrubbing bathrooms or cleaning out the fridge.

  • Paint small chest of drawers in silver.
  • Reorganize the Christmas decorations.
  • Clean out the bathroom cabinets.
  • Finish hanging my artwork, so-called.
  • Put away “excess” wine glasses. Notice the quotation marks.
  • Get car registered.
  • Hide all my Legos.

She’s actually very cool about my housekeeping, so-called. Which is nice, because if she wants to clean or fix something, she just does it while cooking. Did I mention cooking? Yes…yes, I did. And you know what’s great about it? The fact that I can gorge on her fabulous cooking and not care because she is coming waaaaaay before Lent. I’m so lucky I have sweat pants and loose shirts.

That’s how I measure happiness 😀

That Last Nerve

I try to be easy going and patient. Some people say I am the most patient person they know. That doesn’t mean I’m a saint. That just means I drive other people insane in a more subtle manner. It’s a gift, not a curse. Anyway, there are some things out there in the intertubewebnets that do try my patience, sometimes to the point where I am screaming to myself.

The fox doesn’t say any of those things.

Quit hoping to find Prince Charming. Start hoping you find those animals that really like housekeeping.

Yes, everything happens for a reason. Just remember that sometimes the reason is stupidity.

The five second rule for food is a myth. Especially if you have a two second dog.

Always try to be Harry Potter awesome, not Twilight awesome.

And with that, I hope y’all have a great Monday. As for me, I’m off to go clean house.

Apparently the forest creatures are either on strike or on vacation 😀