Aug 14, 2009

Good stuff.

Ha! Jake has a serious girlfriend. Keep in mind, my son son...and intensely private, so he may have had a girlfriend before and I just never knew it. And I'm fairly certain he had a boyfriend of sorts at one point. But this girl? Has been acknowledged. She has a name, which I won't give here at this point in time, but which is actually spoken. She calls here, he owns she's his girlfriend and while I've never met her personally (this is all pretty new), I've seen her and she's a doll. She looks like a real-life anime character, tiny with the big hair, just adorable. I talked to her on the phone the other night and she has nice manners, too, a sweet and very pleasant girl, full of nervous giggles. I'm not sure who was more nervous, though, her or me. *grins* I tried to play it all cool and act like this is just another everyday thing but yeah, it's not. He? Is being far more adult-acting, responsible and agreeable. I'm thinking there's love involved here and the idea not only doesn't freak me out, it makes me smile. I'm also thinking there will be condoms in his Christmas stocking this year.

Speaking of love, I keep thinking of little things I'm loving and ought to share, so I compiled a list:

1. Even though it's summer, I've been on a soup binge to celebrate having a/c. Here are the two best recipes I have and I can't seem to get enough of either of them. Chili's Chicken Enchilada Soup Recipe Now, I do add a can of black beans to this, but otherwise leave it alone. This is *so good and if you roast whole chickens often, as I do, this is a great use of the leftover meat. The other soup recipe is for Pumpkin Curry Soup. Because we like leftovers, I double the recipe but I do not double the evaporated milk since we like it less milky. Alternately, leave the recipe as-is and halve the milk. Or, you could make it up to the milk stage and add cream, half-and-half or whole milk until it's at a place you like. Basically, the milk is flexible per your own tastes and coconut milk works quite well, too. Both soups are wonderful, I promise.

2. Those who know me know I love tarts...the candle kind that you melt in a tart warmer. My favorite tart pimp is Busy Bee Candles. My house smells like heaven with her stuff. Also, for the first time ever, I tried her body spray. I got it in the Blue Sugar scent, since I love, love, love the Blue Sugar tarts and also in Lime Cilantro. Let me just say her body spray is one of the best quality ones I've ever ordered. If you love body scents, try her stuff and at this point I feel pretty confident all of her bath/body products will be of equal quality. Also, you can order from the drop down menu, but you can also request any scent off the scent descriptions list. So, $5.00 plus shipping for a great scent in a cute bottle? Risk it. I did and I'm little shot of the Blue Sugar lasted me a good 10 hours. I'd order it in the Maple Sugar scent, but I'm of the opinion fat people ought not smell like baked goods.

3. Cake mix cookies. These are the easiest cookies *ever and always turn out great. Using the same basic recipe, you can vary your flavor of cake mix and what you add in (1/2C, more or less, according to your taste), with the result being some darn good cookies! Here is the basic recipe: - Recipe - Cake Mix Cookies Don't use cake mixes that require you add butter, so check the back of the box. Otherwise, flavor and add-ins are on you and I roll them into walnut-sized balls instead of dropping them. I like uniform cookies. I'm not a huge sweet-eater, but family favorites are yellow mix with chocolate chips for a traditional chocolate chip cookie, devil's food mix with white chips, and spice mix with craisins or left plain and rolled in cinnamon sugar. You can make a mean snickerdoodle with a plain yellow cake mix and then roll the balls in cinnamon sugar, so you know. One year I used a pineapple mix and added some candied fruit...this was a huge hit amongst the old ladies I know. :-D Just experiment with things your family likes...this recipe is so easy, it's one even older kids and non-bakers can manage. Oh, you might want to forget what it says in the recipe and either line your cookie sheets with parchment or aluminum foil and give them a brief spray of PAM, to boot. It seems like anything I bake sticks and this works best for me. If you have super nice non-stick cookie sheets, you might be able to skip this. I don't. I have nasty-looking, icky cookie sheets that sort of freak me out a little since they look dirty even when I know they aren't.

4. Nadinola Shea Butter. I'm cursed with horribly sensitive but oily skin, especially on my face. I struggle to find products my skin won't adjust to and then rebel against and trust me, I've tried everything from the expensive ones down to the cheapest. The one thing I've found that my skin seems to always accept without complaint and that helps with the awful, flakey dryness, is Nadinola Shea Butter. I get this nice 4 ounce tub for 97 cents at Walmart and, as far as I'm concerned, it's nothing short of a miracle. I've bought $50 products that can't do what this little tub does. It's in the ethnic hair/skin care area and while you're there, take a good browse around...if you have dry skin or damaged hair and drugstore prices are what you can afford, you'll have far better luck here than in the general areas for these products.

5. Mudflats I know the election is over, but this site is still intent on protecting the rest of us from mess that is Sarah Palin. We need Mudflats. *nods* But to show I'm no bleeding heart liberal, we also need Mike Huckabee. I love Mike Huckabee.

6. Have you ever heard of Carlton Pearson? If not, you ought to Google him, read about him, keep an open mind. Rev. Pearson is one of the very few who make Christianity feel comfortable for me. He's a conservative Christian with a very open mind...what an amazing, incredible mix. I was raised Southern Baptist but began rebelling at age 4, no lie. I hated it, it terrified me with how wrong it felt in my heart, even at that age. I do not consider myself to be Christian, I never have although I see much beauty in the faith, as I do in other faiths. But, no matter your persuasion, I encourage you to read about Carlton may be as glad as I am that you did. Also, on the topic of Christianity and preachers, let me just say that for all the bad taste the Christianity I was raised with left in my mouth, I love the Rev. Billy Graham. I mean, I sincerely love the man and believe he's God-sent to our world to try to help people get on a good path in life. How can anyone not love a man who says this? "'I don’t throw rocks at anybody,' he said. 'That’s not my message. My message is the Gospel of Christ.'” Were more Christians like Billy Graham, maybe more non-Christians wouldn't be so put off by it. Just a thought and a share about two remarkable men of God. A praise, even.

7. On a far lighter note, after way too much trial, wasted money and stinky error, Tidy Cats Scoop Litter For Small Spaces is the best cat litter ever for multiple cat households. Providing your cats cover their stuff, it keeps odor to an absolute minimum and it clumps tighter and neater than anything I've found yet for scooping. Every few days (I scoop both boxes at least once a day but often twice), I give a good sprinkling of one of the carpet powders that specify for pet odors and mix it in...this combination is the best I've found for eliminating litter box smells from a house.

8. Roadside memorials. I love them...they just kill me. Oh, wait, that sounds bad, doesn't it? They just crack me up. Hmmm. Nevermind. Just know I love them and I might show you just how much soon. :-D

9. Heh, my son is home schooled and they do it for me. Free. Can it get any better? I think not.

10. Crocs. I will own it all day long - I *love Crocs, I am Croc-wearing girl. I have touchy feet due to a medical condition and Crocs make walking and being on my feet bearable again. In the summer, I live in the Athens flip-flops and wear the Scutes as a house-slipper. In the winter? It's one of the clog types and socks, Baby, because I'm sexy like that.

So, some insight on me and things I love because I just know that someday, someone will read this and become enlightened. May the force be with you.