The Excellent Adventures of Kim and Kev

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Excellent Adventures.... Coming Soon!

I apologize for my lack of posts over the past week. It is definitely NOT because I am out of stories to tell - because that would never happen. It is because I have been super busy.... and by SUPER busy ... I mean ... there has been SO much going on this week that I seriously have not had the time to sit and write. But don't worry..... I will be posting soon. I have amazing stories of my Disney trip, Kev's landscaping adventures, and Glenn's (Kev's Dad) 63rd birthday!

Just to tide you over until the next post.... I will give you a "pic of proof" of how much fun I had in Disney....

If you can guess correctly where we are and what we are doing... then Kev will plant a tree in your honor in our front yard!!! That's a pretty big deal.... so good luck with the guessing.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Leprachauns, Clovers, and Gold... Oh My!

Exhausted and covered in bruises is how I awoke this morning. What an incredible St. Patrick's Day celebration we had yesterday! Before your mind starts to wonder... let me explain. The bruises are from the massive amounts of pinching.... given and received. Now let me clarify that I was dressed in green from head to toe.... even with green bows on my shoes. It is a holiday and I am a Switzer ( my maiden name ...not a curse word in a different language) and we celebrate like no other. That being said, I'm always torn on this holiday because I love the attention of getting pinched but I have to dress appropriately as it is in my upbringing. Which brings me to my exhaustion which is from running from person to person asking to be pinched because I was not COMPLETELY green... my face and hands were showing and right now they are half red (remember my post from last week on the sunburn) and half pale.

Let me also clarify the pinches.... a "St. Patrick's Day pinch" is much different than a "Christmas pinch". I HATE Christmas pinches. St. Patrick's Day pinches are full of mischief and shenanigans. The Christmas ones are down right painful and mean. Someone in my family made them up and if I knew who... I would not give them a gift this year. The bad part is that it states in the "Switzer rule book" that you can Christmas pinch someone at any time of the year. I've even gotten one in church before... from a lady sitting behind me that heard about it and wanted to join in on the fun. Good luck to you if you ever attend a family function with me... just because "Christmas" is in the title... it does not mean it is nice and enjoyable.

Now that I have explained the different pinches... we can move on.....

So, I waited all day to pinch Kev as I just knew he would not have a speck of green on him - #1 because his favorite color is brown ??? and #2 because secretly he likes to be pinched as much as me. Little did I know that he is so awesome ( well, I did know that) and that he wanted to do something extra special for our celebration.... because when I walked in the front door, he was waiting for me dressed as a Leprechaun!!! Here is a pic of my sweet husband....

Now I know why he had been growing a beard for the last month..... my Mom was right... Kev does have red hair. He hand stitched this costume from some green felt and white paint. I had no idea he was so talented with the costuming. He is officially hired to dress my family for our next event! The pic is a little blurry because he was dancing "The River Dance" and singing about "Finding me Lucky Charms". It also looks as if he has a removable arm.... maybe the huge pot of gold that he had separated his arm from his socket. Oh well... he didn't seem to be in any pain..... so we continued with the celebration....

I was hoping to have a REAL Leprechaun attend our party... but couldn't seem to catch one. I read somewhere that they liked shiny things, trinkets, and mixed nuts... so, I built a cage and placed all of those things in it. When I got home from work... much to my surprise and disappointment - Kev was in the cage! Apparently, I had replicated a pawn shop. He had eaten the nuts and had priced all of the trinkets. I now owe him interest.

I also did some research on what food Irish people eat. Now, I am part Eskimo/part Hillbilly - I know it's an odd mix but you can't fight love - but you might want to if you are an Eskimo or Hillbilly and have met me and don't want your children to be like me. Kev is Norwegian. IF we ate what our ancestors ate then we would be eating herring, beets, raw fish fresh from the ice, whale blubber, bologna, and spam. DISGUSTING! I was hoping that we would have some luck with Irish food. I hope that I am not offending anyone... but cabbage, Reuben sandwiches, and green beer is not very appetizing. So, then I googled Leprechaun food ( I really did... and it REALLY came up with a list of stuff) and that consisted of twigs, potato peelings, brussel sprouts and fatty bacon ( very similar to a hillbilly). Anyway, after a week of agonizing menu planning... we finally came up with the following..... grilled Reuben sandwiches ( with roast beef - no sauerkraut), fried potato peelings (chips), and cabbage (in the form of cole slaw). The point of this story is that it is more important to celebrate a holiday the best way you can than to ignore it because you don't like the food. Which is always my motto on "pretend liver and onions are delicious day". I eat a Chic-Fil-A sandwich while sitting next to the trash.... that way I have the disgusting smell with a good taste in my mouth.

Here is a pic of our food....

And our dessert..... I thought long and hard about this one. Basically it just came down to me making something easy and green. I layered pistachio pudding (very interesting taste... weird but "somewhat" enjoyable - kind of like the Sci Fi channel... except for that would have to be "not very" enjoyable) and cool whip. I topped it with mini marshmallows. That was the best part of the whole dessert. I had forgotten how much I enjoy marshmallows.... and by "ENJOY", I mean "They make me so happy when I pop them in my mouth that it gives me obnoxious giggles". I'm sure that Kev would agree with that last statement - except he didn't giggle - he just stared at me in disbelief and forced me to take my Ritalin. Kev's exact words about the dessert... "It was interesting, different, and Leprechaunish". I'm sure Paula Deen hears that exact review of her food when she serves it... so, it made me feel special.

All in all it was a great holiday.... except for the fact that Kev's red beard is still attached.... craft glue is not as easy to get off as you might think. I hope you all had a great St. Patrick's Day! The next holiday coming up is Easter.... I wonder if I will be able to think of anything fun to do for that... I'm thinking someone might be dressed in a bunny suit...
Well, I'm off to Disney World..... where all dreams come true! Expect lots of pics and stories next week!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Greatest Show on Earth

Who doesn't love a circus? Well, I'm sure that some people don't... but that is besides the point. I grew up going to the circus EVERY year! This was a major event in my family and one we always looked forward to. I would sit on the edge of my seat the entire time... you had to.. there was so much going on and you didn't want to miss a thing. But then I grew up... lost interest... and hadn't been in 15 years.

So, my Mom invites me this year. Well, as you know, I don't get out much or do much outside of work and home.... so you can imagine my families' surprise when I said that I would go. (They were actually assuming I would say no... and only asked me out of courtesy... so they were probably mortified that I went... but oh well.) I can't explain what came over me.... I was a kid again and could not wait to see this circus. I talked about it all week, had circus themed meals (like hay, peanuts, and protein shakes), dressed up Kev as a clown and then screamed every time he walked in to the room, and practiced riding my bike in a bear costume. By Friday, I was beside myself with excitement. I headed straight there after work... without even eating dinner... which was actually a planned decision because since I was going to the circus I could eat popcorn for dinner without being scolded. That is the plus side of Kev NOT going with me... I can eat snack food for dinner and I don't have to miss parts of the show because I'm taking him to the bathroom. Once there, I met up with my Mom, Dad, sister Shannon, niece, and four nephews. Before the circus began we had to ensure the show would be a success by completing the following.... buying me a large box of popcorn, getting cotton candy for the kids, purchasing a light-up toy that would be broken before the show is over, and getting my Mom something on a stick, that is dipped in chocolate, that will make a huge mess, and makes everyone stare at her while she is eating it. Why do they make things like that to eat.... it always looks likes she is eating something she shouldn't be... which is not appetizing AT ALL!

Purchases in hand, bathrooms visited, and the show is about to begin. Now I want to start by saying that I had an INCREDIBLE time... I really did! I enjoyed being with my family and seeing the show... but boy has it changed over the years! The circus used to be a "three ring" circus. There would be something going on in every ring constantly. Sometimes three different families would be showcasing three different animals. And speaking of families... every stunt, trick, talent would be done by a family... mom, dad, kids. At this circus, I think there was only one family that did everything. They just kept changing costumes... except for the girls that danced and sang. It was like Broadway show meets the zoo. And speaking of animals.... there used to be SO many animals... different species and multiples upon multiples. They used to be able to do an entire parade with elephants. I even saw a unicorn once....a freaking unicorn! Granted there was glue running down his face from where the horn was glued to his head... but still. Talk about Lions, and tigers, and bears...oh my! Except for there were no lions or bears... just tigers at this one. Does anyone remember Gunther Gable Williams? He was the star of the show... the celebrity lion/tiger tamer. His entire family would come out... all with white blonde hair and shiny muscles and would help him in the performance. Anyway.... like I said before... the circus sure has changed but is still entertaining and fun. My favorite parts are the dogs that do tricks and the motorcycles that drive around in the cage. It makes me so nervous to watch... that I consider myself lucky if I leave the show with dry pants.

Here is a pic of one of the animal cages..... what a hairy beast!! You can definitely see that the economy has affected the circus....

These were two of the clowns sitting next to me.... Austin (left) and Elijah (right). I'm sure my Mom will be thanking me for posting a pic of her backside!

Speaking of clowns.... I was crowned the queen of all nonsense and tom foolery. The two clowns on either side of me are my court jesters.... Michael (left)... and yes that is his REAL hair, not a clown wig.. and Ashlynn (right).

Here is my Mom eating her nonsense and ridiculousness on a stick! Anything that is dipped in chocolate and placed on a stick should be outlawed. I sat several seats away from her for fear of ruining my reputation!

And last but not least is "baby" Mason and my sister Shannon. Mason is actually 5 but since he is the youngest ... he is still the "baby". He is making the typical forced smile that young kids make when posing for pics.

It was such a fun night and I was so happy that I was able to go! Thanks so much to my parents for inviting me! Even though Kev didn't go... he didn't miss a thing because I re-enacted EVERY detail for him when I got home. Let's just say that some tricks are better performed in an open arena instead of in the living room.

I'm thinking of starting a circus in my backyard with all of my woodland creatures.... squirrels, birds, cats, turkeys, a fox and a rooster... what could be more entertaining than that? Kev could even tell jokes.... such as theses great ones he told me today....

"Why don't you play cards in the jungle?"
answer: "Because of the cheetahs"

or "What's in the middle of a jelly fish?"
answer: "a jelly button"

or "How does a frog feel when he has a broken leg?"
answer "Unhoppy"

He's got plenty more where those came from.... I'm telling you, I think our circus would be a hit! Stay tuned.....

Sweet Treats, Good Eats..... and KFed?

I want to start off by explaining that the title of this post is describing two completely different subjects... food and KFed. I did not want anyone to be confused and think that "sweet treats" and "good eats" were adjectives for KFed... because if I wanted to describe him, I would probably say "moocher", "bad rapper", and "thug". Now that I have explained the title... we can move on....

Ok. So remember when I told you to check out the recipe blog : Well, it was NOT a suggestion but a requirement to be my friend. I'm telling you that everything that I make from this site has been delish....and by delish, I mean easy, minimal ingredients, and DELICIOUS! The latest "dish" I made was a dessert... Butterfinger Cake. Have you ever even heard of such a thing? Candy bars and cake mixed together... pure heaven. For the record, I had NEVER even eaten a Butterfinger. I assumed that they tasted like a butter stick with a chocolate coating. Now even though that would be something that Paula Deen would eat.... I'm not a fan of eating butter sticks.... I prefer it melted in a bowl so I can drink it. So, I asked around town and was told that Butterfingers were yummy and that I would definitely like them. This cake was soooo easy to make....

1 box of yellow cake mix

1 jar caramel topping

1 can swtnd condensed milk

4 butterfinger candy bars

cool whip

You make the cake as directed in a 13x9 pan. While it is still warm from the oven... poke holes in it. Mix caramel and milk and pour over cake. Crush up butterfingers and spread on top of cake. Let it cool in fridge. Cover with cool whip before serving. AND that is it!

The best part about it is that I got to make a huge mess..... that is always a sign that I am making something good. I smashed the Butterfingers up with a mallet-type kitchen tool..... let's just say that candybars were flying everywhere. If you want to make this cake at my house then we will have to do it when Kev is at work.

My other great cooking delight of last week was a sausage casserole.... now it is technically called a breakfast casserole.... but since we LOVE to eat breakfast for dinner... I just changed the name a little. I don't know why eating breakfast for dinner is so exciting and yummy... but it is. It is almost like you can savor it more because you are not in a rush to start your day. This casserole recipe was provided to me by Amy Jackson.

Now, if you are lucky enough to work in a place full of women with great cooking skills... then you know what it is like to be me. I have gotten so many wonderful recipes from the girls at work. Anytime there is a meeting, or busy holiday, or just a random day of the week... you can expect to taste delicious treats and viddles. I will go ahead and let you in on a little secret... I always bring "to go" containers to these "pot luck" days. I learned that from my parents... you should see them at weddings! Let's just say that if you ever invite them to your wedding... plan on paying for four people instead of two. AND just because you don't see them handling a container doesn't mean they don't have other ways of collecting food.... ie; umbrellas, hats, kangaroo pouches. Once when they were leaving a place, it started pouring rain and they had to decide whether to save their food collection or themselves - because the umbrella was full of food! True Story! I think we are scavengers by nature... it must be the "Eskimo" in my blood. Anyway, since Kev is a fan of trying new things... I usually bring him a sampling and then get the recipes for the things he likes.

So, it's 5am on Black Friday ( for you non retail folks.... that is the day after Thanksgiving) and I am opening the store with Amy. She welcomed me with this delicious breakfast casserole - which I'm sure was the reason that we ended up having an incredible day! Now ,I have never really been a fan of sausage... unless it was in a sausage ball... or still inside a pig because I think pigs are cute. Well, this dish changed my life... so much so that I am changing my middle name to sausage -( don't worry, it will still be the same initial so all of my monogrammed things will not have to be replaced). I had to have this recipe! Well, it wasn't as easy to get as you might think. If you know Amy - then you know she is famous! And by famous I mean that she is extremely talented along with her sisters and they have their own cd. I'm not joking.... it is true! The Jackson Sisters. They play the most beautiful music. I am blown away by how talented they all are and how they all work together so well..... the entire Jackson story is mesmerizing. If you ever meet Amy.. ask her to tell you about it. AND then buy her cd! You won't regret it!

So, I wanted a famous families' recipe..... a secret recipe... and was told I would have to work for it. I'm thinking... bouncer, autograph distributor, hair stylist ( which if you seen my hair recently - that would be a total joke!)... but no... I was going to be a substitute musician. Those of you who know me, know that I was raised in Alabama. Alabama + Gaston = jug blower and knee slapper. I'm sure you know where this story is going..... I showed up for my first gig and wasn't even allowed in to the building. I don't know if it was because I was wearing overalls with bare feet or if my jug was full of whiskey. But bottom line.... I finally got the recipe as a pay off to keep me away from the family. However, Amy tells me that they can play anything and will be willing to perform Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin at my 4th of July party. How cool is that!

I served the sausage casserole on Thursday night...... and it was a HUGE hit!!! This will definitely be made over and over in my house. I served it with biscuits and.... pineapple? I know pineapple is random but I had a can of it in the pantry and didn't know what to do with it.

Enjoy the picture.... because I will not divulge the secret recipe.... I have been sworn to secrecy.

And now for my story of KFed..... aka Kevin Federline.... aka Fed -ex of Britney Spears... aka moocher, bad rapper, and thug. Now let me just clarify that I don't know KFed personally and I do realize that you can't always believe whatever you read. However, we are HUGE fans of celebrities... we watch all the shows, read the mags, etc. We love knowing about them. So, even though I don't personally care for Kevin ( not to be confused with my husband).... he has touched Britney who has touched JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE... who I LOVE!!! So, this sighting of KFed was pretty exciting in my book! He just happened to be staying at the same resort as my parents in Disney.... The Animal Kingdom Lodge. Bethany texted me that she was with him on the elevator.... so I immediately contacted Melissa who is just as much of a fan of celebs as me. She started doing research on TMZ to see if she could see my family stalking KFed. Meanwhile I got another text from Bethany saying that my Mom had just run up to him and had taken his picture. Now, my Mom will take pics of anything and everything..... I still wasn't sure if it was really KFed. Once, my Mom took a picture of me because she thought I was the Hamburgler.... granted I was holding a hamburger in each hand and was dressed in the Hamburgler costume for a family celebration of McDonalds... but still - my point is that she isn't as in to celebrities as me and I wondered how in the world my Mom even knew who KFed was.

But later that night.... pics were posted on TMZ that Britney was with her sons in the Magic Kingdom ( the same time as my parents!) And you know that KFed is never too far behind Britney... because she pays him A LOT. Hey Britney... I will watch your boys for $5000 a day.. in fact I would do it for $1000 a day. Anyway, here is the infamous picture of KFed sitting at the pool bar waiting for his kids to return. I wonder what he thought of my Mom running up and taking his pic... aka "Lady in the Blue Coat". ( That nickname for my Mom needs a blog post all to itself...... and it WILL happen one day... just not today)

If you have any questions about this celebrity sighting... feel free to ask me and I will find out the answer.

Up next.... the circus! and St. Patrick's Day.....

Thursday, March 12, 2009

What's Red, Crusty, and Tastes Good Dipped in Butter?

You are wrong if you guessed a lobster. The answer is me. That's what you get for sitting in the sun too long. Well, actually I am half lobster/half pale human. ( That sounds like a character on one of Kev's Sci Fi shows. ) Really only half of me sat in the sun too long.... the other half was shaded. That peculiar "laying out" technique resulted in me having one extremely burned leg, arm, left side of stomach, left side of neck, and left foot. This isn't the first time I achieved this look. Once when I was cruising the local Waffle House on a Friday afternoon... I had one arm and one leg hanging out the window... you know.. just to be cool. It resulted in this same kind of burn. I don't know if it is better to tell folks that I have no idea how to lay out properly or if I was cruising downtown Gaston again. I feel doomed either way. I've always had issues with the sun.... I can't ever seem to get an even tan. There are always hand prints of sunblock, weird stripes, strange patterns.... It is just how I roll.

I have been off for the last two days.... and it has been amazing! See... I have this little problem called insomnia. Well, it's more of a big problem.... so much so that Kev created a chart to motivate me to sleep. Every night that I could stay in the bed for the entire night... I would get a star. (He also created another chart to motivate me to stop wetting the bed.... but that story is for another time ) If I could get just one week of stars... then I would get a prize. Well, let's just say that I have NEVER received a prize.... for sleeping or for not wetting the bed. There is nothing I can do about it.... except to relax and not have anything to drink after 8pm. My mind is always going a mile a minute. The tiniest piece of info can get me going.... and it takes forever to shut it down. When I was little, I was always afraid of falling asleep ( thanks Freddy Krueger) and my Mom would tell me to think happy thoughts.... like puppies, balloons, cupcakes, Kevin break dancing... etc. She said it would relax me. I still try doing this to this day... but all it does now is make me want a puppy, wish I had a helium tank, want to eat, and to perform the "worm" perfectly in hopes that I can join Kev's break dancing crew - "Kool Kev and the Kardboard Kats". Seriously though, it can be about work, family, our house..... even something as simple as a tv show. We always watch E! News right before we fall asleep... and last night they announced that a major character on LOST will be killed off. Kev said... "there goes your sleep". He was right.
The point that I'm trying to make here is that my days off are crucial to my survival. And having two days in a row ( which is out of the ordinary) is even better. That means I have one day for catching up on sleep and one day for accomplishing my chores. Yesterday was sleep and rest day. I never even left the house. This is who I spent my day with....

His name is Doodles the Dolphin. Kev got him for me last year. He takes the place of Bethany since she moved away to Florida. The plus side of Doodles is that he not only keeps me company.... but he also chlorinates the pool (and he doesn't get water everywhere when he goes to the bathroom). Bethany could not ever seem to do that even though she tried.... Sangria is not the same as chlorine!

I also saved a caterpillar's life yesterday! It was one of those cute and fuzzy caterpillars... the kind that looks like they are constantly smiling. It kept crawling to the edge of the pool and would look in... except one time he lost his grip and slipped right in. I immediately ran over and scooped him out. My plan was to give him mouth to mouth... but one look at my teeth headed in his direction scared him back to life. He smiled at me and crawled away. My sisters used to LOVE those caterpillars when we were little. They filled a bucket full of them.... and then carried them in the house. It just happened to be a Wednesday and we had to get to church so the caterpillar bucket was left on the floor of their bedroom. No harm in that... right? WRONG! When we got home... they were everywhere!! Even weeks later, my Mom was still finding them inside of clothes in their dresser drawers. Now that I think about it... two days after the incident I had a new sister.... coincidence? I mean my Mom was birthing babies every other day... but I don't remember helping her with this one. Is this why Kristen only eats leaves?

This was my other responsibility today..... finding a cure for Peachy Keen!

She is our peach tree. We did not realize that we had a peach tree until last year (The first year that we lived here there was a late freeze in the Spring and all of our blooms died). Can you even imagine my delight that I had a peach tree in my back yard. There are SOOOO many things you can do with peaches - but eating them is my favorite! I waited all summer to make a peach cobbler.... but when I finally went to make it... we realized that the peach tree had not been properly cared for and all of the peaches were rotten. Except for the ones that my Dad ate ... right off the tree... before they were ripe. Remember... he is from Kentucky. So, this year, Kev gave me the responsibility to find out how to care for the tree. We can make a pretty penny selling peaches at the pawn shop... don't you think? Well, I went to Lowe's today and talked to a guy who knows about peaches and he sold me some nonsense spray that I hope works. That and apparently spraying the trunk with white latex paint makes a difference. Paint flavored peach cobbler... YUM! I also want to point out that the people who lived here before us planted a palm tree right underneath the peach tree. That ridiculousness will give you a tiny glimpse in to how they did everything with this house. They are both gorgeous trees... but unfortunately are in the middle of a duel for survival because they are crashing in to one another. Wait until you see Peachy Keen fully bloomed. She is so pretty!

Since I never made it out of the house yesterday.... I am just now getting around to baking my Butterfinger cake and breakfast casserole. We are having it tonight and looking forward to it. You better believe I will write about the deliciousness of it in my next post.

And last but not least... I just wanted to tell you how much enjoyment I have gotten out of writing this blog. It has been so much fun to remember and discuss experiences from my childhood... not only with family members but with friends (especially Christen Reed with whom I have discovered several similiarities in our upbringing even though we are 30 years apart in age - how cool is that!). It has also been great letting you in to our crazy but wonderful lives... not to mention that I have been able to prove that Kev exists. See, I'm not crazy... mostly. Anyway, thanks for reading!

Up next.... yummy food, KFed, and the circus comes to town!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Sunshine on My Shoulders Makes Me Happy...

I'm going to go ahead and take a guess that none of you know the song I am referencing in my title. "Sunshine on My Shoulders" by John Denver. I grew up listening to his RECORDS... and by records.. I mean I had an actual record player with real records. It was just like the one on the Flintstones where a bird's beak is what made the record play. I'm older than I look.

So, why the John Denver song? Well, I am sitting outside right now... in the SUNSHINE.... and I had forgotten how happy the sunshine makes me.... and that song just popped in to my head. It is an absolutely gorgeous day! And by absolutely... I mean the prettiest day we've had so far this year. I'm laying out ... in an actual swimsuit (Remember my rule of calling before you come over... I wouldn't want to freak you out). I've got everything I need out here... a glass of tea, my phone, my computer, and cat bird. Yes, that's right.... CAT BIRD is back!! I haven't seen her yet but she is meowing like crazy.... along with all of the other birds that are music to my ears... unless I'm trying to take a nap. And I know what you are thinking.... a phone on the pool deck? That is against the rules after the "Shannon incident of '08"... so Kev got me a water proof phone. It even floats in the pool. Just don't tell him about the computer part.... but actually there isn't a computer mentioned in the "Snyder rule book". So, I'm ok.... for now.

I LOVE the sun... perhaps a little too much. Add a pool or a beach ... and I am thrilled. I have been laying out since I can remember ( which is just since this morning... my memory is starting to fail me) but I'm a little safer about it these days (emphasis on the word "little" because I am already turning red and have only been out for an hour).... because when I was younger, I would literally buy a canister of Crisco and would rub it all over my body and sit outside all day. That is no joke! The consequences of that are:
1. I've aged quickly.... I'm really only 25.
2. I'm in the Guinness Book of World Records under " Most sun damage"
3. I taste like a baked good.
It was all worth it though... I think.... until the day that someone wants to make a designer bag out of me and even then if it makes me a lot of money then it is all good.

I'm officially in my happy place and am so looking forward to the Spring and Summer. Kev worked SO hard last weekend getting the yard and pool ready. He worked SO hard that just thinking about it makes me have to take a nap. Every thing looks amazing!! My outdoor skills are limited to swimming, hula hooping, and climbing trees. Kev knew that when he married me... it was in my contract. I raked leaves once to make money for a Girl Scout trip.. and the guy actually paid me to LEAVE his property. I never actually clean anything up... I just move it around to confuse people. It works... mostly.

Last week was pretty uneventful.... except for all of the celebrations that I posted about. Oh.... and the fact that I have to have my wisdom teeth removed. Kev and I had a dentist appointment on Wednesday. Kev is so cute at the dentist. He walks out in to the waiting area with a grin... not just a regular grin, but a huge one that shows ALL of his teeth. They were all sparkling so much that I had to put my ski mask back on. My ski mask with NO holes cut out for the eyes. Unfortunately, it was very hard to see what happened after that. I was poked and prodded for what seemed like an eternity.... the odd thing was that nothing ever happened to my mouth. At least that was a nightmare that I had while I was still awake..... after I was told that I HAD to get my wisdom teeth taken out IMMEDIATELY! I'm sure you have all read my fears of not being "in control" while being "worked on". I have been putting off this "wisdom teeth" nonsense for years and years but for some reason Kev cannot seem to forget about it. He keeps forgetting my rule of "not speaking unless being spoken to" when he is at the doctor or dentist. He reminded them about my wisdom teeth before I even got there. My eyes literally filled up with tears and my bottom lip started trembling when I made the appointment. Let me tell you something right now..... I WILL NOT BE BRAVE! Unless I get a new lounge chair for the pool.
My appointment is for April 14th.... I'm sure you will hear all about it then.

Also last week I did a lot of cooking. I discovered this wonderful recipe site on my cousin Angela's blog. She makes Paula Deen-esque recipes and wonderful dishes you can take to parties, luncheons, family gatherings... etc. So far I have made the poppyseed chicken ( Kev LOVES this one), Swiss stuffed chicken - yum!, and the lemon roasted chicken, potatoes, and green beans - DELISH! Tonight I am making her Butterfinger Cake. I've never even had a Butterfinger before! Can you believe it! Every one tells me that I will love it... and Angela made it last week with yummy results... so, I'm looking forward to it. I also got another great recipe from Amy Jackson.. Miss Jackson if you're nasty! ( That is a shout out to Janet and not an assumption about your cleanliness) We are trying that tomorrow night and I'll tell you all about it on my next post. And then there is the Vege Burger (sausage) balls that I made last week. I got that recipe from Holly (my sis). They were DELECTABLE! I dipped mine in ranch and Kev dipped his in honey mustard. I accidentally ate all of them.... even the ones set aside for Kev's lunch. I blamed it on Patsy Cline ( our palm tree)... so don't tell him otherwise.

And speaking of our plants... they are doing quite well! Kev truly has a green thumb... and not just because of a fungus. It is so fun to learn that you have a talent later in life.... I'm not saying he is old... just middle -aged. He has such patience and is such a nurturer.... no wonder they (and I) have thrived in his care. Now if only he can find a plant big enough to block the rooster's (aka F@#!ster) view to our yard. He looks through the fence and taunts me with his angry words. I thought laying out topless would scare him off.... but now I think I can hear him laughing.
Well, I guess that is about it for now..... this will be a crazy weekend with Friday the 13th, St. Patty's Day celebrations, and the circus! That's right folks.... I'm going to the circus on Friday! My Mom got me a ticket... she says I have to sit inside of a cannon.... but the ticket was free... so I'm not complaining. I look forward to telling you all about it.

Have a "beautiful sunshiney day"! ( That is a quote from the Brady Bunch Movie)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Oh! The Thinks You Can Think! A tribute to Dr. Suess...

"Think left and think right and think low and think high, Oh the THINKS you can think up only if you try! " This is one of my favorite quotes from Dr. Suess.... that's right... I said Dr. Suess. He has definitely had impact on my life. Are you surprised? It's probably all starting to come together on where my (and my families') sense of humor comes from. I mean is there anything better than silly nonsensical words, rhymes, super imaginative characters and stories... but all that tell a meaningful story? ( OK - I guess mine don't always tell a meaningful story.... but that is beside the point). Nobody can think up the THINKS that Dr. Suess thinks!

March 2, 1904 is Dr. Suess' birthday..... he would have been 105 this year. With all of the celebrating that my family does it would be ridiculous to think that we would pass up the celebration of this amazing story teller.

I was raised on his books.... which is why I mostly speak in rhyme. My Mother is an early childhood education teacher and my Dad is just wild and crazy. So, that mixture creates a love for reading, imagination, creativity, and story telling. One of my earliest memories is of my Dad reading Green Eggs and Ham to me. Now my parents didn't just read.... they read with different voices and excitement. My Dad would read that book and it was almost like being read as a song... it's hard to explain... but you could tell that he got so much enjoyment out of reading. He would laugh SO hard at every story or rhyme or name of a character. He just brought every thing to life. And then Universal Studios in Orlando REALLY brought every thing to life. They have an entire section of their park dedicated to Suess. It is truly magical and is like walking through my childhood. They even have a restaurant that serves green eggs and ham! I highly recommend visiting this place.... as I do with every theme park in Orlando.

My parents passion for reading was definitely passed on to me. I was obsessed with it as a child and would read anything I could get my hands on. I cannot even explain the excitement I would get when the Schoolastic magazine would be handed out at school. My mom would let me choose a couple of books and I would barely have the patience to wait for them to come in. And then there is the library.... you could have given me a sleeping bag, a pillow, and some fun dip ( I'm anxious to know how many of you know what that is) and told me that I would be living there from now on.... and I would have been thrilled!! In school, I would get to go every week. In the summer I could go every other day. My Mom was always taking us to the library to check out books. A room full of books makes my eyes light up and my tummy say howdy! ( I don't know why my tummy would say howdy unless I thought the books were food - I imagine that a lot of things are food because I am usually hungry). Barnes and Noble is like Disney World to me. I could spend hours and hours in there and have the time of my life.... but I do have job and a husband... so, I HAD to start collecting books instead. And by HAD, I mean I was forced to collect as many books as I could get my hands on. Here is a pic of SOME of the books I have collected... and by SOME I mean there are SO many more that I don't have room for - but don't tell Kev.

I have experienced SO many places, times, and events - I have learned more from reading than I ever did in school .... (because I have a hard time focusing, paying attention, and sitting still...when Kev tries to teach me something, his voice sounds like Charlie Brown's teacher). I am great at predicting the outcome on any CSI, NCIS, or Criminal Minds due to my skills learned from Nancy Drew. My talent for churning butter, catching fish, and making friends with wildlife is due to Laura Ingalls Wilder. Wishing I could cast spells on people who are rude and arrogant comes from my readings of Harry Potter. But ultimately I owe all of my talents to to Dr. Suess
who made it fun to read.

I did not realize the other great thing about Dr. Suess until I was an adult. His books actually have incredible meaning and thoughtful stories. They are not just about silliness and rhyming...

Green Eggs and Ham teaches open mindedness.

The Lorax teaches the importance of caring for the environment

Oh, The Thinks You Can Think teaches creativity and imagination

The Sneetches teaches to not have prejudice - every one is equal

and the list goes on......

I encourage you all to read these books to your children and future children.... especially if you want them to turn out like me! :-) Ok..... hopefully that last statement did not scare you away from reading them.... because they are truly educational and amazing. I would love to have just a smidge of the talent Dr. Suess did.

Remember when I told you that you can stop by my parent's house on any given day... look in the window.. and they will be celebrating something. Well, this pic should prove to you that it is true! On March 2nd I stopped by to discover "The Cat in the Hat" and all of the kids celebrating the work and talent of Dr. Suess. My Mom actually dresses up as the Cat in the Hat every year and goes to the kid's schools to read. How cool is that! She ensures that a love for reading is passed from generation to generation....
And to finish the celebration.... Kev and I had green eggs and ham for dinner!
Happy Birthday Dr. Suess!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Are you famous if you have the same birthday as Jon Bon Jovi?

That is the million dollar question.... the question I asked my Mom the day she gave birth to my sister, Holly Suzanne. On March 2, 1977 I remember daydreaming about what it would be like to run my fingers through Jon's glorious locks while singing happy birthday to him Marilyn Monroe style. I was brought back to reality when my Nana entered the room to tell me I had a new sister. Now, Holly was my second sister. I was already accustomed to acting obnoxious to get attention... a strategy I still perform to this, I wasn't too concerned about how her birth would affect me. But I should have been.....

Holly and I shared a room for many years. It was a Raggedy Ann/Holly Hobbie room. Yes, of course, we all had a special theme that we collected from curtains to underwear. That way you never got confused on what things belonged to you. The themes were as follows....

Kim - Raggedy Ann

Shannon- Betsy Clark (most of you probably don't know who that is.... and they stopped making her stuff a long time, Shannon switched to Strawberry Shortcake.

Holly- Holly Hobbie

Kristen- Peter Rabbit

David- Snoopy

Bethany- Carebear

If we all liked the same thing... such as Strawberry Shortcake... then we would pick a character that represented us and we would collect everything with that character. I was Blueberry Muffin....(she smelled so good and I always had to remind myself not to eat her.) Everything was always very organized... and it was also easy to know if someone took something of yours - which of course, would result in a battle... which would result in my parents making us hug one another and say "I love you". That was the worst punishment.... I would have rather been spanked. Why would you want to tell a sibling that you loved them when they took your favorite toy? I guess that was the point of the punishment.

When Holly was young, I was more of a nurturer... always wanting to take care of her and such. When she became a teenager our relationship turned in to a friendship. We would go out to dinner, go shopping, listen to music... etc. She is hilarious... by the way! Always the entertainer. We used to go on these month long cross country trips when we were younger. We had a huge "bus" ( everyone had their own bench) that would pull our pop up camper. We didn't have ipods, dvd players, game boys... we just had our imaginations and talent for performing. Everyone except for Holly would gather on my bench. We would watch her perform puppet shows, karaoke, tell jokes... it was crazy entertainment. I will never forget her performance of "red red wine" by the UB40's performed as a Muppet. Priceless!

She is also an amazing commentator! You will never experience the zoo, a tour, sitting in the car the same way again. She always makes up stories, voices, and words for any one around her. We have video tape after video tape of us on historical tours where she is telling her own story. I'm telling you.... you will laugh so hard around her that your eyes will pop out!

Things we have in common.....

1. We both LOVE to cook. She really got in to the whole recipe collecting, creative cooking before I did. She went all out for my 20th birthday and made me a Mexican dinner that my mouth still waters for. She is a vegetarian and she can still cook MEAT! That's a pretty cool talent! She just sent me a recipe for vegetarian sausage balls! I'm actually making them tonight and can't wait! Me and Kev LOVE appetizers.... so much so that we have appetizer dinners quite often...(just like Cher in the movie Mermaid). You can imagine that sausage balls are one of our favorites. With this recipe (made with vege burgers chopped up instead of sausage) it will be healthier and as Holly says... it can sit out on the counter all day or you can carry a ball around in your pocket without having to worry about the meat going bad. That is TWO wins in one recipe. I love to keep food in my pocket in case I have an emergency of hunger... and with real sausage balls, I would always have a grease stain on my pocket. That is not very appropriate for where I work.

For the record, she says she too can only cook quantities for a family of eight. It is that fear we have of running out of food.... even though we never ran out growing up. Maybe it is because we lived during the depression... who knows.

2. We both like a lot of the same music.... old country, Dixie Chicks, Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch. I've always loved music and dancing... except not dancing in public. I dance for very few people.... my family, Kev, and some of the girls at work - if they are very lucky! I can do the moonwalk, the soldja boy, and the boot scoot boogie. I taught Holly all of these dances. She tells me that she used to put on my favorite pair of pants ( bright yellow and black checked ) and would dance around in them while I was at work. This was not recently, by the way, as I'm sure that is what you are thinking. It was when I was in highschool. I had a 80's wardrobe to die for!

3. We both have a pet named Kevin. :-)

4. We both have an intense drive to succeed. We have a strong work ethic and competitive nature. We both had jobs at a very early age and were determined to be independent. We also have a "we can do nothing in moderation" policy. Once we get involved in something.... we are involved hook, line, and sinker. ( that example was super cheesy.... but leads me in to my next commonality.. sort of)

5. We both do NOT like swimming in the ocean... or lake... or sewer systems. The only ocean I felt ok swimming in was when I was on the North Shore in Hawaii. It was so beautiful and clear and you could see right down to the bottom. I refuse to swim in water I cannot see in to. REFUSE! I was doing just fine ... floating around.... and then this boy yells... "hey lady! there is a sea turtle swimming under you". Every one else thought it was so cool and starting diving down to see it. Well.... I made a complete fool of myself. I started screaming and kicking my legs all around and flashed my chest to anyone that cared ( which was NO ONE, by the way). We were in pretty deep water and the turtle was WAY down at the bottom... couldn't touch me and probably wouldn't if given the chance... because I am so ridiculous! They had to pull me out of the water with a crane - a huge piece of construction equipment and not a bird. My family would not let me sit on their picnic blanket after that... I had to eat in the car.

What we do NOT have in common....

1. Holly is a SERGEANT in the ARMY! How cool is that!!! She was once in retail like me... we even worked for the same company (me in Columbia and her in Louisville, KY). With the ever changing retail market... she suddenly decided to join the army. Now I would have maybe decided to be a chef, a pro volleyball player, or a Sasquatch before I would have joined the Army... it totally freaks me out. But not Holly... she is so independent and tough and is AMAZING at what she does! We are SO proud of her and all she has accomplished... not to mention what she does for our country! She was stationed in Hawaii first... that is where she met her husband of 3 years - Kris Craighead. Now they are stationed in Cuba. The scenery is amazing and they have a beautiful home. They also have adopted a dog named Poncho. His real name was Kevin but Holly changed it for fear there would be confusion if Kev and the dog were in the same room together and one of them pooped on the floor. The crazy thing about it is that I call Kevin... Poncho when we are eating Mexican food. I'm starting to wonder if they are the same person/dog.

She has also learned many uses for Cuban cigars.

2. She is a vegetarian... as I mentioned before. I could never be one of those kinds of people. I was born with such huge strong teeth... and it would be a waste to only use them on bread, cheese, and pasta. There are FOUR vegetarians in my family.... Holly, Kristen, and Bethany and Kristen's son Elijah. My Mom always says that they are vegetarian for very different reasons... Holly is because she hates the taste of meat. Kristen is because of her love for animals ( Elijah feels the same way) and Bethany is because she wants to be difficult and annoying. I believe everything my Mom says... mostly.

I'm sure she could tell you a lot more things that we do NOT have in common for fear of being associated with a "civilian". But that's ok.... I LOVE my Holls, Hoshtie, HollDoll, and Hamburgler. I hope you had a great birthday!

This is a pic of my family.... a million years ago. Holly is the one on the far right sitting in front of my Dad. This pic was taken at my Aunt Laurie's house in Georgetown SC. I bet you can't guess which one I am.... hint: BIG TEETH! :-)

PS- I will be going to visit Holly in a couple of weeks.... not in Cuba - they won't allow me to enter the country- but in Florida. Stay tuned for some great Switzer shenanigans!

Birthdays, Beards and GO BIG BLUE!

This is my "Pops". Born March 4, 1949. If you are good at math like he is.... then you know that he is turning 60 this week. 60! It is so hard to believe! Here is a glimpse in to the

life of William David Switzer, Sr. and the celebration we hosted for him this weekend.

My Dad was born in Paducah, KY to Bill and Bettye Switzer. I'm pretty sure he was born in a barn on top of a horse with a wildcat by his side. That is pretty much all I know of Kentucky.... barns, the Kentucky Derby and the greatest basketball team of all time.... The Kentucky Wildcats! ( Sorry USC folks... but it is true!) AND contrary to popular belief... he was born without a beard! I posted the pic above to prove it. In fact... he is one of the cutest babies I have ever seen.

Here are some known facts about my Dad....

1. He was born a girl but kissed his elbow in elementary school and turned in to a boy. I cannot even tell you how many times I tried to do this.... hoping to change my gender so I could stand up to go the bathroom. I obviously couldn't get it to work.

2. When his shoes would wear out on the bottom he would tie smashed coke cans to the bottoms to replace the soles. This way his shoes would last for years. This is what he told me every time I wanted new shoes.

3. He went to school with a guy named Ben Dover. Say that last sentence out loud and you will get why that story is so funny???? He tells that story to anyone who will listen.

4. He can steal your nose right off of your face. It's true! I've seen him do it a thousand times. He holds it up in the air and will only put it back on if you promise good behavior. Obviously I made a lot of promises I couldn't keep....either that or my nose is a will have to figure that one out on your own!

Here are some things that I have in common with my Dad...

1. My LOVE for thrill rides... roller coasters and amusement parks. From the time the park opens to after it closes.... he will be there running from ride to ride. I was riding roller coasters with him as soon as I reached the "must be this high to ride" sign. I was three and was wearing high heels... but still. Some of my best memories are of me and my Dad choosing our last ride of the night and running to get there.

2. My love for telling stories.... some true and some not. He tells the best stories.... and I would (and sometimes still) believe every word. For example: He would plant green beans in old tennis ball cans to ensure they would grow straight up in the garden. I asked him about it once... and he told me that he was growing tennis balls. I thought that was the coolest thing in the world and I told all of my friends. That was last year. Or the time he told us if you put my Mom's wooden fruit centerpiece in the fridge over night... it would produce fresh fruit. Sure enough... the centerpiece would be back on the table in the morning and we would have fruit for breakfast. It is amazing the amount of creativity and imagination we were raised with... every single one of us has the gift of story telling which makes for very interesting conversations. You seriously never know what is real and what isn't. I'm sure those of you who work with me can attest to that!

3. My love for hot/spicy foods.... the hotter the better... and really just my love for food in general. My Dad will put an ENTIRE packet of crushed red pepper flakes on ONE slice of pizza! That is TRUE... I have seen it with my own eyes! We have never met a buffet we didn't like. Food eating contests would happen regularly... and still do. He also loves to try new things and will eat anything! The food highlight of his life was when we ate at Norway in Epcot. He was laughing and smiling so much that the food was literally falling right back out of his mouth! You can ask Kev.... I don't think we have ever seen him so happy. Now Kev is Norwegian... so obviously I love Norwegians... but their food ... not so much.

4. My high testosterone levels and insane hair growth. My Dad can make his hair grow by just thinking about it. It is ridiculous! When we first moved to Columbia in 1991, we had a neighbor stop by to introduce herself. All of us answered the door at the same time ( I know that sounds weird... but we were excited to be here) and her response was "oh my goodness, there is so much hair!". We have spent our lives unclogging shower drains. When my Dad sold me to Kev at the pawn shop, I came with a note that said "plumber required for her maintenance". Kev obviously didn't believe it and has been paying the price ever since.

5. My sense of humor. I was raised on laughter and I can't imagine any other way of living. You can count on my Dad to always be telling a joke, making a funny comment, or acting crazy to get attention. We never even had a chance to be sad or sick... my Dad would do anything for a laugh and before you knew it -you would be feeling much better. I remember having to call my Dad to come pick me up from school because I was sick. Sometimes I was... but mostly I wasn't.... I just wanted to go home from school. And he knew that. So, the minute I would get in the car.. he would start with the jokes. I would try so hard not to laugh... but laughing is my absolute favorite thing to do... and once it starts you can't stop it. So, I would laugh... and then he would determine that I wasn't really sick and would take me back to school. After a couple of times... I learned to stay at school and not be "fake" sick. Laughter is TRULY the BEST medicine!
Our family get togethers are loud, obnoxious and FUN! It is quite the experience and one I hope you will get to participate in. It took Kev a couple of months to get used to us.... but after a crazy experience in a McDonalds in Gatlinburg.... he has been one of us ever since. Kev's laughter is music to my ears.... loud music... but great music!
On with the birthday celebration.....

So, my Mom surprised my Dad with a week long trip to DisneyWorld..... their second home. This trip involved all of my Dad's favorites.... staying at the Animal Kingdom lodge, eating at his favorite restaurants, even going on a "backstage" safari tour. It sounded so awesome... but we all were not going to be able to go. Not to mention that my Dad has a lot of friends that wanted to celebrate his birthday with him. You know that my Dad is a sports nazi. He plays on two softball teams, tennis, basketball.... and I think he is also a horse jockey, race car driver, and pole vaulter... I'm telling you.. he is intense. By the way, I do NOT have a sports talent in common with him!
Anyway, we started brainstorming on ideas. Kev worked with the guys and I worked with the girls.... and we came up with a SURPRISE party at our house. Now those of you who know us know that we don't have people out very fact, most of you have not even been out here. Not because we are rude.... we are just busy and like to wear our pajamas A LOT. Having a party out here would be the last thing my Dad suspected. Every one pulled together and chipped in. We did a cookout with all of my Dad's favorites. Everything was decorated with blue and white - for Kentucky. I even did a three tiered tower of blue and white airbrushed cupcakes.... ( have I ever mentioned that I LOVE cupcakes and LOVE making them... so cute!) He was SO surprised! One of his best friends got him an "old timers" hat that had all kinds of old people things on it (like skin chips, crankiness, and dust). That is what he has on in the picture. There was so much laughter! It was great to meet some of his friends and hear all the crazy stories of shenanigans my Dad has gotten in to.

We luckily prevailed over the bad weather and had a wonderful celebration! As I was typing this post... Bethany sent me a pic of my Dad standing in front of the Animal Kingdom wearing a shirt that says "It's my birthday" with all of the Disney characters on it. He has the biggest smile on his face.... the biggest one I ever seen this side of the Mississippi. Happy Birthday Pops!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

A Week of Randomness ....wrapping up February

It is already March..... the start of Spring! At least in my mind it is the start of Spring - I have no idea when it really starts because I refuse to look at calendars. I don't even know what year it is... On New Year's Eve of 1989, I made a mental note to never look at the date again. I was too afraid of what the future held for fashion and music. Clearly I had a right to be afraid... but that explanation is for another time.

So, Spring started today.... but yet I woke to wild winds, torrential rain and HAIL! Now let me just tell you that storms freak me out.... always have and always will. Once when I was young and living in Alabama..... there was a possible tornado WARNING... emphasis on the possible and warning - nothing definite and for sure. Well, I didn't think that my parents were taking it seriously. My Dad laughs in the face of storms... almost like the storm is challenging him to a duel.... a duel that he refuses to lose. My Dad is threatened by NOTHING... except for obnoxious teenage daughters of which he had too many and even then I wouldn't call it a threat but a nuisance. So, I started to panic... and by panic I mean FREAK OUT! I ran down the street to my friend's house to see what her parents thought about it. Well, much to my delight, they were concerned. I invited myself over and then ran home to pack up my valuables as fast as I could. Now I am EXTREMELY sentimental! I packed my photo albums, my kindergarten graduation certificate ( you never know when you are going to need that to get a job), my Little House on the Prairie books, my bronzed baby shoe, and my Strawberry Shortcake doll. Only the VERY important things could go... I had to carry all of this down the street - by myself. As I was leaving the house, my Dad was putting up tents in the yard and daring the tornado to ruin our backyard family camp out. And guess what... NOTHING EVER HAPPENED - Not a thing! Ok - so I overreact. A LOT! There is nothing I can do about it. 50 years later... and I still act the same way about storms. And this morning... it was LOUD and scary and sounded like the world was about to I decided that I better get my buns to church. And I did and it was a great service. But now it is supposed to snow tonight.... SNOW in MARCH! What is the world coming to?

I don't even think you realize how much is going on in March.... and at the rate I post stories, I better get my act together! Let me just give you a tiny glimpse in to our month of madness...Sister's birthday (Holly), Dr. Suess' birthday, Dad's Birthday, Sister's anniversary (Kris), Friday the 13th-AGAIN!!!!!, St. Patrick's Day, Trip to Disney with Sister home from Cuba (Holly), and Father -in- Law's Birthday. That doesn't even account for all of the shenanigans we get in to on a regular every day basis. You had better start setting aside time to read because you will have a lot of it to do.

I don't feel that I can move on until I finish out February..... I have only been posting for a month..... it feels like a lifetime except for the fact that I have only posted 9 times! I don't know how people post more than that.... my hands would be in so much pain that I would not be able to tease my bangs or play guitar hero. Did I ever tell you that I have a mild case of carpal tunnel? Well, I do. It is from too much "jazz handing" and "spirit fingering" throughout my life. I have a lot of things to celebrate - I'm very excitable!

So, to recap last week and finish out the month - here are the things that are worthy of my blogging...

1. The Oscars - always a huge event in our house. We LOVE movies... except for these days we watch them mainly on Netflix - which means we usually haven't seen most of the movies up for awards unless someone pulled a Kramer ( from Seinfeld) and recorded them in the theater.... and then we would refuse to watch them! That IS stealing by the way! And not only is stealing WRONG but stolen movies damage your electronics - it is a known fact! So, we hadn't seen any of the movies.... but we are HUGE celebrity junkies... and we will watch the movies... eventually!

In 1995, I entered an Oscar contest with B106. I had to fill out a questionnaire about who would win each award AND estimate how long the Oscars would be in case of a tie breaker. The winning prize was $106.00!! You are never going to believe this.... BUT I WON! They actually tried to call me at work to surprise me on the radio.... but I didn't go in until 10 and they had already announced the winner. I got EVERY single award right and guessed the length of the show within 5 minutes! That was the year of Braveheart, Apollo 13, Babe... etc. I was SO excited ..... and then I got a speeding ticket the next week and had to use the money to pay for it. So, really Lexington County won the contest. They have won a lot of "contests" from me... but who is counting.

I'm sure you are all assuming that I had an Oscar "themed" party. Well, I would have but I've tried it in the past and Kev absolutely will NOT dress appropriately! It is so annoying! For years I would send him an invitation stating "black tie event". He would show up wearing nothing but a black tie AND that does NOT count! Have you ever tried to interview someone on the red carpet when they are nude? It is hard to know where to look.

Even without a celebration, I still enjoyed the show! I'm definitely interested in seeing most of the movies represented... especially the Curious Case of Benjamin Button. AND I was thrilled that Heath won an Oscar! He is my favorite actor. I was touched by the acceptance speech his family gave but wish he was here to accept it himself.

2. I figured out how to use leftover beef broth in a super delicious way. One of our New Year's resolutions was to not be wasteful of food. I have always overbought... made too much.... you get the picture. Basically, there was LOTS of food going in the trash every week. Ridiculous! So, I have tried to be mindful of my meal planning and food prep. To honor my resolution, I even ate a yogurt that had been sitting outside of the fridge for two days!! People warned me to throw it away... but I have a secret super power.... A STOMACH OF STEAL! I was born with it... it comes from my Dad. He was born in Kentucky - you would not believe the things people eat there! When I was in Jr. High, kids would pay me money to eat strange things. SERIOUSLY! I started working for money at an early age. Now I am sure that you all know how "strange" school cafeteria food is... unless you were home schooled and if you were then you will just have to trust me. The other kids would mix things up - like applesauce and salisbury steak - and I would eat it. I like to entertain... it's in my blood!

So, my problem is that I will buy beef or chicken broth for a recipe - which will only require 1/2 cup. It really bugged me to not have another use for it - and usually you only have about two weeks before it expires. And then I found the perfect recipe.... wild mushroom and onion soup. You basically cook some sliced onions in olive oil, throw in fresh mushrooms, spices and simmer it all in beef broth. DELISH! Add a fresh salad and some garlic cheese bread and you will have a delightful meal.

#3. Kev surprised me with two new additions to our family.... Skyler and Bear.

Aren't they beautiful! I have been wanting hanging plants forever! He also replanted all of our plants... some of them in beautiful yellow flower pots to match the kitchen. We now have a total of 9 plants. My 7 year old nephew Elijah was over on Saturday and told me that he knew about my plants and that they had names because he reads my blog. He must think his aunt and uncle are crazy. :-)

4. And speaking of Elijah being over on Saturday.... we had a party.... a surprise party! But for who and what for... you will have to wait until the next post.

Well, that about wraps up February. We have really enjoyed blogging so far and appreciate all of you reading! Stay tuned for more adventures.....