Friday, November 16, 2012

November 16, 2012: Blog Hopping Friday

I have to say, I simply cannot believe that Thanksgiving is less than a week away. Where does the time go? Today is my kids' last day of school before they get an entire week off. Again, I have to say that I'm really looking forward to that. Life is so much more uncomplicated when I get to keep my family home with me.

Getting to the point...

  1. My best quality is my honesty. If you ask my opinion, you can rest assured that I'll tell you like it is.
  2. One of my less flattering qualities is my amazing ability to hold a grudge. I always think that by letting things go, I'm letting someone take advantage of me or get away with being a terrible person to me.
  3. I'd rather be drinking coffee than tea this morning. But I'm changing my ways and having morning tea instead of coffee. That doesn't mean that I've stopped drinking coffee, it's just that I'm trying to start my day with green tea which is detoxifying rather than stopping up my system with coffee first thing in the morning. We'll see how it goes.
  4. Something I have been challenged with lately is keeping up with NaBloPoMo. I gave up on the one picture a day thing on Instagram. I've had an extremely rough week and have given myself two mulligans with NaBloPoMo. Take that NaBloPoMo.
  5. I am looking forward to my kids having school off this next week and Thanksgiving dinner.
  6. A super random factoid about me is I am sad that Hostess is going out of business. I don't remember the last time that I had a Twinkie, but it was somehow comforting knowing they were out there if I ever had a craving.
  7. I want to have an entire room filled with books and yarn. I want this room to have a secret door that only I know where it is. It would have an entire wall that is floor to ceiling windows that look out over green rolling hills as far as the eye could see. And it would be soundproof.

This week's Five Question Friday is being guest hosted by Kate at Kate's Life.

  1. What snacks/drinks do you eat at the movies? I always have a soda and buttered popcorn. Then I have either Sour Patch Kids or Twizzlers. Sometimes I'll have Raisinets but usually it's Sour Patch Kids or Twizzlers.
  2. What's one food you refuse to ever try? The reproductive organs of any animal. I'd rather eat bugs first. 
  3. What's your favorite nail polish color? This is such an easy question for me. I absolutely love Essie's Scarlet O'Hara. It's the most perfect red and I get compliments almost every time I wear it. 
  4. What's your favorite Thanksgiving tradition? Making and eating dinner. Everyone in my little family helps out. And of course, eating it is always good.
  5. What are your least favorite words in the English language? Entitled because I dislike people who figure they're entitled to everything without following rules and regulations or having to actually work for it. Smile because it sounds funny when I say it. Same goes for drawer too. Any word that I mispronounce because I hate mispronouncing words.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Three Blogs I Always Read


Scrolling through my subscriptions, I think it would be easier to find three blogs that I used to always read. Blogging has pretty much reached it's peak and gone beyond it and a lot of my favorite blogs haven't been updated in ages. :(


The Bloggess

Tudor History Blog

Wine Harlots

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Style Inspiration for the Season


Something I'm Proud Of

My restraint. This day made it into the top ten worst days of my life and I didn't kill, run over, or beat anyone. No matter how much they could've used a bitch slap to the face. And I don't want to talk about it so don't ask.

Monday, November 12, 2012

The Last Item I Purchased

I am such a very boring person. The last thing I purchased was dinner at Weinerschnitzel. Something slightly more interesting than that is the thing I purchased before that. Say hello to Click & Grow.

If you know me at all or have followed my blog at all, you know that I have a brown thumb. I kill everything I try to grow with the exception of cactus and succulents. If I don't kill it, snails do. Well, I can grow an obscene amount of tomatoes. So many tomatoes that I still have nightmares about them. Overall, I am just a plain old unsuccessful gardener/horticulturalist which is a shame because I love plants, flowers, herbs, and homegrown veggies. 

I heard about Click & Grow around some social networking something. Probably Twitter. It sounded pretty foolproof so I decided to give it a try. I got my kit in the mail on Thursday, rushed it into the house, and broke it out of its box. Setting it up was extremely simple. A mere five days of being turned on and watered and I already have sprouts!! I just noticed today that I had life in my pod. Woot!!

If my cockscomb grow well, I will definitely be ordering more plant cartridges. I love that this combines my obsession with technology with my want to grow things. I also really like the speed with which I received my order on Nov 2nd and it delivered on Nov 8th. They were also really good with order and shipment confirmation. I appreciate speed, accuarcy, and being kept in the know.

Keep your fingers crossed that my batteries don't die and that I don't get a rogue snail that kill my sprouts.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Three Years Ago Today


I have to stop and figure out what that year is. November 11, 2009. I looked back through old blog posts to see what I was up to and luckily, I posted pretty regularly and I can tell you exactly what I was doing on this day three years ago:  vacationing at the Outer Banks. It was our last OBX vacation before we moved back to California. It was also when Nor'Ida rolled through which was pretty memorable.

I love California, in particular, San Diego. It's home as no place has been for many years. But, North Carolina's beaches are beautiful, especially at the Outer Banks and I miss vacationing at the OBX. San Diego's beaches are beautiful too, but in a more dramatic way with its cliffs and bluffs and huge waves. North Carolina's beaches are serene and warm and more welcoming in my opinion.

Ugh. This post has made me depressed. I miss having an annual vacation!!!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

A Favorite Recipe

First off, Happy 237th Birthday to the US Marine Corps and to all Marines, past and present, who have served their country with dignity and honor.

Now, I have a LOT of favorite recipes. I share them on Pinterest, this blog, and Facebook from time to time. In honor of the fact that fall has finally arrived to San Diego (it's rained off and on the past couple days with temps only in the 60s) I'm going to share a recipe from Cooking Light that always gets play at my house during the colder months. It's from their January 2006 issue which means we've been having this for almost seven years now. In fact, we're going to be having it sometime in the next week. It takes a little prep time since you have to make the sausage yourself, but with using ground pork and ground turkey, it's super lean, very tasty, and worth the extra effort.


  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Hungarian sweet paprika
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons dry red wine
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons ancho chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • Dash of kosher salt
  • 3/4 pound lean ground pork
  • 3/4 pound ground turkey breast
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups diced onion (about 2 medium)
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 3 canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, minced
  • 4 (15-ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained, divided
  • 3 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth, divided
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 (14.5-ounce) cans no salt-added diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/4 cup very finely chopped cilantro, divided
  • Low-fat sour cream (optional)
  • Sliced green onions (optional)


To prepare sausage, combine first 12 ingredients in a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
To prepare chili, heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add sausage mixture; cook 7 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Add onion, 1 tablespoon cumin, 1 tablespoon garlic, 2 teaspoons oregano, and chiles; cook 4 minutes or until onion is tender. Place 1 1/2 cups black beans and 1 cup broth in a food processor; process until smooth. Add puréed beans, remaining beans, remaining 2 cups broth, water, and tomatoes to pan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer, partially covered, 45 minutes or until slightly thick. Stir in juice and cilantro. Ladle about 1 3/4 cups chili into each of 6 bowls. Garnish each serving with sour cream and sliced green onions, if desired.

Friday, November 09, 2012

November 9, 2012: Blog Hopping Friday

  1. I like spending time with my husband. He's been on leave this week and it's been really nice hanging out together.
  2. A life goal of mine is to travel and see the things I've only read about in books or seen on television.
  3. The last thing you would ever expect me to like (even though I secretly do) is I have no idea. I'm pretty open about all my many obsessions. I like video games, sci fi, reading almost every genre of book I can get my hands on, and I'm an openly, unashamed, nerd. What else is there to keep secret? Hmm. I don't think I've ever talked about how I like lizards. There ya go.
  4. Some wise words that I love are let people's well-intentioned, yet busybody, judge-y advice go in one ear and out the other.
  5. Most mornings you will find me with iPad in hand, reading my e-mail and checking on Facebook while the kids get ready for school.
  6. Right now I am super into The Walking Dead, Of Monsters and Men, The Lumineers, and writing.
  7. Right now I am super over democrats and republicans and daylight savings. When will this country put an end to daylight savings???

1. If you had c-section do you wish you would have had vaginal? Or vice versa?  I've never had a c-section and don't wish that I had. I wouldn't want the long recovery time.

2. If vaginal did you go drug free? For the Oldest, I had a shot of Demerol which I regretted. For the Youngest, I didn't have anything. My labors were both too short for an epidural.

3. Did you have any complications? Nope.

4. Who was in the delivery room with you? For the Oldest, I remember having the Mister in the room with me. I think I told everyone else to get the hell out. For the Youngest, I had my mom. The Mister was in California and I was in Ohio and he didn't have time to fly out.

5. Did you document your labor and delivery? (Photos, videos, etc.) Photos.

6. Pick the birth story of one of your children and tell us ALLLLLLLL about it! I'd really rather not. Both of my labors were mostly normal and definitely short.

I usually do a third blog hop here from Feeling Beachie, however, Hilaryg and her family were severely affected by Sandy and then the Nor'Easter that just hit the east coast. If you haven't already, please take the time to donate to the Red Cross or another reputable relief effort organization. Please keep this family as well as all the many others who were devastated by these storms in your thoughts.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

The Search for a Mythical Pond

I'm skipping today's #30DaysHathNovember. The topic is inspirational quotes. I'm very rarely inspired and quotes that stick out to me are the ironic or funny ones. Not really inspirational. Instead...

Yesterday, the Mister and I dropped the kids off at school and then went for a hike at Mission Trails Regional Park. The last time we went hiking, we saw trail head signs for Shepherd's Pond. The idea of a pond out where we hike is a little unbelievable. It's dry. Really dry. Maybe it's a seasonal pond and is only present during the rainy season. We decided to try hiking to this supposed pond. We went about 1.7 or 1.8 miles before we turned around. It doesn't sound like a lot, but we hadn't been hiking in a couple months and the trails are moderate to challenging. Anyway, at our turnaround spot, we still hadn't seen any evidence of this pond. Our total hike was 3.7 miles with a 555 foot elevation gain. We were going to go again today but Fall has arrived to San Diego, freaking finally, and it's raining today. I'm not big on hiking in the rain and the mud. Hopefully we'll have a chance to go again before the Mister goes back to work on Wednesday.

This is where we turned around. We decided we didn't want to climb back up this hill.

A pretty steep hill. It's probably why my calves are sore today.

We were socked in with fog yesterday. This is the last of it burning off.

Morning view at MTRP

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

A Song for the Day


Little Talks by Of Monsters and Men

Flapper Girl by The Lumineers

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

A Book I'm Reading


I recently discovered author, Rick Riordan. He's responsible for writing the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series which I'm sure a lot of people have heard about since the first book, Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief was made into a movie. I started out reading the first book in Riordan's series Heroes of Olympus. I knew about the Percy Jackson series but I thought they were separate series and they are, to a point. A lot of the same characters from the first series make appearances or are mentioned in the second as are some events. So, my OCD couldn't stand it and I had to read the first book of the Olympians series and I've set aside the Heroes series until I'm finished. Blah blah. Anyway, they're great books. The Greek and Roman mythology in them are fabulous. Riordan's fantasy world is well-developed if a little Harry Potter'ish. I'm finding that I like the Olympians series better because they are told in the first person from Percy's point of view. The first book in the Heroes series is told in the third person from three different character's points of view. There was a lot of internal dialogue and thought and not enough actual character interaction in my opinion.

Something I really like about Riordan's heroes is that most, if not all, have ADHD, dyslexia, or both. As it's explained, the kids have ADHD because they aren't challenged enough by the human world and they have dyslexia because they inherit the ability to read ancient Greek which makes it hard for them to read regular English. I think that's just a great message to send to kids that have these issues: Don't let it hold you back and maybe these conditions are just a unique way in which you view the world around you. Heroes can have ADHD and dyslexia too.

I also like that though there is a certain amount of violence, what with the heroes having to go off on quests against monsters and so forth, it's totally on par with kids and young adults. Supernatural blood, in Riordan's world, is gold ichor. Some monster, when slain, turn into clay, others gold dust. It's things like that that make Riordan's world fantastical and exciting, but not so scary that tweens couldn't read and enjoy either series.

I have to say that I've really enjoyed setting aside some of the heavier reading I've been doing lately to enjoy more lighthearted and somewhat simpler books and just plain fun books.

Monday, November 05, 2012

My Home Town


This is something that my family (The Mister and the kids) and I talk about a lot. Both of my kids were born in the same hospital as I was in Marion, Ohio. The Oldest only lived in Ohio for 26 months of her life and not all in one stretch. The Youngest child only lived in Ohio for four months of her life. I boogied outta there the very moment her pediatrician said it was okay for her to fly. Since leaving Ohio for the last time, they have lived in six different cities/towns. What should they consider their hometown to be? Do they even have one?

I never know how to answer this question for myself either. I lived in Marion until I was 12 then I moved in with my dad in Pleasant Hill where I finished junior high and graduated high school. It was somewhere between five and six years total. While I lived in Marion for a longer amount of time, I graduated high school while living in Pleasant Hill. I suppose I could consider both places to be my hometown because they both have equal importance in my formative years.

Even though I haven't lived in Ohio since 1999 and I have no intention of moving back, I still consider Ohio "home" for technical reasons. Well, for tax reasons. Once the Mister retires from the Marine Corps in five years, we will no longer be able to claim Ohio as our home of record. What then? We're like freaking nomads. Modern day gypsies for cripes sake.

Sunday, November 04, 2012

A Friend I Adore


I have several friends I adore and could never pick just one.

Jennifer S. here in California is my oldest friend. We started out as neighbors walking our kids to preschool and now we're raising our teens. And Jennifer started all over by having a baby a couple months ago, lol. She's the closest thing to family that I have here in California.

Dana in Virginia is a fellow recruiting duty survivor, mother of teens, and mother of a special needs child. Without her support, I wouldn't have made it through recruiting duty. Bottom line. No ifs, ands, or buts about it.

Vanessa in Japan is also a fellow recruiting duty survivor. Her sense of humor is out of this world. The Mister and I still laugh over the story of her taking a hammer to her husband's PlayStation and then throwing it down the stairs. She's also my blog's number one fan.

I have other friends through the years that are as equally special and important, but I'll stop here. I'm getting misty and nostalgic. I miss all of my friends who are scattered across the U.S. and beyond. I pick the very best people as friends.

Writing prompt from 30 Days Hath November.

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Something I Never Leave the House Without

Writing prompt from 30 Days Hath November

Before I had a cell phone, the one thing I never left the house without was my purse. It usually has my driver's license, keys, check card, lip gloss, and gum in it. I say usually because when I'm shopping online, I will get my wallet out so I can have my check card and sometimes I forget to put it all back until I'm out shopping in the real world and realize I have no way to pay for stuff. Also, my kids like to snake my gum from time to time so I don't always have gum with me either. Lip gloss, on the other hand, I have no less than two different kinds/colors at all times.

Nowadays, I panic if I leave my cell phone at home. It must go with me everywhere. What if I get lost or have a flat tire or see a guy on a segway with his dog riding across the handlebars while I'm out? I need my phone to make emergency calls and to take pictures of unsuspecting people. My car also has an iPhone/pod cable so that I can listen to my tunes through my stereo. Who listens to CDs or the radio anymore?? Not me.

Friday, November 02, 2012

November 2, 2012: Blog Hopping Friday

I know most blog hoppers come to my blog via the hosting blogs which link directly to this post. So, I just wanted to bring it up once again that NaBloPoMo and NaNoWriMo started yesterday and run for the month of November. I'm participating in NaNoWriMo and maybe, possibly NaBloPoMo. If I do, I'll be using the prompts from 30 Days Hath November for most days which is a totally fantastic way of coming up with 30 blog posts for November. I'm also participating in #FMSphotoaday / #novphotoaday on Instagram. I hope that some of you will join in on at least one of these challenges. They're fun and a great way of building an online community. Links to these challenges which will take you to more info can be found on my post from yesterday. If you decide to participate in one or all, leave me a comment somewhere and let me know!!

 Now on to the show.

  1. Something I swore I'd never do, but have ended up doing anyway is buy a Coach purse. I've always said that they were the go to purse for military wives and I would never have one but I like them and now I have three. Well, four. Anyway...
  2. Something I've always wanted to do is write a novel, travel to Europe, get my degree. Blah blah.
  3. Something I have absolutely no desire to do is be on television or radio.
  4. The best thing I've ever done was marry my husband.
  5. When it comes to trying new things I am usually hesitant. I'm a creature of habit and trying new things intimidates me. I really hate that about me.
  6. One thing I've never done is beat other people's kids. No matter how much they've deserved it or how much I've been tempted.
  7. My favorite thing to do is read a book.

  1. What terrifies you the most? My kids or my husband getting sick or hurt.
  2. Favorite fall/winter drink? Hot apple cider. I'm going to try mulled wine this year though. I already have the spices, I just need a bottle of wine.
  3. Do you and your spouse have the same political views? For the most part. I'm a left leaning centrist and he's a right leaning centrist so we do have some difference of opinions occasionally. I support PBS, lol. 
  4. What was the last book you read? Was it any good? Yesterday, I finished reading The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan. It's the first book in the Heroes of Olympus series. I really enjoyed it. I loved the mythology. I only wish it had more character interaction instead of so much internal dialogue. I also wish I had realized that Riordan's Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series came first and this next series has a lot of the same characters. Instead of reading book two, I am now reading book one of the Olympians series. :D
  5. Do you look forward to the snow each winter? Why or why not? A big gigantic NO! I can't be emphatic enough about how much I hate the snow. I lived in Vermont for 37 months. It snowed for 28 of those months. A lot. The nine months it didn't snow, there was mud everywhere. Unless you've lived in Canada or Alaska or the U.P. of Michigan, or freaking Vermont or someplace similar, you cannot imagine how much snow it snows in Vermont. You just can't.

  1. Growing up in Ohio was boring. Although, we did have Cedar Point, Kings Island, The Columbus Zoo, and Seaworld (which is closed now) so that was good. But other than that, it was boring.
  2. Wouldn't having a housekeeper be wonderful? 
  3. If I hadn't graduated early and moved back to my birth town, then I never would have met and married my husband. If he hadn't been six weeks premature, we also would never have met and gotten married because he would have been a year behind me in high school if he had been born on time. Fate, huh???
  4. When I clean house I like to listen to music.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

NaNoWriMo and Photo a Day

Yep. You read that right. It's not a typo. For several years, I've tried and mostly failed at NaBloPoMo or National Blog Posting Month. I think I successfully completed that challenge once. I'm terrible at that kind of thing. Despite that, this year, I'm going to attempt NaNoWriMo which is National Novel Writing Month. Whereas NaBloPoMo's goal is to write at least one blog post per day for the month of November, NaNoWriMo's goal is to write 50,000 by 11:59:59 on November 30. That's approximately 1,667 words per day or a total of 175 pages. I've had some ideas bouncing around in my head for quite some time and I figured this is as good as reason as any to put them on paper. Or Scrivener as is the case for me. Also, the Mister wanted to attempt NaNoWriMo but wanted company so I'm it. Poor bastard.

I'm not going the official route by registering at the website or uploading my progress. This is solely for me.

I'm also participating in #FMSphotoaday / #novphotoaday on Instagram. There are prompts from Fat Mum Slim for each day of November. Today, for instance, was "something beginning with 'c'". I dumped one of the kid's Halloween candy out and took a picture of it for today. Tomorrow is color.

All of these various challenges are a fun way of spending November. We'll see how I do over the Thanksgiving holiday, lol.

Feel like doing something fun and challenging this month? Dare ya!!