Monday, September 28, 2009

San Antonio 2009 ~

So I took a trip to San Antonio with my mother and my aunt Jan. We had fun but we were SO tired by the time we got back!

On the way there we stopped in West, Texas at a place called "The Pizza (and not just pizza) House and Restaurant."
This is what you get on the lunch special for $5.25! This is catfish fillet, in case you were wondering what that HUGE piece of meat is. Also potatoes and gravy, beans, a roll, a salad and a Kolache for desert.
This is an appetizer called a "skunk egg." It is sausage, bacon, cheese, onions, peppers, and a whole lotta other good stuff all wrapped up and deep fried. We don't know how they did it but it was really good! Right next door was a Czech bakery, which we czeched out and bought some pastries from...
We spent most of the morning and part of the afternoon at the Market Place in downtown San Antonio. We saw these guys making music right in the middle of the market. We also ate at Mi Tiera, a really good Mexican place that has a bakery attached to it.
Then we went to the Buckhorn Saloon and Museum. Actually it is just a museum with a restaurant inside of it. We didn't eat there though. Inside was this picture of Bonnie and Clyde.
And this is a replica of the car they drove, bullet holes and all!
When we got back to New Braunfels (where we stayed) we visited the Christmas Shoppe, which is open all year round. I guess that could be Santa Claus sitting on the front porch but if so, he does not look at all like he did when I've seen him before!
This is one of the trees that was inside the Christmas Shoppe. I wish my tree could look like this one! They had all kinds of trees and decorations but this was my favorite!

That is all we did while we were there but that was a lot! On the way back we stopped at the same pastry shop to get some goodies for the people back home (and ourselves!). We had fun but we were really glad to be back home!!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Random Thoughts From People Like Me ~

I know I haven't blogged about anything "deep" lately but I just haven't had that many "deep" thoughts lately. However, one of my friends sent me an email and I literally was laughing out loud (LOL) because I really have thought most of these things at one time or another. I wanted to pass it on to you and I hope you laugh too. So here we go:

I wish Google Maps had an "Avoid Ghetto" routing option.

More often than not, when someone is telling me a story all I can think about is that I can't wait for them to finish so that I can tell my own story that's not only better, but also more directly involves me.

Nothing is worse than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.

Have you ever been walking down the street and realized that you're going in the complete opposite direction of where you are supposed to be going? But instead of just turning a 180 and walking back in the direction from which you came, you have to first do something like check your watch or phone or make a grand arm gesture and mutter to yourself to ensure that no one in the surrounding area thinks you're crazy by randomly switching directions on the sidewalk...

That's enough, Nickelback.

I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger...

The letters T and G are very close to each other on a keyboard. This recently became all too apparent to me and consequently I will never be ending a work email with the phrase "Regards" again.

Do you remember when you were a kid, playing Nintendo and it wouldn't work? You take the cartridge out, blow in it and that would magically fix the problem. Every kid in America did that, but how did we all know how to fix the problem? There was no Internet or message boards or FAQ's. We just figured it out. Today's kids are soft.

There is a great need for sarcasm font.

Sometimes, I'll watch a movie that I watched when I was younger and suddenly realize I had no idea what the heck was going on when I first saw it.

I think everyone has a movie that they love so much, it actually becomes stressful to watch it with other people. I'll end up wasting 90 minutes shiftily glancing around to confirm that everyone's laughing at the right parts, then making sure I laugh just a little bit harder (and a millisecond earlier) to prove that I'm still the only one who really, really gets it.

How the heck are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?

I would rather try to carry 10 plastic grocery bags in each hand than take 2 trips to bring my groceries in.

I think part of a best friend's job should be to immediately clear your computer history if you die.

The only time I look forward to a red light is when I'm trying to finish a text.

Was learning cursive really necessary?

Lol has gone from meaning, "laugh out loud" to "I have nothing else to say".

I have a hard time deciphering the fine line between boredom and hunger.

Answering the same letter three times or more in a row on a Scantron test is absolutely petrifying.

Whenever someone says "I'm not book smart, but I'm street smart", all I hear is "I'm not real smart, but I'm imaginary smart".

How many times is it appropriate to say "What?" before you just nod and smile because you still didn't hear what they said?

Every time I have to spell a word over the phone using 'as in' examples, I will undoubtedly draw a blank and sound like a complete idiot.

Today I had to spell my boss's last name to an attorney and said "Yes that's G as in...(10 second lapse)..ummm...Goonies"

What would happen if I hired two private investigators to follow each other?

MapQuest really needs to start their directions on #5. Pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.

Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died.

I find it hard to believe there are actually people who get in the shower first and THEN turn on the water.

Shirts get dirty. Underwear gets dirty. Pants? Pants never get dirty, and you can wear them forever.

I can't remember the last time I wasn't at least kind of tired.

Bad decisions make good stories.

If Carmen San Diego and Waldo ever got together, their offspring would probably just be completely invisible.

Why is it that during an ice-breaker, when the whole room has to go around and say their name and where they are from, I get so incredibly nervous? Like, I know my name, I know where I'm from, this shouldn't be a problem...

You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you've made up your mind that you just aren't doing anything productive for the rest of the day.

Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after DVDs? I don't want to have to restart my collection.

There's no worse feeling than that millisecond you're sure you are going to die after leaning your chair back a little too far.

I'm always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my ten page research paper that I swear I did not make any changes to.

"Do not machine wash or tumble dry" means I will never wash this. Ever.

I hate being the one with the remote in a room full of people watching TV. There's so much pressure. 'I love this show, but will they judge me if I keep it on? I bet everyone is wishing we weren't watching this. It's only a matter of time before they all get up and leave the room. Will we still be friends after this?'

I hate when I just miss a call by the last ring (Hello? Hello? Dang!), but when I immediately call back, it rings nine times and goes to voicemail. What'd you do after I didn't answer? Drop the phone and run away?

I hate leaving my house confident and looking good and then not seeing anyone of importance the entire day. What a waste.

I like all of the music in my iTunes, except when it's on shuffle, then I like about one in every fifteen songs in my iTunes.

Why is a school zone 20 mph? That seems like the optimal cruising speed for pedophiles...

Sometimes I'll look down at my watch 3 consecutive times and still not know what time it is.

It should probably be called Unplanned Parenthood.

I keep some people's phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call.

Even if I knew your social security number, I wouldn't know what do to with it...

Even under ideal conditions people have trouble locating their car keys in a pocket, and Pinning the Tail on the Donkey - but I'd bet you a dollar that everyone can find and push the Snooze button from 3 feet away, in about 1.7 seconds, eyes closed, first time, every time...

My 4-year old son asked me in the car the other day "Dad what would happen if you ran over a ninja?" How the heck do I respond to that?

It really ticks me off when I want to read a story on and the link takes me to a video instead of text.

I wonder if cops ever get ticked off at the fact that everyone they drive behind obeys the speed limit.

I think the freezer deserves a light as well.

The other night I ordered takeout, and when I looked in the bag, saw they had included four sets of plastic silverware. In other words, someone at the restaurant packed my order, took a second to think about it, and then estimated that there must be at least four people eating to require such a large amount of food. Too bad I was eating by myself. There's nothing like being made to feel like a fatso right before dinner.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

As Promised...

I LOVE Pumpkin Spice Latte (especially from Starbucks) but I HATE paying the price for it. So I scrounged around until I found something that I like just about as well. It costs much less and is a special (but easy) drink to whip up when friends come over.

~ Pumpkin Spice Latte ~

Makes 2 servings:
1 level tablespoon pumpkin puree
1 cup milk
1/2 tablespoon light brown sugar (packed and leveled)
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg (+ a pinch for dusting later)
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups strong coffee (brewed using 2 tbs per 1 cup of water)
4 Tbs Coffeemate creamer
4 to 8 tsp of sugar
Whipped cream

Begin brewing coffee. In a blender, puree the milk, pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, brown sugar and vanilla. Pour into a small saucepan and cook over low heat until the milk is warm and begins to frothe slightly, about 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat.
For each serving: Pour 1/2 cup of the pumpkin / milk mixture into your coffee mug. Add 2 generous tablespoons of Coffeemate creamer. Heat in the microwave for 30 seconds, then add 1 cup of brewed coffee. Add 2 - 4 teaspoons of sugar (depending on how sweet you like your drink). Top off with a touch more 'pumpkin milk' then cover with whipped cream and sprinkle with nutmeg. Serve immediately.

Note to self: Do not ever forget to add the sugar again!!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

It Feels Like Fall!!!

Today when I walked outside it was very Fall-ish out there. It was cool and just a little bit damp. The kind of weather that makes you want to stay inside and BAKE! So here are the pumpkin Spice Cupcakes I made!

Here are the naked ones, before they put on
their awesome Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting!

And here they are all snug in their box,
ready to be taken to work and gobbled up!

And here are the three that wouldn't fit in the box.
Hmm... I wonder what will happen to those!

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
3/4 cup milk
1 cup pumpkin puree

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
4 cups confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Preheat an oven to 375 degrees F. Grease 24 muffin cups, or line with paper muffin liners. Sift together the flour, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, clove, allspice, salt, baking powder, and baking soda; set aside.
Beat 1/2 cup butter, the white sugar, and brown sugar with an electric mixer in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add the room-temperature eggs one at a time, allowing each egg to blend into the butter mixture before adding the next. Stir in the milk and pumpkin puree. Stir in the flour mixture, mixing until just incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared muffin cups.
Bake in the preheated oven until golden and the tops spring back when lightly pressed, about 25 minutes. Cool in the pans for 5 minutes before removing to cool completely on a wire rack.
While the cupcakes are cooling, make the frosting by beating the cream cheese and 1/4 butter with an electric mixer in a bowl until smooth. Beat in the confectioners' sugar a little at a time until incorporated. Add the vanilla extract and 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon; beat until fluffy. Once the cupcakes are cool, frost with the cream cheese icing.
Stay tuned because tomorrow I will post the recipe that goes with these ~ Pumpkin Spice Latte!!

Monday, September 21, 2009


Just thought I would post some pics to show everyone how my house is coming along.

First of all, I'm glad to see this "Purchased" sign where it used to say "Available" even though it happened to be laying down in the mud...

This is how far it has come along! Walls and even a roof!

This is the floorplan, just in case anyone is interested. The room right above the garage will be for my little boy when I get him.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

What's So Scary About Antarctica??

I don't know how this blog is going to come out in the end. I have a lot on my mind and those who know me know that things can get pretty jumbled up in there at times. But anyways, yesterday I saw a poll that caught my eye and I started just thinking about it. I never really came to a conclusion about how it would fit into this blog because, like I said, I have a lot on my mind and I ended up moving on to something else before I could think it through. But here is the question posed:
What is the most frightening thing about being in Antarctica?
Now that probably seems like just a stupid random question but hold on a minute! Here were the choices for the answer:
a) Complete Isolation
b) -60 degrees Celsius temperatures, or
c) 100+ MPH snowstorms
Can you guess what most people said? I had to answer of course before I could see what everyone else said and it took me just a moment to decide between two of the answers. Here is how my train of thought was going:
Well, the temperature being low doesn't really bother me because I can just stay inside and watch movies or bake cookies or, well, whatever. So the answer is not b. Hmmm, right now I wish I could go to Antarctica so I could get away from all this cr*p I'm dealing with right now so I guess I would be most afraid of the snowstorm. Ay ay ay, wait a minute... the snowstorm is really dangerous and scary but if I had someone with me to be scared with, we could deal with it. And I could always get away from the cr*p in a nice place like Cancun. MAN what is the answer?! Wait! Like I said, I could deal with anything if I had someone with me so I guess the thing I would be afraid of is being alone. So the answer for me is a) isolation!!
So I picked answer "a" and guess what? So did 43% of the people who took the poll. 33% said the cold temperature (go figure) and only 24% said they would be afraid of the 100+ MPH snowstorm. Being isolated, alone, all by yourself, deserted, abandoned, solitary, unaccompanied, on your own. Whatever word you use, not having anyone else around - ever - is a frightening thing. I mean, there are times when you need some solitude or just some peace and quiet. A song came to my mind. I'm not a huge Kelly Clarkson fan but she has a song called "Since You've Been Gone" and it really kind of sums up all of our feelings sometimes. It says:
"Shut your mouth I just can't take it
Again and again and again and again and again
Since you've been gone
I can breathe for the first time.
I'm moving on"
I went through a long period of time where I felt loneliness set in every day and I couldn't figure out how to be happy by myself. And then there was a time in my life where I felt like I was so shut in by another person that I would die if I didn't get some space. And now I've finally gotten to the place where I feel like I am actually breathing for the first time. I'm finally ready to move along in life and enjoy the people who come in and out of it. I really enjoy my family and friends and I don't know what God has in store for me in the future. Maybe it is a forever-friend (aka. husband, yikes!) or maybe it is a child from another mother (adoption?). For now I'm enjoying my solitude and have learned that isolation is a scary thing, not a safe thing. I never want to go to Antarctica but if I ever have to, I hope you'll go with me!!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

You Can Run, But You Can Not Hide!!

As I was doing my daily Bible study for my FP4H group, something I have been thinking about was reinforced to me. I have always loved this Psalm, but it was the latter part of the Psalm that I loved the most. However, I have now come to love the first part of it just as much. Here it is:
Psalm 139
1 O LORD, You have searched me and known me.
2 You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off.
3 You comprehend my path and my lying down, And are acquainted with all my ways.
4 For there is not a word on my tongue, But behold, O LORD, You know it altogether.
5 You have hedged me behind and before, And laid Your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is high, I cannot attain it.
7 Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence?
8 If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.
9 If I take the wings of the morning, And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
10 Even there Your hand shall lead me, And Your right hand shall hold me.
Now, at one time this part of the Psalm scared the pants off me! If God sees everything I do, then I can't do exactly what I want to do, when I want to do it. I can't go just anywhere or do anything. I can't say just whatever pops into my head and I can't even think stuff because verse 2 says that "You understand my thoughts afar off." And who wants someone constantly hanging over their shoulder, so to speak, and reading their mind?! So, no, I wasn't too thrilled with this part of the chapter. However, I have come to realize that when I started striving to do what God wanted me to do, expected me to do, I was grateful that He saw me and knew my thoughts and desires and the intent of my heart. Lining up with God and His Word brings great blessings. Let me explain what I mean.
For some time I have been desiring a house. I'm tired of apartment living with the noise, the gymnast up above me and the man and his wife below me, yelling at all hours of the night. I'm tired of having to throw money away each month for something that is never going to be mine. So I started looking. And looking. And looking! Thank God for knowing my desires, my thoughts, and my goings and comings. He saw me going to my favorite store (Target) almost every Saturday. He heard me conversing with my accountability partner every week, confessing our struggles, both emotionally and spiritually. He saw me going to supervision at a certain Starbucks every Tuesday where I am guided through the process of becoming a good counselor. And He knew my thoughts when I was hesitant to move to a house that was far from all of the things that I love so much. So guess what?!! He put me in a place that was right across the street from Target (as well as Marshall's and Bath & Body Works)! And the house is also right down the street from that certain Starbucks where I have supervision! And it is also close to my accountability partner so it will be convenient to continue meeting! And it is closer to my parents. And it has a place where Tug can call his own (a back yard, lol). I know a house is a material thing, but it was what I desired and God knew. He also protected me from getting what was not the best because he saw the places I frequent and He knew the desires of my heart.
On a deeper level, I'm sure there are many things that I don't know about and many situations where I need guidance. It is awesome to know that God is there. It's not that I have to call Him to come, He is already there and knows all about it!! No longer am I put off by this Scripture. I am comforted in knowing that God knows all about me and has His hand on me, no matter what.