Tuesday, June 30, 2009

June 2009 Debt Pie Chart


End of June and time to review where we stand. It slow going but we are difinitely making progress. We have a plan and we are working the plan. Our snowball amount wasn't as big this month because we added insulation to the house.
What is our plan? It's the Dave Ramsey snowball plan. Yes, I've dranked the koolaid and am considering shaving my head.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Trampoline in TEXAS


Isn't much trampline jumping in TEXAS.

Sunday Supper - Crock Pot Meatballs

CROCK POT MEATBALLS


1 pkg frozen fully cooked meatballs
onion powder to taste
garlic powder to taste
1 cup water
1 1/2 cup chicken broth
2 pkg beef gravy mix
1/4 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 package noodles

Combine onion, garlic, water, brother, gravy mix, ketchup and oregano in 4 quart crock pot. Mix well and add meatballs. Cook on high 4 to 5 hours.

I usually thicken sauce with a little cornstarch.



Servid with coleslaw, broccoli and cornbread.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Insulation & Radiant Barrier Spray

President Obama's promise of cap & trade to bring our energy supplier to their knees with fines and over taxation passed the house and soon the senate. We will all be facing unbelievable increased cost to heat and cool our houses. Grrr......I could go on and on about this but what I was intended to talk about is getting our attic in shape to handle the summer heat.

We had radiant barrier sprayed in and 10 inches of insulation blown in. The whole operation took about two hours plus 15 minutes talking the old dog into letting them out of the attic. She even got a taste of one.

The spray on barrier helps keep your home cool by reflecting back the suns radiant energy and preventing heat build-up in your attic. They promise a 30% savings on your electric bill. It's hard to believe this very thin silver tinted wash would do much. The whole package cost $1,300. Its going to be a while before we recoup that cost but I believe the house is staying cooler.

Huntsville, Texas tourist


We decided to load up the family and play the tourist today in Huntsville. First stop was the statue of Sam Houston located on the south side of the city. It is the worlds tallest statue of an American Hero at 67 feet tall on a 10 foot sunset granite base.

From the visitor center we moved to the Sam Houston Museum located on the campus of Sam Houston University. First stop was to watch a 15 minute video on the life of Sam Houston in the Education Building. There were several quilt hanging on the walls that were interesting.

The Exhibit Hall held guns, indian artifacts, tools for building houses, cotton gin and tartans of Scottish - TEXAN imigrants. The Woodland House was a typical dog-run log cabin. The Streamboat house was more interesting by comparison. In fact, I believe it was consider an eye-sore.
The little pond on the site was more interesting to the twins instead of the exhibits. Turtles, fishs, ducks, geese, oh my. Thankfully we had the fore thought to bring crackers and bread.

The main museum was nice. There was plenty of Houston's personal effects and enough guns and swords to keep two eight-year boys entertain for a small period.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Sunday Supper - Beans & Cornbread

CROCKPOT BEANS & CORNBREAD


1 lg onion, chopped
1 lb ground white turkey
2 cans (16 oz each) baked beans
1 can pinto beans
1 can red kidney beans
1 can butter beans
1 can tomato sauce
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup maple syrup
1 tbsp liquid smoke

Cook onion and turkey until brown.
Add to Crockpot with remaining ingredients.
Cook on low 4-6 hours (the longer, the better).

Serve with rice and cornbread.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Hair Cut Day

Started the day off by making blueberry pancakes and making a list with the dh of things to get accomplish. Next thing was to clear out the attic because next Friday we are having a heat barrier sprayed onto the rafters and insulated added. We found an old screen door. :-) I hauled it across the street to the neighbor. She was happy to have it. Isn't that a "green" act - recycling or something. With the attic cleared out, it was time to run errands. First stop was J C Penny to buy two new dress shirts for the husband. He only likes Van Huesen (16/32-34 Fitted). They always fit and he doesn't have to try them on. It's a win-win situation. Next was the shoe store.

Then it was time for the haircuts. Casie at Texas Hair Team Ste 700, 2948 Interstate 45, Conroe, TX 77303-7901, (936) 760-1033‎ is by far the best stylist in the area. For $21 and a tip she can take 4 or 5 pictures and come up with a cut that works with my hair type.



Believe it or not, that was about one year grow out from last summer. I'm thrilled with it. Now I just need to get some silver hoop earrings and it will look great.
A little lunch and then time to get back to the house and start the laundry. Life is good.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Tea Party

There is a Tea Party planned on July 2, 2009 from 5pm to 9pm.

It will be here in Conroe at the Lonestar Convention/Expo Center. It is so important to have concerns voiced and to know that there are a lot of people that feel the same way as you. By listening to most of the tv news, you would think everyone is thrill with our government making fake money and spending our grandchildren's future. You can just get so much blood out of a turnip.

It's time to get our voice heard. Maybe if a large amount of people make their future a priority, the politicians will take notice.

I'll be there with my sign.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Obamanation :-)

video

Biggest Loser @ work

Today was weigh in. I lost one pound which is what I predicted.






There are several guys in the contest and last week most of them drop big numbers. Bill dropped eleven pounds! He said he's going to lose 4 pounds next week. I put a $1 bet on that one. I've seen the way he keeps walking toward the candy machine. So I have one week to sabatoge him. I want him to lose 3.5 pounds just not four. So tomorrow, I will leave a brownie on his desk and this weekend I'm searching for "food" smelling candle or room plug in.

I started working with my weights this week. So I'm just trying to work though the soreness.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Autocad Civil 3D class


I spent the day in class going over the latest Autocad Civil 3D 10. It is a massive software for Civil engineering drawings. AutoCAD Civil 3D does geospatial analysis to identify the best project site, stormwater analysis for more sustainable designs, quantity takeoff and dynamic earthwork calculations to optimize material usage, and 3D visualizations to better understand project impacts on environment. I could go on and on about the styles.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Sims 3

I'm so excited I got Sims 3 today. I'll be giving updates.

I started weights today. Lower body workout (LB). I did lunges and squats with weights. Then I did some crunches. Follow with a light supper and I'm done.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Sunday Supper Special

DIRTY RICE

I've seen this dish made with about as many different types of meats that you can think but usually it's squirrel or rabbit. I use ground pork and bacon. But feel free to substitute. I can't ever remember seeing a written recipe. It's more of an interpertation of a dish. This is mine.

2 Tablespoon bacon grease (or canola oil)

1 lb ground pork

left over bacon (4-8 slices)

1 1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon chili pepper

1 1/2 cup chicken broth

1 small onion, chopped fine

2 celery stalks, chopped fine

2 garlic gloves, mince

1 jalapeno or 1/2 teaspoon red pepper

1 tablespoon oregano

3 cupes cooked rice

1/2 bunch scallions (white & greens) chopped

2 tablespoon chopped parsley

Heat a littel leftover bacon grease (or 2 tablespoon canola oil) in a large skillet over high heat.

Add meat (ground pork) and heat unit browned.Add left over bacon (or any left over cooked meat).

Add salt, black pepper and chili powder.

Let the meat mixture get crusty.

Add 1/4 cup chickent broth and cook untill it has evaporated.

Add onion, celery, garlic, red pepper, and oregano.

Cook and stir until veggies are brown and starting to stick to pan.

Add rice.

Add remaining chicken broth.
Stir and heat until liquid is absorbed and rice is heated.
I like to serve mine with sweet cornbread. But I have one strange child that insist on totillas.



Note: no squirrels were harmed in the making of this dish.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Crockettt, TEXAS

Our favorite fishing hole (this week) is Houston County Lake near Crockett, Texas. The lake is filled with stumps and big bass. Near the dam, the stumps are missing which allows for jet skis and skiers. As most bass fishers know, the highly stump populated areas are great for fishing. Crockett Family Campground Resort has boat ramp and a cafe that we enjoy. The campground isn't my favorite place. I think the cost is too expensive, the sites are too narrow and too many. The pool is undersize and the whole place just doesn't have a friendly family atmosphere. But the cafe, The Way Stop, has one of the best burgers and the onion rings are awesome. The back porch is a great place to take in the view of the lake and enjoy a good old fashion burger.


The Holiday Inn on the loop is a great alternative to camping. The hot tub is great and the pool is in the shade. The sheets are soft, and the HBO and breakfast is free. After a supper of subway sandwiches we headed out to the pool area. I slept great but the dh said there was lot of hallway noise.









Friday, June 12, 2009

Easy Friday

Today, I got my final check from the Dr. I left without 3 tubes of blood and starving. Grrrr. I hate missing meals. Don't sign me up for Survivor. I was heading to the Kolache Shop but got side track with a Chick-fil-A. Until a couple of days ago, I had never eaten at a Chick-fil-A. Chicken sandwiches just wasn't something that appeal to me. I heard on Dave Ramsey that Chick-fil-A has a no-borrowing-money policy and a strong sense of community by supporting several scholarships and youth-base events and close on Sundays. I don't think they will be expecting the government to bail them out. $4.82 this morning got me the biscuit/bacon/egg, honey, hash brown and a large ice tea. Yummy!

With a nice full belly and feeling back to normal (normal for me) I go shoe shopping. I love these! I hope I can think of a place to wear them. Shiny, strapping, high heel.
I love bummer stickers. I don't have any on my own but I can appreciate people expressing themselves. My opinion would most likely end up with my car getting keyed or smashed with a cart. This was a good one that I saw today. "I'll keep my Freedom, my Guns and my Money... you can keep "THE CHANGE".

And this has got to be the stupidest thing I have seen on the store shelves in ages. Doggie weight loss support diet pills. The sad thing is, some poor fool is buying this for their little pooch. Dog lovers are a unique group of people. I should know. :-)









Thursday, June 11, 2009

Letterman vs Palin

David Letterman on Monday evening's "Late Show" said :

One awkward moment though during the game, maybe you heard about it, maybe you saw it on one of the highlight reels. One awkward moment for Sarah Palin at the Yankee game, during the seventh inning, her daughter was knocked-up by Alex Rodriguez.

On Wednesday, Palin's office released the following statement:

"Concerning Letterman's comments about my young daughter (and I doubt he'd ever dare make such comments about anyone else's daughter): 'Laughter incited by sexually-perverted comments made by a 62-year-old male celebrity aimed at a 14-year-old girl is not only disgusting, but it reminds us some Hollywood/NY entertainers have a long way to go in understanding what the rest of America understands -- that acceptance of inappropriate sexual comments about an underage girl, who could be anyone's daughter, contributes to the atrociously high rate of sexual exploitation of minors by older men who use and abuse others.'"

Late Show" host David Letterman, in response to Sarah Palin's statement concerning a disgusting joke he made about her daughter getting knocked-up by Alex Rodriguez in the middle of a Yankee game, made a shabby attempt at apologizing by repeating the joke on Wednesday's show.

Palin’s response was strong and classy and she did it in heels.
Hooray for everyone that stands up for thier or any one else's child.
Making nasty jokes at the expense of a child is unforgettable.

Letterman and CBS shame on you!
CBS is removed my channel list.


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Biggest Loser Contest at Work

There’s a Biggest Loser contest at work. I could lose 10 lbs or so. So I signed up and handed over my $12. HR told me that I was the lightest contestant. The part of this contest that I disagree with is they are judging by the weight not the percentage. Yes, I did write HR a little email and gave them my 2 cents. There isn’t a chance in blue blazes of me winning this contest. But I’m in it for my 10 pounds and I love a good competition.

I’m going to try just a good low calorie, high fiber diet. I’m not very good at missing meals, snacks or chance meetings of any time of food. Let’s hope the dh can survive me during this time. If not, I wonder how much fiber is in a husband.

Tomorrow, I’m going to start back with weight lifting and a little cardio each day.

Here’s my little tracker:



I’m going to log my nutrition details in SparkPeople. Weigh in days will be Thursdays. Wish me luck.

Monday, June 8, 2009

The Great Global Warming Swindle

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=288952680655100870
A good friend gave me this video. It's a must see.
This video goes into scientific detail of why “global warming” is a bunch of malarkey. Al Gore’s and his little scare tactic movie is questioned. Gore’s claim of carbon dioxide (co2/green house gas) is the big bad boogie man is debunked. Gore explains that his connection between co2 and Global Warming is too complicated for ordinary people to understand but man is killing the earth with co2. There are many scientists that state co2 is an effect of temperature rising with an 800 year lag. Al Gore, the politician, wants us to believe that co2 is making the temperature rise. Every ice core test shows that the temperature rises first and then about 800 years, the co2 level rises.

Co2 is a natural gas. What makes the most co2? It’s not man, or animals, or bacteria or volcanoes or decaying vegetation. The biggest cause of co2 is the ocean.

The history of global warming can be traced back to a political move in Britain. It was a political benefit to make oil and coal unpopular (co2 producers) and make nuclear energy the new trend. The key to doing this was to throw money at projects that would prove this point. Oil and coal produces co2. Global warming was born.

A global committee, IPCC, was put together to investigate global warming and published a report. That report was filled with misconstrued information and deliberately left out key information. So much that most of the scientist left IPCC. IPCC continue to use the scientist names without authorization.

I’m all for turning off a light and putting the air condition at a higher temperature to control cost. I drive a small car to use less gas because of the cost of gas, not because of emission. I even have a compost bin.
In my opinion, being “environmental green” and conservative isn’t the same as being a global warming groupie.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Diverticulitis

I had a nasty run in with this little problem last week. I had all the symptoms. The fever, the bloating, and the pain were all there and just gradually got worse. I finally called the doctor and they worked me in that morning. Due to the pain being on the right side, I was sent for a cat scan of my appendix. I had to drink a large amount of dye. Then I laid on a table that moved me into the machine for scanning.

The doc called in some heavy duty medication and put me on a liquid diet. Just for the record, a liquid diet sucks even if you get to eat ice cream 12 different ways. The medication makes everything taste nasty. I spent a week laying around the house with my foo-foo dog. She was very sympathetic.

On the follow up visit, the dr put me on a high fiber diet.

Grain Products:
whole grain breads, buns, bagels, muffins, Bran Flakes, All Bran, bran Buds, Corn bran, whole wheat Shreddies, 100% Bran and Fiber 1, Cooked cereal such as Red River and Oat Bran
whole-wheat pastas , whole grains such as barley, popcorn, corn and brown rice
Fruits:
dried fruits such as apricots, dates, prunes and raisins, berries such as blackberries, blueberries, raspberries and strawberries, oranges, apple with skin, avocado, kiwi, mango and pear
Vegetables:
broccoli, spinach, swiss chard, green peas and other dark green leafy vegetables
dried peas and beans such as kidney beans, lima beans, black-eyed beans, chick peas and lentils
Nuts and Seeds:
nuts and seeds such as almonds, whole flaxseed and soynuts

The list doesn’t look too bad, except I’m to limit popcorn, nut and seeds. There is the little problem with me not being a big bread eater and I don't like pasta at all. One more follow up on Friday and hopefully I’m done with this.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Library Has New Tricks

I'm an audio book fanatic. A lot of my work is data entry and having a good book read to me makes the task go faster. Our local library (Montgomery County Memorial Library) is great. They have introduced a new concept. Its a little ipod do-dad already loaded with an audible book or music. You have to add an AAA battery and personal earphones. The thing that I love about this new gadget is how mobile it is. It’s small enough to throw in my back pocket and go.

The library web site also has several different digital media available for download. If you prefer, you can download straight to your ipod (or iPhone, MuVo, etc). They have eBooks in Adobe PDF format and Mobipocket eBooks. To use any of these formats, you must download software first. But it’s well worth it.

Visit a library.

KFC Grilled Chicken



I got a chance to try the new KFC Grilled Chicken. It wasn't as good as the deep fried crunchy crust but it was good. The skin is still on. I'll go back if I'm in a pinch for something quick and healthier then a Jumbo Jack.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

LINE JEWELRY (aka Spinnerbait)

These are wonderful little fishing lures found in any tackle box of a dedicated bass fisherman. It is my opinion that these are the jewelry of fishing. Spinnerbait are flashy, shiny and comes in fashionable brilliant colors. There are three main parts to consider in a Spinnerbait. The blade, the hook and the skirt. I’m sure there are more to them but my attention span can only handle 3 parts.

The blade part is a mostly a flatten piece of metal (aka an oval pendant). The pendant (blade) can come in a smooth polished look, a painted color or the all time favorite, hammered nickel. The hammered nickel tends to pick up more reflections which equal more blink. The shape of the blade is a clue on how to reel it back in. The more elongated blade that looks like a willow leaf requires a fast retrieval. So if you are fishing one of these be prepared to reel like crazy. If you fish for several hours, you might want to have margaritas waiting at home to help relieve the tension in your wrist and shoulders. The more rounded pendant doesn’t require as much reeling to get the same vibration and flash. So in my opinion, wider is better. Convince your darling hubby of this point and you can pack brownies on your next trip without guilt. Wider hips would mean…well, you can figure out where that was going.


Hooks have two basic shapes. A stick me once or a stick me three times shape. Also known as a single or a treble hook. My DH (darling hubby) files down that little barb on all the hooks we use to make it easier to remove it from the fish or from the back of his arm, my bad. The treble is a cluster of hooks that is usually easier to keep your catch caught but sometimes too much of a good thing isn’t good. I have the worst luck with treble hooks. They just seem to migrate to tree limbs, grass, lily pads, and husbands. The single hook isn’t as aggressive and I can retrieve them at a steady pace to keep them from grabbing things like a 3 year old at a checkout line.

Skirt is another name for accessory. It enhances the hook and makes it more attractive to the fish. Plastic skirts are usually recommended. They last longer in the tree branches. Skirts come in solid or multi colors. I would think the more colors in a skirt the better. In addition, some spinner bait has an additional skirt called a trailer. Needless to say, a trailer was not named by a woman. This lower ruffle (or trailer) doesn’t seem to do much besides adding more eye candy for the bass to see. I am all about more accessories so I like the extra fluff.

If picking the right color, the right size and the right shape was all it took to catch a little bass, we would all quit our jobs and be pro fishers. But spinnerbaits have this little hidden secret that makes it an important tool instead of just another piece of fluff to carry around. How did I figure out this phenomenal? I watch my husband.

After casting, he gets into a stalking stance like a bird dog. He watches the water. His senses are tuned into the feel of his lure being pulling though the water. His eyes encased in super hero fishing sunglasses allowing him to see though the murk. His hearing shuts down. This mighty spinnerbait secret is depth. The depth below the surface that you retrieve the spinnerbait appears to be more valuable than the shine, sparkle, color or rattling. Knowing what the magical depth is will remain a mystery to me. Usually, I can only find 3 depths for my lure: bottom of lake, top of lake, husband.

Get Out of Debt Review for May 2009


It's good to know where you stand. Even better to know where you want to be and having a plan to get there.

THINGS I’VE LEARN WHILE FISHING WITH MY HUSBAND.



THINGS I’VE LEARN WHILE FISHING WITH MY HUSBAND.


•He who controls the motor controls the fishing trip.

•Bathroom breaks are limited to lunch break.

•Lunch break is determined by the fish.

•If twitch twitch, wait wait, crank doesn’t get any bites after 30 minutes, then try twitch-wait-crank, twitch-wait-crank

•A man that has no color sense with his clothes has an amazing understanding of the difference between watermelon color and pumpkin seed color.

•Double check all labels. Spray Yum Shad can be mistaken for spray on sun screen.

•Depth finders can only be viewed by the boat operator.

•Depth finders lie about fishing being right under the boat.

•Apple cores float. Gum sinks.

•Having a bird’s nest is a way of testing your patience.

•There is as many different ways to tie knots as there are crochet stitches.

•Why do the names of knots sound like mixed drinks? I’ll have a Baja knot on the rocks. How many calories are in a Slim Beauty Knot without salt?

•It’s acceptable and normal to lubricate knots with saliva.

•Clippers are used to trim tag ends close to the knot. Same said clipper cannot be used to clip anything as weird as fingernails.

•Fishing in the Rain: first it’s “good cloud coverage, it will cool things off”, then “it’s a dizzy, it will pass”, “I like your hair fizzed out like that”, “wet tee shirts are hot” and finally, it’s “Baby, start bailing while I get in just one more cast”.

•Your husband will take the best possible picture of the FISH you are holding but neglect to notice that your hair is matted down from the hat, your eyes are close and your mouth is hanging open in mid sentence. Then he will proceed to show the picture of the “FISH” to everyone, even posting it on the web.


There appears to be many more trips in my future, so I'm sure this blog will be updated regularly.