Sunday, July 31, 2011

Bump in the Night

As some of you may know, my husband works nights. This often results in me behaving like a 4 year old, now that it actually gets dark at night again. I avoid all things scary/suspenseful/non-Disney on nights I'm all alone. Last night was one of these nights, and I spent an embarrassingly long amount of time reading Jen Lancaster's blog archives and laughing my tooshy off.

I finally forced myself to go to bed. In the middle of the night, I was woken up my some loud noise. I immediately thought it was Charlie and started whisper-yelling at him to shush it. Then I about jumped out of my skin, because it was THUNDER! IN ALASKA! That's the first time I'd heard thunder since...sometime before February. It was strange and magical and kind of scary, because Alaska thunder is different than normal thunder. It's low, rumbly and lasts for-freaking-ever. Also? You don't actually see that lightning that accompanies it (boo on you, AK Thunder)

Of course, after hearing one of my favorite noises after so long I had to call J at work (at 3 a.m.) and tell him all about it. I had trouble falling back asleep, mainly due to my overactive imagination. We live on a ground floor apartment, and I don't like to sleep with the windows open at night when J isn't here to protect me from bears/moose/serial killers that could try to enter our apartment and harm me--or worse, my puppies. Apparently, I'd forgotten to close the window in the other bedroom (side note: we just got two new beds for free: one queen and one twin. The twin is super comfy and currently in our guest bedroom. The queen is significantly less comfortable and therefore I forgo it on nights J works. So I went into our bedroom to get my glasses so I could try and witness the lightning). I opened the mini-blinds to try to see lightning, and was confronted with an inky black darkness and an open window. In my imagination, there was someone/wild animal standing there waiting to kill/devour me. I then freaked myself out with my over active imagination and had to sleep with the bathroom light on. Yes, I already admitted I've regressed to a 4 year old. 

In my over-active-imaganitioned-excited state, I then had an incredibly weird dream about pit bulls (which Jen rescues and I agree should not be stereotyped and curse you, Michael Vick) and Jen Lancaster and it was overall just odd.

Thankfully J got home at 6 a.m. and all my fears were put to rest. Also? Closed that window. And moved back into our bigger bed, because clearly it was safer (kept the bathroom light on, though).

A Lot of Randomness

I've noticed my favorite bloggers often update their blog with just a tidbit that amused them, and it's usually funny to more than just them. So in an effort to emulate those I admire, here goes:

If you happen to have precisely 3 cups of milk that will go bad in about an hour, what should you do? Hmm, how about break out that pudding mix you got solely because you found a coupon, and that coupon gave you a craving you forgot about as soon as you bought the box. 3 cups cold milk + jello instant pudding mix + 5 minutes = an 11 o'clock snack and not wasting milk. (And yes, I did have to rearrange my fridge to get the giant bowl inside, despite the lack of pudding in giant bowl. As it turns out, 3 cups of milk and a packet of powder don't need a giant bowl, just a normal size one. Also, I'm now a bit afraid of opening the fridge door in case it wasn't quite balanced. Wasting pudding is WAY worse than wasting milk.)

Preface: My hubby isn't a bad guy; he had put his laundry directly into the washer because it was sopping wet. He wanted to run it so it wouldn't get moldy. He was, in fact, trying to be responsible. Then I had to go and humorize it on my blog. He usually handles the trash and I handle the laundry, which seems fair. So this whole next section about laundry isn't meant to make him seem lazy or horrible or anything, I just found it funny.
When your husband comments on the fact that HE put HIS dirty laundry in the washer and why hasn't it been run yet, the proper wifely response isn't to say, feel free to run a load, dear, and then attempt to get in the shower. Your shower will be much further delayed by his lack of knowledge of how the washer works, what fabric softener is, where it goes, how many clothes can fit in the washer, how much detergent to use and what settings to use. Then, after FINALLY getting to take your shower, and moving on with your day, you discover at 11 o'clock at night that he never took the wet clothes out of the washer. Apparently he thinks a laundry fairy comes and puts the clothes in the dryer and then folds them and puts them in his drawers. FYI, your life will be much easier by just saying you'll take care of it. Because, in the end, you do take care of it but with way more grief. Marriage Lesson 614: "Give a man to fish, he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish, he eats for a lifetime" doesn't apply to laundry. Unless you continually force your hubby to practice his laundry skills, you will have to reteach him every time he decides to do it. Also, ever noticed how husbands can do laundry when you aren't available but ask you questions every step of the way when you are? Odd. Good thing we love them.

On a side note, our crazy upstairs neighbor and her current boy toy got in a screaming match so fierce all 3 dogs became frightened and clamored around me for safety. Chaos is still ensuing upstairs. While I enjoy our so-far earthquake free existence in our earthquake-prone state, I feel a bit more prepared since our light fixtures regularly shake from her stomping during their screaming matches.

To end on a happy note:
July 29th my sister and brother in law celebrated their 6th wedding anniversary. Yay!
July 30th was my cousin's birthday. Yay!
July 31st is my dear friend's birthday. Yay!

So Happy Anniversary/Birthday/Birthday!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Marriage Lesson 552

We're Southern; we drink a lot of sweet tea. Here's an email I recently sent to my hubby after his epic fail of an attempt to make sweet tea.

Marriage Lesson 552:  How NOT to Make Tea, Or Obey your wife when she instructs you how to make tea (something you do once a month and she does twice a week)

Dear Husband,
    This afternoon, I politely requested THREE (3) times to NOT put sugar in the top part of the tea maker. Then I demanded it. Alas, your ears have failed you and your inner inventor has died a slow, painful death (which I also had to clean up). Here is how to NOT make tea:
 Option 1) Put filter in tea maker. Fill with tea bags. Top with sugar. FAIL
 Option 2) Repeat option 1 in the event an unaccounted variable has been accounted for. FAIL.
 Option 3) Pour 1.25 cups of sugar in tea maker. Top with filter and fill with tea bags. FAIL.
3.A: When heat and sugar combine, the sugar changes from a solid into a liquid. If the sugar is not heated for long enough, the liquid will then turn back into a solid (only stickier) and form a SOLID brick of sugar in the tea canister. Our tea canister has ridges. I would love for you to repeat this attempt and then try to clean it up. Cleaning re-solidified, and therefore superglue-esque sugar, out of the little ridges is not an easy task. It is truly a miracle our tea maker didn't EXPLODE. (Or at least overflow).

In an effort to avoid future failures, here is how to PROPERLY make tea using our tea maker:
1. Fill water to fill line on pitcher, pour into tea maker. 
2. Put filter in tea canister. Place 4 tea bags in filter. Place in tea maker.
3. Fill pitcher with ice to fill line.
4. Top ice with 1.25 cups sugar. Place lid on pitcher.
5. Position pitcher under tea maker. Press "Brew".
6. Once tea has completed brewing, discard used tea bags and filter. Return tea maker to original position. Stir sugar and tea until sugar is completely dissolved. Enjoy a refreshing drink without pissing off your wife.

As a failsafe, harken back to Marriage Lesson 1: ALWAYS listen to your wife. 
And if that fails, try number 2: She is right. You are wrong. Apologize and move on with your joint lives together.

Isn't marriage grand?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Baking Odyssey Goes Modern

A dear friend of mine was kind enough to share her recipe for Key Lime Cake Balls. She made them, I got addicted to them and then I just had to have them! I tried the recipe out to great success. Well, kind of. They tasted delicious and only half of them were not so pretty.

The cake ball process can be a bit intimidating. You make a lovely cake, crumble it up into tiny pieces, make yummy cream cheese frosting (so the cake balls aren't overly sweet), toss just the right amount with the cake crumbles, roll into balls, roll the balls in melted candy coating and then decorate. My decoration was limited to sprinkles, since my first cake ball journey kind of wore me out.

The only true issue I had was that with the first two dozen cake balls, I forgot to get the extra candy coating off the fork. So each cake ball had a pool of candy coating under it. This isn't really a problem, except that I ran out of candy coating. I couldn't bring myself to go all the way across town (for the second time that day) to get more candy coating, so I just left 15 cake balls uncoated. I could have used a glaze or come up with something creative. But I was taking the finished cake balls to a church picnic and had a craving to satisfy, so over the next 36 hours Hubby and I ate the non-coated cake balls. And they were still delicious!

The cake balls were also a huge success at the picnic and were gone before the meat finished cooking. If there's a sign of success, I'd say that's it :)

Apparently I forgot to blog about sugar cookies, which I made over a year ago for the Baking Odyssey. I can't remember how they turned out! Terribly sorry, but I won't be repeating. The Baking Odyssey is already a long-term endeavor; repeats are just silly.

I also made Chocolate Chippers, the very first dessert recipe in the Baking Odyssey. Instead of making 3 dozen regular sized cookies, I decided to make a cookie cake. It was one BIG  cookie cake! But it turned out well. Since the cookbook was written before margarine replaced butter, and before butter was substituted for shortening, I can only imagine the calorie content of that giant cookie. Thankfully it's one of hubby's favorite treats, so it shouldn't tempt me for too long :)

That's the Baking Odyssey Update! Modern and Old-Fashioned, all in one week.