akawest

11/17/10

I am a person of Walmart

Keep your lips tightly closed if you find yourself on the verge of snarky muttering, may be great advice, but we all can't abide by that rule. The same goes for snapping shots of those people who do not own a mirror. As my friend, Jenny, a plus size woman, once reported, she accosted another full figured gal in a public restroom, and asked, "What exactly were you thinking when you got dressed today?"

In the same way that ethnic, or religious groups can joke amongst themselves, without fear of a fist to the jaw,  a member of a group, People of Walmart, for instance, are also immune to repercussion. Be warned that I may now post embarrassing photos of friends and family. BECAUSE,

I am a person of Walmart. 

The fact that you will not find my picture on the website, does not preclude me from being part of  the in crowd, freak crowd, or whatever that interesting group of folks may be labeled. I might not have been photographed the day that I hit the store dressed as a pornographic pumpkin, but trust me, being that the month was July, and not October, it went beyond cute.

This is me wearing the my pumpkin dress. Note the tank worn underneath, so as not to look like a Halloween flasher. Yes, I realize that orange, worn outside of Clemson tailgaters is not a pretty sight on pale brunettes, but it was either pumpkin or snowman, when I bought the dress.

What was I thinking?

Oh, look, a comfy dress to wear all summer, and the base of a Halloween costume come fall. I must scoop this up before other women steal the idea, and the entire neighborhood greets trick-or-treaters clad in bright orange, with a green beanie on their heads.
Yes, it must have been something along those lines, because never before have I worn orange.

It gets worse.
In the quest to brown more of my skin, I hit the beach for a walk with a friend. Did I wear a tank underneath? No, no, no, as that would have covered a few inches of flesh, thus preventing tanning. As we stroll, I tug more than a few times to cover my bra, the strapless variety, which as any woman will tell you, was invented to annoy, but for the most part, the walk is unremarkable.

Can we run to Walmart?

Upon hearing those words, an alarm should have sounded, telling me that sweating in a car would be less of a punishment than stares. Silly me bounds from the vehicle, boobs popping out of the dress, and grabs a cart. I concentrate on the shelves, pretending that someone may or may not be taking my picture. The teenage boys that point and giggle, well, they are just wishing their moms...oh, never mind. It was bad.
   
Rit to the Rescue
The humiliation was too much to bear, but not enough to part with the dress. Pumpkin might not be my style, but grape could be. Grapes are cute. Just think of the California Raisins. Did you ever see a dancing pumpkin? And, of course, I drink wine a lot more often than I eat pumpkin pie. No, that was not the reason for the initial dress purchase. I shop sober, really, I do.

A quick bath in dye, left my dress transformed.
If waiting until spring for my grape debut on the beach, is too far off for you, I can be found on You Tube performing as a raisin.

11/16/10

Chili Verde

Chili Verde - A Dad Declared Winner

Last winter, when my father, and his wife, were making their annual trek south, they stopped by for dinner. Knowing my father enjoys meat, I prepared two types of chili. While I can't say I was enamored with this dish, it was a huge hit with my guests. Being that my dad is 79, and has consumed many bowls of chili, I would think he knows his stuff.



Chili Verde

1 lb ground turkey
1 cup chopped onion
2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 14.5 oz can chicken broth
1 cup bottled salsa verde
2 cans (15 oz each) Great Northern beans
Canned corn, if desired

In a large skillet, using 2 tsp of olive oil, cook turkey and vegetables over medium high heat, breaking up the meat and browning it.
Add the rest of the ingredients, except beans, and corn, if used. Cook five minutes.
Stir in beans, and corn, and heat until hot.
4 servings

Linking to some of these great sites

11/8/10

Forget the Bird

While it might be more aptly referred to as dressing, since I don't stuff the turkey, in my mind, it is stuffing, and it must be made with the recipe below.  I used to make this for Thanksgiving every year, along with cranberry relish (recipe below), mashed sweet potatoes with bourbon, and a scrumptious spinach casserole. Now that family is scattered,  it is every man for himself, and I may never need to touch another dead bird again.

That's right, y'all can have your turkey. I will never understand the appeal. The side dishes are king. Besides, pulling out that bag of innards, is a nasty job. I wear gloves, and then I figure they are full of germs, and I throw them in the trash. Being wasteful then puts me in a bad mood. Who knows what I then do to the food.

Last year I served beans, and cornbread. The year prior, Indian food was on the menu. This year BG wants to make spanakopita as the main dish, and pumpkin pie as dessert. That sounds like an interesting combo.

Harvest Stuffing


     1 c. shredded carrot
1 c. chopped celery
1/2 c. chopped onion
1/2 c. butter
1 tsp. ground sage
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon pepper
8 c. dry bread cubes (I use bagged)
2 c. finely chopped and peeled apple
1/2 c. chopped walnuts
1/4 c. wheat germ
1/2 to 3/4 c. chicken or vegetable broth
In a skillet, cook carrot, celery and onion in butter until tender but not brown.
Stir in sage, cinnamon and pepper. In a large mixing bowl, combine bread cubes, apple, walnuts and wheat germ.
Add cooked vegetable mixture.
Drizzle with enough chicken broth to moisten, tossing lightly.
Use to stuff one 10 pound turkey, or bake in a casserole, which is what I do.
Makes 10 servings.
Cranberry Relish
12 oz bag of cranberries
3 T chopped red onion, or shallots
3/4 C golden raisins (plumped in warm water if not soft)
3/4 C red currant jelly
1/3 C sugar
Generous pinch of Cayenne pepper
3 T lemon juice

Pick over cranberries and rinse them. Chop coarsely by hand or in food processor.
Scrape cranberries into a bowl, and add the onion.
Chop the raisins and add to cranberries.
Combine the rest of the ingredients, except for the lemon juice, in a small saucepan.
Heat the mixture, stirring, over medium heat until it is quite hot, and the sugar is dissolved. I
Pour the hot mixture over the cranberries, onion, and raisins.
Add the lemon juice and mix well.
Cover and refrigerate overnight before serving.

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10/29/10

Butt Wiping with the Wests

In an attempt to limit bathroom visits by guests*, I have always bought Scott toilet paper. It feels a bit like sandpaper, so there is the added benefit of dead skin cell sloughing as you wipe. Single-ply is plumber endorsed, and of course, it is cheap. There is also a family history of use. My mom switched to Scott after some sort of plumbing disaster where the basement was playing host to floating poop. While I have vague memories of that disaster, fear overcomes me when I even so much as glance at double-ply on the grocery store shelf.
For many years, I saved the cardboard tubes.  Wrapped in crepe paper, and filled with candy, they made adorable crackers for birthday party favors. If I were so inclined, I could start looking through scrapbooks, to show you my creations.

I did look through a few birthday scrapbooks, but gave up, and decided to vacuum the slats in the door where the heat pump is located, read a bit of a blog, and texted PG, until she decided that even though she will most likely be voting for losers, she would vote today.

When I die, I want to know that both of my children will not skip an election.
That doesn't seem like asking too much.

Oh, and I found two, yes two, dried up toads in the house today. The first, I spotted when a workman was here. The sweet man scooped it up while I was drinking my coffee, trying to stay out of his way. The second was next to the heat pump.

These dead amphibians make me sad. They must be quickly hopping inside when I am not noticing, as the doors are never left open. We barely open the doors, since we have limited our guests with our toilet tissue choice.

Now, back to the reason for this post: 
Kimberly-Clark Rolls Out Tube-free Scott Toilet Paper

Yeah, I am excited!  


 *This goes back to me thinking that certain people won't properly wash their hands, thus spreading microbes of fecal matter throughout the house. Mrs. Magpie, rest assured that this does not apply to you. Come to think of it, it mainly applies to males. Study after study has shown, that men are not as neurotic as they should be.

Yes, I had the Scott t.p. photo on my computer. Vote, take pictures of everything, and always wash your hands, is my advice to all.

8/11/10

Wordless Wednesday - Pesto


Camera shy participants: 
olive oil, walnuts, garlic, and Parmesan cheese.

6/21/10

How I Spent My Summer Vacation First Day of Summer
By Lisa

 I sat, looking at rope, when the puffy clouds caught my attention.

Not wanting to be drawn in by nature, I stood up, and stared at whatever man-made materials I could find.

BB decided we should move.
He doesn't like to be called Boat Boy.
Sorry, but I draw the line at BM.
Besides, one should be thrilled with any nickname I bestow.

 Like usual, I wasn't sure if we were coming, or going.

My guess would be going.
Yes, that is heading away...
Oh, look, it's the rebuilt bridge.
Two lanes, because traffic hasn't changed.
It is your imagination that the population has grown.

The lighthouse
The lighthouse
I like threes, but I only took two.
People
Water
The End.

5/14/10

Couscous

'Cause my friends are always losing the recipe:

Minted Couscous Salad  


 
                                       
1  10 oz box couscous
2  Cups boiling water
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 19 oz can chick peas
8 oz feta cheese,  crumbled
2   tomatoes, diced
3 green onions, sliced
1/2  Cup parsley, chopped
1/2 Cup black olives
1/4 Cup chopped fresh mint (or  dried equivalent)
Dressing
1/3 Cup olive oil
3 Tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground  cumin
1/4  teaspoon black pepper

Pour  boiling water over couscous in a large bowl; cover and let stand 30  minutes until water is absorbed. Add remaining ingredients. In a small  bowl mix ingredients for dressing. Pour over salad and refrigerate for a  few hours. six servings





Another example of why I don't post on tablescape blogs.

5/4/10

Food Play

Capturing the pop of a grape tomato as it exploded in my mouth, proved to be too messy.  Instead, I caught the little bulgur speckled fella before the pop.




The perfect dessert
Dark chocolate that melts in your mouth, mingling with the creaminess of banana, is almost dream worthy.

3/5/10

Goldilocks and the Three Lamps





Because Tracy asked, here is a peek at the house. The house is new, but working with our old furniture and possessions, hasn't exactly netted us a show place. Tracy has a really pretty home, and a great style of decorating. When it comes to decor, I am a floundering fool who loves blue. I don't have as much blue in this house, and I miss it.

If you are a Facebook friend, you know that our new living room furniture is now being placed in my mouth. I will be blogging about my teeth, but I will wait until at least phase one is completed. Let me just tell you, one has not lived until temporary veneers fall off three of their top teeth.

There is a reason the dentist wouldn't let me see after he drilled my teeth into teensy squares. Well, I showed him. I got a lovely peek when I bit into something and cracked off half the top. I am now terrified of eating until the porcelain versions are cemented in place. That would be a blessing, except pudding and ice cream have been my food picks.
A Lamp Story

In our previous house in the Arctic, there was a long window above the bed.
The tiny lamps didn't seem as small, but with the high headboard, and the large wall, we needed different lamps.

The Shaker style furniture, which I chose in 1992, is not being replaced, even though am sort of sick of it. I don't hate it, but I really would love a something more traditional. SH would like a younger wife, but he is not replacing me. I have no idea why I thought of that. Maybe because my bra is really tight, and my brain...oh, wait, that's men who think with their... Breasts aren't genitals, right? When speaking of sex organs we don't include anything above the waist.

We found these lamps at Pier One. SH tried to talk me into the leopard shades, but just going for a more modern lamp base was being brave.

 Paiden Lamp

I loved these lamps, but they were too small.
Ignore the missing pillow shams. Most likely they were on the floor.
SH makes the bed, and he is not a fan of decorative pillows.
That is why we are down to two throw pillows, and they are always on the chair.
There appears to be an article of clothing on the bed. Just keepin' it real, as they say.

The shades on the dresser lamps need to be re-glued, or replaced.

Then I found what looked like the perfect lamp. 
Pottery Barn Chelsea Lamps
Before we headed to PB, I suggested we run into Target.
SH grimaced (in his defense, I had dragged him through HomeGoods for over an hour), but off we went.
This was a good move, because we found lamps for a lot less money.
Of course we had to drive to a second Target, because the first store only had one shade.

Oh, and I totally embarrassed SH while we were at the second store. At the checkout I discovered a flaw in the shade. This meant that I had to go back and search through a stack until I found a flawless shade. The cashier, as well as SH thought I was being too picky, but I found a shade that was nice.

 Target knock-off lamps
The shades are a textured beige linen, not white, like they appear in the photo.
I am 25 in the picture that is on SH's nightstand. He has never suggested updating that photo.

Last, but not least, I must thanks Mrs. Magpie for her suggestion of moving the smaller lamps to the dresser. 
I am very happy with having a light to turn on when I enter the room, and I like the way they look.