Friday, June 29, 2012

Seven Quick Takes in which I want to hibernate until winter

--- 1 ---

I need ideas for super-quick, super-easy, high-protein breakfasts other than boiled eggs. "Super-quick and super-easy" translation: Sometimes I don't eat the boiled eggs because peeling them is too much work. (Also, the taste gets boring after a while.) So then I just have muffins for breakfast every day. I love muffins with a deathless passion, but my particular metabolism doesn't deal well with a constant influx of carbohydrates and I really ought to get better at that.

Oh, also, these breakfasts should be rock-bottom cheap.

--- 2 ---

My car has for quite a while been having problems with its electrical system. The car still runs fine and everything, but sometimes the air conditioning/radio/power windows will blink out for several minutes at a stretch before blinking back on. I ignored this all winter because I had other things to deal with, but then it got hot, and I don't deal well with heat. If you were paying attention, you will notice that the air conditioning and power windows BOTH go out, which means we are totally stuck in the stuffy car. We took it to a friend of a friend about a month and a half ago and he fiddled with the wiring for free and it worked again for about 3 weeks, which was fantabulous. But I'd rather not drive the half-hour to this guy's house every 3 weeks for the rest of the summer.

This is not a crowdsourcing Quick Take like the last one, this is just a complaining Quick Take. My first world problems are so oppressive.

--- 3 ---

I have been resenting my hair lately, which is something I do every summer. For those of you just tuning in, this is what my hair looks like, except it might even be a little longer now because it's been almost 2 years since that picture was taken. I think I did let my mom trim the ends once, though.

Anyway, I have no intention of chopping off my hair because I know I'd regret it. Plus Scott likes my hair. But I don't have anything on my mind besides "Wah, wah, so hot!" and I feel obliged to post these Quick Takes. So you get the scrapings from the bottom of the barrel this week.

On a happier note, I have lately been showering in the middle of the afternoon*, so when I go to pick Scott up from the bus stop in my oppressively hot non-air-conditioned car my hair is usually still wet and thus provides a nice cooling effect rather than a sensation of suffocation.

*Scott monopolizes the bathroom in the mornings getting ready for work. Now that he works all day, I don't want to shower in the evenings because that's another half-hour I can't spend with him. (Well... ...never mind, let's not go there.) So I shower after my nap. (I usually go to bed around midnight because of the aforementioned spending-time-with-my-husband issue. And then I get up at 5:45 so I have time to eat my breakfast in peace before I have to start prodding him out of bed at 6. I need my daily post-lunch nap.)

--- 4 ---

I solved the dilemma of the missing meal by making chicken pot pie. I had half a bag of mixed veggies in the freezer, I had chicken, I had flour, I had milk. I didn't have cream of chicken soup, but I figured I could work around that.

But then I used up all the flour on Monday making muffins and cornbread. Oopsie. So I substituted cornmeal for flour in the pot pie crust and it was actually pretty good. Kinda crumbly, but it tasted all right. Not bad at all for a meal thrown together using random items from the kitchen.

--- 5 ---

Several months ago, I decided to start collecting a list of the Most Hilariously Awesome Insults Ever. But I only had one.

Hilariously Awesome Insult #1: "You're such a loser that if they had a contest to decide who was the biggest loser, you'd come in second."

(Sadly, I don't remember where I found that, or I'd cite my source.)

 But yesterday I found another one.

Hilariously Awesome Insult #2: "I hope you step on a Lego!"

From this post. I know, it doesn't have the cleverness of the first example, but it's to the point and very, very vivid. I love it.

--- 6 ---

Follow-up to the car thing (It's now Friday morning instead of Thursday night, even though I referred to Saturday as "tomorrow" in one of the previous takes. I'm temporally confused.): I usually park on the west side of my apartment building because it's the most convenient. However, this aggravates the issue of burning-hot-carness in the afternoons, since by then the car's been sitting in direct sunlight for about 4 hours. There's no parking on the east side of the building, but today I parked on the north side after dropping Scott off in the hopes that this afternoon my car won't be quite such a deathtrap. Here's hoping it works.

--- 7 ---

I just realized that, since I didn't go grocery shopping this week, I won't be able to post about grocery shopping tomorrow, which is problematic because, as you can see, I have nothing of interest to talk about.

(P.S. I can't decide if "since I didn't go grocery shopping this week" should be offset with commas or not. I have seriously sat here analyzing it for 2 or 3 minutes. I'm nerdy like that.)

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Chili and cornbread

Recipes from my mom. I think the cornbread recipe is from the internet somewhere, but I'm not sure. 


1 lb ground beef or turkey
1 onion chopped
3 cans kidney beans
3 cups tomato sauce
1-2 tbsp chili powder
2 cups water

Brown onion and ground meat. Add remaining ingredients. Simmer for at least 30 minutes. Add water if it’s too thick.

* You can use a package of chili seasoning instead of the chili powder
* You can cook dried beans instead of canned beans. You would need about 5 cups.

Makes about 6 servings.



½ cup cornmeal 
1½ cup flour
2/3 cup sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
½ tsp salt


1/3 cup oil
3 tbsp melted butter/margarine
1 tbsp honey
2 eggs, beaten
1¼ cup milk 

Bake at 350° in a greased square pan for 30-35 minutes or until center is done. (This cooks a bit better in a rectangular pan if you have one that is smaller than 13 by 9.)

It can also be baked as muffins for 15-20 minutes at 400°.

Monday, June 25, 2012

In which my husband has a birthday

I should probably start on Thursday, when I went to my in-laws' to borrow a lemon zester and then went to the grocery store to buy a lot of things, including lemons. By the time I got home I was very very tired, but that night I made lemon butter frosting anyway because I wanted some chocolate frosting and wanted to make sure there would be enough powdered sugar to go around.

(I used the lemon version of the "Orange or lemon butter frosting" alternative under the "Butter frosting" recipe in this cookbook, which is the awesomest cookbook of all time. Do not get the newer one; it's not as good. My mom got me my copy of the 1981 one on eBay for Christmas a couple years ago. Best Christmas present ever. Anyway, I made that recipe but with only 3 1/2 cups of powdered sugar [which made it plenty stiff enough] and with the regular milk instead of the alternative lemon juice because I felt like it.)

Then on Friday I woke up and after some tidying up in the kitchen started making the cake. Cake takes a really long time to make when you actually follow the directions instead of just throwing ingredients haphazardly into a bowl and mixing it all up. (That works just fine 99% of the time, by the way. But I wanted Scott's birthday cake to be perfect.) 

See? Photographic evidence that I mixed the first three ingredients separately, which I NEVER do.

And here is photographic evidence that I greased AND floured the pans, which I also never do. I didn't flour the sides, though, because at that point I was getting bored.

Exhibit C: Somewhat blurry photographic evidence of how awesomely the cakes came out. I seriously just stared at them for several minutes because they were so pretty.

(For the cake, I religiously followed the "Yellow Citrus Cake" recipe in the aforementioned cookbook, except for leaving out the orange peel, because Scott asked for a lemon cake, not a lemon/orange cake. Plus I didn't have any oranges.)

While the cakes were baking, I rested a bit, so by the time they came out of the oven I was ready to be all domestic again. So I made lemon filling (a sub-recipe under the "Yellow Citrus Cake" heading). I was going to halve the recipe because it was supposed to be for a 4-layer cake (I was NOT going to cut my pretty cakes in half; they'd have fallen apart and been horribly ruined), but then I accidentally added the full amount of water because I am forgetful like that, so I just made the whole recipe. I even divided egg yolks from whites for the FIRST TIME EVER. It was surprisingly easy.

Here is a picture of the lemon filling on the cake that got elected to be the bottom layer. 

And here is the other cake flipped on top. The crusty part stuck to the plate it was on, but the cake was actually far less damaged than it looks. Also notice the ooze of lemon filling all around the sides; I probably could have gotten away with half the filling. Oh well.

I spent pretty much the entire afternoon working on frosting the cake; I didn't even get my usual nap. Then Scott got home and we suddenly realized that we had no way of lighting the birthday candles. I was trying to make dinner and finish frosting the cake and I felt tired in general, so I had Scott call his family and ask if Eldest Younger Brother could come bring us some matches. EYB's blood sugar was spiking, though, so he couldn't come. However, Scott's mom suggested that we go to the convenience store across the street from our apartment and see if they had any matches for sale. When Scott told me this, I said, "Of course! When you go to the convenience store to buy cigarettes you need a way to light them!"

So Scott walked over and it turns out that the convenience store across the street gives away books of matches for FREE. So we could light his candles after all.

I finished frosting the cake and we had dinner and then after we'd digested our dinners we had cake and presents.

Here is the finished cake. Can you guess what it's supposed to be?

A side view of a cake slice. (I have no idea why it's leaning like that.) Yes, I actually ate a small slice of cake and liked it a lot. It doesn't taste like dessert, though.

Another cake shot. You can see Scott's arm in the background. I can't post any other pictures because they have Scott's face in them and he likes to remain mysterious.

On Saturday my family came down to visit and we all went to an amusement park together. This wasn't for Scott's birthday; it just happened to be the weekend when my dad got discount tickets through his work. Teresa presented Scott with a colored picture of a birthday cake. She colored it blue because he's a boy. Later Mom reported that Teresa rejected most of the birthday cake coloring pages on the internet because they had flowers on them, which is apparently not sufficiently boyish.

Because I love you all, I got up out of my comfy chair in the middle of writing this post and took pictures:

The manly cake.

The envelope. Teresa's handwriting is getting pretty good, isn't it?

Then on Sunday I made Scott's Official Birthday Dinner. Behold:

I overcooked the steak a bit because I live in terror of undercooking food and giving us both food poisoning. It was still delicious. Then we watched the second half of Season 4 of Angel on Netflix while Scott backed up my computer. (Backing up my computer takes a LONG time because I have a huge mess of unnecessary files on here. Scott keeps telling me that someday we're going to go through the hard drive and he's going to make me delete all the stuff I never actually use.)

I was going to say "The End" here, but then I remembered that I'm still in the process of writing Scott's birthday letter, so technically his Birthday Weekend of Awesome is kind of turning into a Birthday Week of Awesome. Don't you wish you were him?

Saturday, June 23, 2012

June grocery shopping and menu plan part 4

Milk: 1 gallon for $1.69 at Aldi. (!!!)

Bananas: Almost 2 pounds for 55 cents at Aldi. (29 cents a pound.)

Rainbow sherbet: $4.99 at Aldi.

Bread: $1.29 at Aldi.

Lemons: 3 for $2 at Meijer.

Cream of mushroom soup: 59 cents at Aldi.

Apples: $2.99 at Aldi.

Egg noodles: 99 cents at Aldi.

Tomato sauce: 3 cans for 87 cents at Aldi.

Shredded cheddar: $2.99 at Aldi.

Sliced Muenster: $1.99 at Aldi.

Sour cream: $1.29 at Aldi.

Peas: 98 cents at Wal-Mart. I was going to buy peas at Aldi, but Kroger had a 10 for 10 sale so I decided to see if they had any interesting vegetables, figuring that the worst that could happen would be I'd buy a bag of peas for $1 instead of 99 cents. So I stopped at Kroger on my way home and realized that their bags of vegetables are TWELVE OUNCES. That was not acceptable, but at that point it was late and I was tired so I just went home. This morning I noticed that we're almost out of shampoo so I decided to go to Closer Aldi* and Wal-Mart to get peas and shampoo. But then it occurred to me to go to Wal-Mart first and see if Wal-Mart had peas so I would only have to make one stop. And behold.

*Closer Aldi is about 2 miles away in one direction; just a little farther in the same direction is Wal-Mart. The Aldi at which I usually shop is about 3 miles in a completely different direction, but it's on the same stretch of road as a Meijer and a GFS and I pass by Kroger on my way to that spot.

Total: $23.21

Month-to-date: $198.08

So much for the $180 goal. At least I've squeaked in under the $200 goal. I think next month I'm going to try to avoid buying meat and see if I can come in under $180 that way. (I bought a LOT of meat this month and now have 9 pounds of chicken, 9 pounds of pork, and 6 pounds of beef in my freezer. Plus a whole bunch of steak that my parents got for Scott as a birthday present. I need to make Scott have birthdays more often.) (Yes, I'm going to make him share. MMMMM, STEAK...)

(Bacon doesn't count as meat. Bacon is...a condiment.)

On to the menu plan:

Breakfast: Strawberry banana muffins / Banana muffins

Dinner: Macaroni and cheese (Friday) / McDonalds* (Saturday) / Steak, rice, and peas (Sunday) / Chili and cornbread (Monday) / Stroganoff (Wednesday)

*We went to an amusement park with my family and then my parents bought us dinner. Yes, my parents are responsible for all the fun stuff we eat. I think I'm okay with that. I wonder if they'll buy more steak for my birthday.

I let Scott pick all the meals because I just don't care this week. BLAAHHH. Can you tell he likes beef? (I really should have gotten two bags of peas so we'd have some for the stroganoff.) The dinner I'm cooking tomorrow is his Official Birthday Dinner, since his birthday was a Friday (no meat) and today we were busy.

Also, I seem to have neglected to plan a meal for Saturday, June 30, which I really should have done since I don't plan on shopping until Monday, July 2. (We have enough leftover mac 'n' cheese to tide us through Friday, June 29.) Whatever. We have plenty of meat and rice. As for the whole fruit/vegetable element...lemon cake counts as fruit, right?

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go look for my motivation. I seem to have misplaced it somewhere.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Southwest Chicken + "Midwest Chicken"

What my mom makes:

Southwest Chicken

1 jar salsa
1lb bag corn
4 servings brown rice prepare according to package
2-3 cups chicken (1 -1 ½ lbs) cooked diced
1 can black beans
Shredded cheddar cheese

What I make:

Approx. 2 cups dried kidney beans
2-3 cups chicken (1 - 1 1/2 lbs)
1 cup brown rice
1 lb frozen corn
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 jar salsa

1. The night before, start soaking the beans. Then on the day when you want to eat them, cook according to package directions. I generally cook a whole pound of beans and then scoop out 2 cups of cooked beans and save the rest for use in chili or minestrone soup or whatever.

2. Bake the chicken. I sometimes do this in the oven and sometimes in the crockpot. Once it's baked, chop it up into smallish pieces.

3. Cook the rice. I use 3 cups of water instead of the 2 that the package says because I like my brown rice a little soggy, apparently. (I cook it until there's no water left in the pot, though.)

4. Cook the corn. I microwave it for about 6 minutes.

5. Mix everything except the salsa all together in a big bowl. If your ingredients are fresh-cooked, they will probably melt the cheese. If you cook this meal in stages over 2 or 3 days like I usually do, dish it up into bowls and microwave it for 30 seconds or so.

6. Make fun of the members of your family who add nasty smelly salsa to their individual bowl.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

In which xkcd is wrong and I use a lot of capital letters just because I feel like it

First read this comic. Then come back and agree with me that it is WRONG.

1. Yes, I am one of those people who says "a couple" is TWO. Period, end of story, I don't care what you think. (Also, re the mouseover text: One. One space. FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT SPARKLES, ONLY ONE. Signed, your friendly neighborhood copy editor.)

2. A few: Three or four. Maybe five if I'm feeling benevolent that day or if you claim to be really bad at subitizing. (As an aside: It drives me nuts in novels when the author writes "There were three or four people in the room" or something like that. Which is it? It's not THAT hard to tell the difference between three and four.)

3. Several: 5 to 8 or so. Anything more than that is "a lot."

4. A handful: I don't usually use this in the metaphorical sense of "a small quantity." When I do, it straddles the boundary between "a few" and "several." But usually this is what I mean by a handful:

For comparison, this is a fistful:

Handful on left, fistful on right. As you can tell thanks to SCIENCE, a fistful is about twice the size of a handful.

I put some of these back in the bag afterward. "Some" is a quantity I'll leave undefined.

Monday, June 18, 2012

I'm much more profound in my own head

I have no less than three ideas for blog posts written down on the legal pad next to me, but I'm still waiting for somebody to Not Get my phone-talking post. There are certain kinds of posts where I'm putting myself out there (like when I talk about social anxiety) and then there are certain posts where I'm not (like when I post about grocery shopping or funny things my little sister says). I am realizing I can't handle more than one or two putting-myself-out-there posts per month, which is sad for any loyal readers I have because that means I either a) don't post or b) fill up the blog with the trivial stuff like grocery shopping. (I don't spend as much time with my little sister, so it's harder to exploit her for blog fodder. I should write down funny stuff my husband says.)

Oh, and you get posts where I blog about blogging itself. (It's Blogception!) Poor you.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

June grocery shopping and menu plan part 3

These groceries were bought this past Thursday with help from my friend Grace, because I am the kind of hostess who takes her houseguests on exciting outings. This week, all food was bought at Aldi.

 Milk: Two gallons for $3.98. Grace was very jealous of my milk prices.

Dill pickles: $1.19.

Orange juice: $1.29.

Corn: 99 cents. (Aldi should have a "dollar menu" like McDonalds.)

Shredded cheddar: $2.99.

Sliced monterrey jack: $1.99

Frozen strawberries: 2 pounds for $3.29. They changed the bag size and where it was in the store and I was all confused; I don't think that's really a good price even if you factor in the absence of stems. *sigh*

Smoked ham lunchmeat: $3.29.

Canola oil: $2.69.

Flour: $1.55.

Sugar: $2.88.

Oatmeal: $1.99.

Powdered sugar: $1.49.

(Can you tell I've been doing a lot of baking?)

Saltines: 89 cents.

Macaroni: $1.69. (For two pounds, mind.)

Tomato sauce: 3 cans for 87 cents.

Total: 34.05.

Month-to-date: 174.67.

I will certainly be able to pull off less than $200, but I don't think I can manage $180. Maybe I'll compromise on $190 and then shoot for $190 again next month. There are several things I did this month that used up a lot of money, most notable of which was buying that stupid pork roast at full price.

Now, meal plan! (I'm leaving out elements that are exactly the same as the last two weeks.)

Breakfast: Strawberry muffins.

Dinner: Macaroni and cheese (Friday) / Spaghetti and meatballs (Saturday) / Potato soup (Monday) / Southwest chicken (Wednesday).

Dessert: Still cupcakes. I'm making them last because I don't anticipate actually eating Scott's birthday cake. (He wants lemon; I don't like fruit-flavored cakes in general.) I guess we'll see.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Seven Quick Introvert Takes

--- 1 ---

On Saturday and Sunday, Scott and I went to visit my family. (As part of this, we were able to attend the Corpus Christi procession at my former parish, which was nice.) On Monday we went to the Schola end-of-year picnic. On Wednesday Grace stopped by for dinner on her way back from a job interview. We fed her, and then we sat around on our computers while she read books off our bookshelves. The next morning, after I got Scott off to work, she and I went grocery shopping together. Then she left. (I am a great hostess, aren't I?)

Meanwhile, Scott has been pining for Eldest Younger Brother, and he's annoying when he pines, so I suggested that he invite EYB over on Saturday. So not only will I have to deal with his presence (which is actually not that burdensome; he sits and plays videogames with Scott and doesn't bother me), I have to deal with the fact that the rest of my in-laws probably think I hate them since I never invite them over for intimate little one-on-one visits.

Being this introverted is hard work, y'all.

--- 2 ---

This Sunday is Father's Day. I just realized that we have not bought any cards or anything. *headdesk*

--- 3 ---

On the plus side, I did successfully order Scott's birthday present. I need to buy some lemons to make his lemon cake, and some rainbow sherbet, and possibly some other food. He has been vague about what he wants in terms of real food. My parents got him steak as a birthday present (*kisses in my parents' general direction*) so I might just cook up one of the huge steaks (there are 8 total, I think, and they are all huge) and serve it on a platter and call it good. Scott would actually probably like that.

--- 4 ---

I've mentioned Scott's weird stomach issues before. One fun facet of them: A few months ago fish started bothering him. So we cut fish out of our Friday rotation. Then earlier this month eggs started bothering him. So I stopped offering him eggs. ("Eggs": Omelettes, boiled eggs, etc. He doesn't seem to be bothered by my baked goods.)

Do you know how hard it is to make a meatless meal for somebody who can't eat fish or eggs? And then I feel like a failure as a human being because I can't provide my beloved with a healthsome breakfast so he can concentrate while he's out earning money so I can stay home writing blog posts and baking cakes.

--- 5 ---

My peas are officially dead. I am planning on replacing that regular Saturday feature with my "Here are the groceries I bought this week" feature.

--- 6 ---

Yesterday I actually published a post from my drafts folder. (Usually if I write a post and then put it in drafts so I can think about it some more, I end up not publishing it. This is probably a good thing, but let's pretend like it's a bad thing.) Ever since I've had Archibald the Asparagus in my head:

You can't say everybody's got a water buffalo when everyone does NOT have a water buffalo! We're going to get nasty letters saying, "Where's my water buffalo? Why don't I have a water buffalo?" And are you prepared to deal with that? I don't think so!

That fact inspires me to someday write a post about scripting. Don't hold your breath, though. I'll probably write that post and then put it in the drafts folder.

--- 7 ---

As of Tuesday it's been one year since Scott and I got engaged. (Yes, the priest let us bend the "6 months of prep" rule a little bit.) I feel like I should say something sappy here but the main emotion I have towards our engagement is relief that we survived it. Marriage, though? Marriage is great.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Rules for Talking on the Phone, by Megan

I have never liked talking on the phone. In recent years, I have come to tolerate it, but "improper" phone talking is still one of the top things that will send me flying into irrational rage. (But quietly. When I'm in an irrational rage I generally get really quiet. Which is also what happens when I'm tired or sad or happy. I'm kinda inscrutable that way.) It is second only to putting weird sauce on my food without asking.

Anyway, I decided that I am going to articulate my Rules for Talking on the Phone. This is mostly for my own amusement, since people who get it tend to get it instinctively, but who knows? Maybe this post will actually educate someone. Hope springs eternal and all that.

First point: There are two kinds of phone calls. Only two. This isn't like the chief weapons of the Spanish Inquisition.

The first kind of phone call is The Social Call. You may indicate that you wish to make a social call in one of three ways:

1. Plan the social call in advance. This is the most desirable way. To do this, you send an email saying something to the effect of, "Hey, it has been a while since we talked. Why don't I call you at a mutually convenient time and we can catch up?" Several additional emails are then exchanged in which you and I decide upon a mutually convenient time. You then call at the agreed-upon time. If I really like you, I might tolerate a bit of lateness (say, half an hour). Only my very nearest and dearest can get away with forgetting or getting busy and calling back the next day to apologize, and even then I will probably yell at them for making me think they were dead and/or hated me. (That is why I also do not tolerate lateness for in-person meetings.)

2. Leave a message. "Hey, Megan, it's X. I was just calling to say hi. Call me back when you get the chance. Bye." Please note that this message should be less than 1 minute long. Some people pay per minute for their phone plans and don't want to listen to you tell the answering machine about your day.

Oh, and LEAVE A PHONE NUMBER. Sometimes it is difficult for me to look up your number for various reasons. Especially if you are, like many of my friends, a highly mobile twentysomething who might have changed your phone number since the last time I called you and forgotten to tell me. If I am not 100% certain that I can still reach you at a given number, I will spiral into a heap of useless anxiety and you will never hear from me again.

(Exceptions to this rule: My family and my in-laws, when it is obvious that they are going to be at home. If you want me to call you back on your cell, LEAVE A PHONE NUMBER.)

3. Call the phone and get a live person. If it is me, skip the following step. If it is not me, say, "Is Megan available?" When I pick up the phone, say, "Hi, it's X, I was just calling to chat. Are you busy?" This is the least ideal method, because even when I say "Sorry, I'm busy right now, but maybe you can call back later" you will probably ramble on for five minutes before finally saying, "Oh, I'll let you get back to your thing. Talk to you later."

In order to avoid 3, you should really not even try 2. Just stick with 1.

The second kind of phone call is The Informational Call. This covers a variety of things. For instance, you are calling to inform me that you cannot make it to my party. (Ha ha ha. This is a funny example because I don't host parties.) There is only one rule for informational calls:

1. Communicate the piece(s) of information and then end the call.

Do not tell me "Hey, I was just calling to say I can't come to your party, I'm really sorry" and then ask me what I thought of the sports game last week. (That is also a funny example, because I don't watch sports.) Because that will lead to the aforementioned problem of talking for five minutes before I can finally hang up and go about my day. Also, it's irrelevant and distracting. If you call me and don't say you're calling just to chat, I assume you are calling to communicate one or more pieces of information. Most Irrelevant Talkers are nice enough to communicate the relevant information up front and then go off on tangents, but some like to bury 3 or 4 relevant points in 5 minutes of chatter. This is annoying, wastes everyone's time, and risks causing me to not remember the thing you actually wanted to tell me because you buried it in irrelevant tangents.

This also works in reverse. If I call you without specifically indicating that it is a social call, it is an informational call. Do not try to engage me in conversation; it will annoy me. For example, say you are my husband and I call and say, "Please pick up a gallon of milk at the store on your way home." (This is a funny example because my husband doesn't drive home from work. He takes the bus and I pick him up at the bus stop.) The only correct response is, "Yes, dear. Is that all?"* I will say "Yes" and you will say "Okay, I love you, goodbye." And I will say "I love you too, goodbye." The end. See how easy that is without all the extraneous chatter? And now you will remember to get the milk, because you will not have been distracted with other shiny pieces of conversation.

*Or possibly: "I am racing the zombie apocalypse and can't possibly stop; I was just about to call and tell you to retreat to the underground bunker."

If you forget this rule and I call to say "Pick up the milk" and you start telling me about your day, you are not permitted to get all bent out of shape when I talk over you to say, "Sorry, I have to go, the toddler is trying to put tape on the cat again." (This is a funny example because I don't have a toddler or a cat.) It's not interrupting if you monologue without regard for other people's time. That's a rule. It's right in Megan's Dictionary of Useful Terms under both "interrupting" and "talking incessantly." Look it up.

If these rules seem too draconian to you, you can always email. I love email. And if you should happen to annoy me via email I can just delete it and you never even know. Everyone wins.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Chicken alfredo

This recipe is a bit of a cop-out since the interesting part will be over on a different page, but I never said I was writing this blog to be interesting.

1. Cook and chop chicken. I put mine in the oven at 300 degrees for 2 hours and then chop it up once it cools a bit, but there are many ways to accomplish the same task.

2. Put water on to boil for pasta. We usually use macaroni noodles because macaroni comes in 2-pound boxes and we don't make mac 'n' cheese that often.

3. Cook alfredo sauce according to this recipe. I'd just copy that recipe here, but, you know, copyright infringment and all. The only difference is that I use 3/4 cup of Parmesan. Maybe that's not even a difference; I have no idea how to measure "6 ounces" of Parmesan.

You probably don't actually save money making this instead of buying jarred alfredo sauce, but you get to feel self-righteous about your awesome homemade food, which is what counts, right?

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

June grocery shopping and menu plan part 2

I bought these groceries last Thursday (5 days ago) but have been too busy to overshare until now.

Bacon: 1 pound for $2.99 at Aldi. (What? Don't tell me you've never gone through an entire pound of bacon in a week.)

Pork roast: About 9 lbs. for 15.67 at Meijer. (We did not go through the whole Kroger pork loin in a week. Our freezer is now full of pork.)

Vernor's ginger ale: $1 at Meijer. This was for a picnic; we don't usually buy soft drinks. (However, I plan to wholeheartedly enjoy the 1/3 of a bottle that was left over.)

Big K Lemon Lime: 87 cents at Kroger. This was to replenish our supply of medicinal pop. (Scott has stomach issues that are too complicated to explain here; pop sometimes helps.)

Parmesan cheese: $2.39 at Aldi.

Ranch dressing: $1.29 at Aldi. Also for the picnic.

Orange juice: $1.29 at Aldi.

Milk: $1.99 at Aldi.

Eggs: 4 dozen for $4 at Kroger. (I remembered to borrow Scott's Kroger Plus Card! Go me!)

Butter: 2 pounds for $4 at Meijer.

Chicken lunchmeat: 1 pound for $3.29 at Aldi.

Celery: 99 cents at Aldi.

Rice: 2 pounds for $1.92 at Meijer. (The 2-pound bag of Riceland brown rice is $2.19 or so. This is why you should always do the math instead of assuming the bigger bag is a better deal.)

Chicken bouillon: $1.49 at Aldi. (We keep bouillon on hand to make cups of chicken broth to drink. We also use it in soup and stuff.)

Brown sugar: $1.49 at Aldi.

Total: $44.67

Month-to-date: $140.62

As you can see, even while buying more meat for the stockpile I managed to cut my grocery bill in half between last week and this week. That's a fairly typical pattern for me. The question is whether I can get to the end of the month with $40. (My monthly budget is $200 but I spent about $220 last month, so I'm playing catch-up.) I still have Scott's birthday to get through.

Now for the meal list, since it would be a short and boring post by itself:

Breakfast: Banana muffins, boiled eggs / Leftovers / Breakfast with my family (Sunday)

Lunch: Lunch meat sandwiches; apples or baby carrots / Leftovers / Lunch with my family (Saturday and Sunday)

Dinner: Leftover cheese pizza (Friday) / Dinner with my family (Saturday) / Schola picnic (Monday) / Pork roast, green beans and bacon, parsley potatoes (Tuesday), Chicken alfredo (Wednesday)

Dessert: Cupcakes (I made extra)

As you can see, we had a bit of a weird week, visiting my family over the weekend and going to the Schola picnic on Monday. And I still had to cook today because we were out of leftovers. Woe is me.

Edited to add: I bought cream cheese last week thinking there was cream cheese in stroganoff. Turns out there isn't. (At least not in the recipe we use.) That's why we're having chicken alfredo this week. I don't meal plan around sales; I meal plan around my own absentmindedness.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Seven Quick Takes with CUPCAKES!

--- 1 ---
I was somehow under the impression that the Schola end-of-year picnic was in July. Then on Sunday or Monday Scott reminded me casually that it was in a week (i.e. this coming Monday). At which point I freaked out.

I am less freaked out now. I have a 2-liter of Vernor's ginger ale (a.k.a. the best soft drink in the history of mankind) that I got on sale for $1 and some carrots and celery and ranch dressing and 2 dozen mini cupcakes which are in the process of being frosted all fancy-like. I'd post a picture, but my camera is like a whole 20 feet away.

[imagine that some time passes]

See! It is a poorly lit picture of a cupcake on a dirty plate! That is how you know I took the picture myself instead of stealing it off somebody's Pinterest board. But isn't it a cute little cupcake?

I have 11 of those. Only 13 more to go, but my frosting was all melty and then after I stuck it in the fridge it was too hard and then my frosting bag (a regular sandwich bag with a hole cut in the corner Scotch taped to a decorating tip, because I'm too cheap to get the fancy bags to go with the decorating tips that I bought) got a hole in it. So I think the other 13 will have to wait until tomorrow.

--- 2 ---
On Tuesday, Scott and I sat down and balanced our budget for May. We actually came out a couple hundred dollars in the black. Go us! Of course, June is going to be a whole different ballgame...Scott is going to make a little more money, but (conveniently enough) his student loans are also coming due, so in about a month we will again be typing numbers into Excel with fear and trembling.

--- 3 ---
I have been writing about meal planning/grocery shopping the last few days. If you're interested in that kind of stuff, go here, here, and here. If you're not, come back in a couple of weeks. I will probably have gotten bored and moved on to something else.

--- 4 ---
Confession: I will renew library books that I've already finished reading just so I don't have to drive the 1.8 miles to the library and return them.

--- 5 ---
Scott and I finished watching all 7 seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer on Netflix Instant Play last week. We still have a season and a half of Angel, though. And then we have to watch Dollhouse, but Eldest Younger Brother apparently wants to watch that with us or something. Anyway, Scott and I are well on our way to watching the collected works of Joss Whedon in less than a year. Fear us and our geekiness.

--- 6 ---
Yesterday my right knee really hurt for no reason at all. Since I needed food and stuff, I went grocery shopping anyway and thus aggravated it by getting in and out of the car and carrying groceries up two flights of stairs and stuff. By the time I got home, my back was hurting too, probably as a result of limping around favoring my knee.

So I spent the entire evening getting up and down like an old lady.

My knee feels better today. My back still kind of hurts, but I am ignoring it. Except when Scott is around, when I demand backrubs.

--- 7 ---
About two weeks ago four of our lightbulbs burnt out. (FOUR. We only have, like, 10 in the whole apartment.) So last week I got lightbulbs at the store. I was able to replace the round lightbulb in the kitchen just fine, but the teardrop-shaped lightbulbs I'd gotten for the bedroom and living room were THE WRONG KIND. (There are TWO KINDS of teardrop-shaped 40-watt bulbs!!!) So then I went back to Meijer armed with a burnt-out lightbulb stuffed into my purse...and the display where the right kind would have been was empty. No more little teardrop lightbulbs. Everybody already bought them.

So I have to spend a whole 'nother week using the floor lamp (which is wedged inconveniently in the corner) instead of the ceiling fan (which has a switch in an easily accessible place and which illuminates the whole room from its convenient central postition). Because I'm not going back to the store to check for more lightbulbs before next week's shopping trip; that's a waste of gas.

Being a grown-up is complicated, y'all.

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Thursday, June 7, 2012

How I shop

Since this week is apparently Food Week on this blog, and I want to write about this anyway.

There are three separate "threads" that go into making a grocery list.

1. I look at the ads for the various stores at which I shop. If anything is on sale for a good enough price and we need it, I note it down. (So, chicken on sale for $2.19 a pound would not get noted down because I can routinely get chicken for $1.77 or $1.87 a pound--it goes on sale once or twice a month. Chicken on sale for $1.77 a pound when we already have two packages of chicken in the freezer [i.e. about 6 weeks' worth] wouldn't get noted down either.)

2. I meal plan. I generally cook 3 meaty meals every week and 1 meatless meal every other week, though this varies depending on a lot of factors. Since Scott started work, I've also been planning breakfast and lunch, since we can't just scrounge through the fridge at our leisure.

(Yes, we eat meat with almost every meal. This is why I'll never halve my budget. This and our inordinate love of ice cream.)

Once I meal plan, I make a list of everything we need that we don't have. (Noodles of various types and tomato sauce are two things that I use often but don't keep on hand, just for example. Sometimes I wish I kept them on hand, but they're universally cheap and readily available so it hasn't been a priority.)

3. I make a list of all the staples of which we have run out. This includes stuff like milk, eggs, butter, orange juice, etc. (the kind of things we buy almost every week) but also includes stuff like baking powder or spices. A lot of these things will get caught during the "meal plan" step. I've also experimented with writing them down as they get low, which works when I do it but doesn't work when I forget. (Which I usually do.)

I know of a lot of frugal meal planner types who say "plan meals around the sales," but I tend not to do that. Sometimes we'll run out of, say, pork, at the end of the month, so pork won't be a choice until it comes back on sale in a week. But that's not intentional; my goal is to buy enough pork that we can eat it whenever we feel like until the sale comes back around.

Now it occurs to me to wonder. What does "planning meals around sales" mean? I mean, I don't think anybody says "Oh, look, Meijer has Kraft Easy Mac and frozen pizza on sale! I guess we'll eat those this week instead of our usual fare of lean meats and fresh veggies!" (No judgment here if you happen to like Kraft Easy Mac or frozen pizza. Processed cheese products are delicious. I'm just trying to give an example.) I have a teeny-weeny apartment and I can still stock up on sale items (though I can't go crazy with it), so I don't think it's a storage issue. Maybe carless people do this because they can't carry a lot of food?

I'm much more likely to plan meals around what I already have. Example: I buy spaghetti in two-pound boxes. Last week Scott and I had spaghetti and meatballs. This week we had chicken carbonara, which used up the rest of the box of spaghetti. (This might actually be why I never succeed in building a noodle stockpile...)

Even better example: We had stroganoff twice this month because it uses half a tub of sour cream and it's the only thing we make that contains sour cream. Dry spaghetti noodles will keep indefinitely, but half of an opened tub of sour cream won't. So we have stroganoff twice in one month and not at all the next month instead of once per month.

Oh yes: I also usually plan dessert. Because we're all about the meat and dessert here. This does not often relate to the sales at all. It's just whatever we feel like having. I do try to go for homemade baked goods or the super-cheap ice cream instead of, say, Ben and Jerry's ice cream and Godiva chocolates. (Now I'm all hungry...) I am not terribly strict about it, though.

Anyway. Once I have meal planned and looked at ads and skimmed the kitchen for empty containers*, I take the list and transcribe it onto actual paper. I divide it by store but generally don't further subdivide it. I can hold 3 or 4 things in my head at once, and usually my Aldi list is the only one with more than 3 or 4 things. When I get to Aldi, I'll scan my list and find the 3 or 4 things that are nearest ahead of me and get them and then scan the list again and so on until I get to the end of the store. This works because Aldi is small and I know where everything is.

(*Side note: I have been known to leave an empty container sitting on the counter instead of throwing it away so I see it during my weekly sweep and know to add it to the list. Because if I don't see it, it doesn't exist, and then I go to make cookies and don't have any baking powder and there is wailing and gnashing of teeth.)

The day of the week on which I shop tends to vary wildly. My ideal is Wednesday or Thursday, but last week I shopped on Friday because Thursday was still May and I didn't have any money. A couple months ago (I could look it up but I don't feel like it) I had been shopping on Fridays but the month had 5 Fridays and ended on a Sunday. So I didn't shop on Friday number 5 but instead shopped on Monday number 1. And then I shopped on Wednesday the next week and Friday the week after that to get back on my end-of-week shopping track.

(I don't like Mondays and Tuesdays because they don't work as well with when the ads come out. And I like Fridays less because they tend to be more crowded. Lots of old ladies get their Social Security checks on Friday, I think. I have only been doing this shopping thing for 6 1/2 months, though, so I am still getting the hang of things.)

As I alluded to above, I will usually shop 4 times per month. If there are 5 of whatever day of the week in a given month, I'll go 1 1/2 or 2 weeks between trips. Or I might go out and just buy a handful of things, like milk and eggs. It depends.

ANYWAY. I keep going off on tangents. So, I have made my list and settled upon the appointed day for the shopping trip. Since Scott got a job and can't come shopping with me anymore, I have started asking for his bank card the night before. Yesterday I even managed to remember to ask for his Kroger Plus Card. Go me!

Then on the appointed day I will try to collect everything I need: The shopping list, a pen (to cross things off), the quarter for the cart at Aldi (I usually keep a quarter in the cupholder in my car for this very purpose, but not always.), the reusable grocery bags for Aldi, my apartment key, my car key, my driver's license, some form of payment to be exchanged for the groceries... There are probably other things that I'm forgetting. (Ha. See what I did there?) Usually I forget something. This is why I always try to carry a bank card AND a fair bit of cash, because I am prone to forgetting things and money is the one thing you don't want to forget*. (I don't carry $90 or $100 worth of cash, but when I spend $100 it tends to be at multiple stores. So I'd have the $40 or so necessary to finish my Meijer transaction and slink home in shame if I ever forgot my bank card, but not enough to actually finish my shopping trip. It's a fine line between "I don't want to run out of money" and "My poor situational awareness already makes me easy to rob; I don't want to make it worse by carrying $100 in cash.")

(*Well, you don't want to forget your keys either but you'd notice those as soon as a) you tried to lock your apartment and b) you tried to start your car. Whereas you might not realize that you forgot money until the cashier has rung up all your stuff and you are awkwardly rifling through your purse.)

Sometimes I get gas or something while I am out. I always note this down on the list so I don't forget. Because I will forget.

(Like this: "Meijer: Pork, chicken. Aldi: Milk, eggs, butter, celery. Speedway: Gas." Except with line breaks and more food.)

Then I come home and put all the food away. I usually separate the meat into smaller packets as I'm putting it away.

Then I sit around like a slug for the rest of the day because shopping is hard work.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Chicken carbonara

This recipe is loosely based on a recipe found in this cookbook. Like one of those "inspired by a true story" movies on the Hallmark channel.

1 1/2 pounds chicken
1 pound spaghetti
1/2 pound bacon
1 onion (or equivalent in dry onion)
2 cloves garlic (or equivalent)
2 teaspoons basil
2 large eggs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. Bake chicken and cut into small pieces; set aside.
2. Cook spaghetti.
While spaghetti is cooking:
3. Beat eggs, set aside.
4. Cut bacon into small pieces.
5. Dice onion. (Skip this step if you are using dry onion flakes. Obviously.)
6. Cook bacon, onion, garlic, and basil in a large skillet. (The onion will get very brown by the time the bacon cooks enough that you're not going to give yourself food poisoning. Don't worry; brown onion is tasty. If you use dry onion, you might wait and toss it in after the bacon has browned a bit, since it's already dried out and therefore burns faster.)
7. When pasta is cooked, drain, return to pot, and immediately add beaten eggs, stirring so pasta is coated evenly. (The heat of the pasta will cook the eggs. Promise.)
8. Add bacon mix, chicken, and parmesan to pasta.
9. Do I need to tell you "Eat immediately"?

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

June menu plan part 1

To go with yesterday's grocery shopping post.

Breakfast: Chocolate chip muffins, boiled eggs / Leftovers

Lunch: Lunch meat sandwiches, apples or baby carrots / Leftovers

Dinner: Cheese pizza (Friday) / Pork roast, green beans and bacon, rice (Saturday) / Chicken carbonara (Monday) / Stroganoff (Wednesday) / Leftovers

Dessert: Ice cream / chocolate pudding (made late last week)

If I were feeling all fancy I'd post pictures or recipes or something. But nope. Just a bare-bones menu plan.

(As I was proofreading this I realized that I forgot to get peas to go with the stroganoff. Oh well. We have green beans and apples and carrots and stuff; we won't die.)

Monday, June 4, 2012

June groceries Part 1

Just because I feel like obsessively oversharing, here are pictures of the groceries I bought on Friday. :)

First picture: Raw meat. I love cooked meat, but I think raw meat is pretty much equivalent to radioactive sludge so I don't let it touch anything else if possible.

Bacon: 1 lb. for $2.99 at Aldi.

Pork roast: About 4 1/2 lbs. for $14.52 at Kroger. It was supposed to be $1.99/lb., but a certain someone who shall remain nameless can never remember to bring her Kroger Plus Card and didn't have her husband along as she usually does. A certain someone who shall remain nameless is still kind of upset about this.

Chicken breast: About 9 lbs. for $17.63 at Meijer. That's $1.77/lb, and Meijer doesn't require you to remember to bring little pieces of plastic. (Well, except the debit card, and I can remember that much.)

After this picture was taken I separated the chicken into 6 little baggies. This prevents having to pry apart a huge log of frozen chicken whenever I want to cook something.
 Here is a whole bunch of "stuff that needs to go in the freezer or fridge before it spoils/melts."

Green beans: Four pounds for $3.98 at Meijer. I was only going to get one bag, but when I saw that they were $1.99 instead of $2.19 I got two.

Milk: 2 gallons for $3.98 at Aldi. Yay Aldi!

Cheddar cheese: 1 pound for $2.99 at Aldi.

Mozzarella cheese: 2 pounds for $5.98 at Aldi. One pound is for pizza; the other pound is just because.

Ice cream: 3 quarts for $5.38 at Aldi. You can get 5 quart buckets for about the same price, but then you don't get fun flavors like mint and cookies-n-creme.

Orange juice: $1.29 at Aldi.

Lunchmeat: 10 oz. for $2.45 at Aldi. It's cheaper in 1-pound bags but Scott hasn't had roast beef in a while and that only comes in the little packets.

Pepperjack cheese: $1.99 at Aldi.

Cream cheese: $1.19 at Aldi.

Chocolate chips: $1.79 at Aldi.
Other stuff that goes in the fridge, plus bananas that go on top of the fridge so they can get brown and spotty so I can make them into muffins. (Neither of us likes fresh bananas, but we'll both eat banana muffins like they're going out of style. We're obviously soulmates.)

Bananas: $1.10 at Aldi. (29 cents a pound.)

Eggs: 2 dozen for $2.18 at Aldi.

Green apples: $2.99 at Aldi.

Carrots: Four pounds for $1.96 at Aldi.

Bread: $1.29 at Aldi.
Pantry stuff.

Nonfat dry milk: $6.99 at Aldi.

All-purpose flour: $1.58 at Aldi.

Creamy peanut butter: $2.29 at Aldi. (There is another Aldi about 1.5 miles in the other direction that sells jars of peanut butter twice that size for $3.50 or so, but it's not worth a whole separate trip to save 70 cents a month on peanut butter. I have to go to the peanut-butter-less Aldi because it's in the same direction as Meijer.)

Dill pickle slices: $1.19 at Aldi.

Cream of mushroom soup: 59 cents at Aldi. (We use it in stroganoff.)

Italian seasoning: 99 cents at Aldi.

Baking cocoa: $2.39 at Meijer.

Spaghetti: 2 pounds for $1.69 at Aldi.

Tomato sauce: 16 oz. for 58 cents at Aldi.

Marshmallows: 99 cents at Aldi.

Egg noodles: 99 cents at Aldi.

Total: $95.95

That's actually not bad. I'm shooting for $180 or so this month since I overshot last month. Usually I spend about $115 during my first shopping trip of the month, stocking up on meat and such. (Meijer has chicken on sale almost every month.) So I'm on track. Scott's birthday will probably ruin everything, but for now I'm going to let myself feel self-congratulatory.

To make this really fair, I should have taken "before" pictures of my food supplies so you know what I already have on hand. Oh well. Too bad for you.

Not pictured: AA batteries, lightbulbs, and a "2" and "3" birthday candle. "Non-food purchased at grocery store" is a separate line on the budget.

(I'm turning 23 myself in November, so I'll be able to reuse the candles. I wonder if the "2" candle will be able to last for 2 birthdays per year until 2019, when we both turn 30. Of course, by then I'm hoping somebody else will need a "2" candle, so we probably will have to buy another one.)

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Sad wilty peas :(

This is what my peas look like. It rained cats and dogs yesterday and yet somehow their dirt is bone dry. Maybe the rain doesn't get onto the balcony. ... Actually, that sounds way too plausible. Oops. I'm sorry, little plants.

And they were just getting little pea-pods too. I am very disappointed.

I have not entirely given up hope that they might magically recover (some of the stems are still green!), but they do look awfully bad, don't they?

Friday, June 1, 2012

Seven Quick Takes at the end of a very long week

--- 1 ---
As I type this, it's 7:59 p.m. and the cheese pizza is topped and cooking in the oven. 'Cause I didn't get home from grocery shopping until 4:45 and I couldn't mix up the dough in advance because I was all out of flour.
--- 2 ---
You know how I've been investing all of my self-esteem in the fact that I'm able to keep my grocery budget to $200 a month for two people?

Well, my mom told me about the Grocery Cart Challenge blog.

I am going to go die of shame now.

(Not really. I'm just being dramatic.)
--- 3 ---
On Wednesday night the Schola of which Scott is a member had a concert. On Tuesday at 10:30 p.m. Scott's dad (also a member of the Schola) called to suggest vaguely that they might be able to pick Scott up. Nothing in particular was decided, so we went into Wednesday with two or three different plans contingent on various things.

At about 10:30 a.m., Scott's mom called to say she was heading to the cardiologist and I should probably not assume that Scott's dad would be able to bring him any stuff or anything like that.

At about 1:30 p.m., Scott's dad called to say he was in the ER with Scott's mom and wasn't sure he'd be able to make it to the concert at all.

So I spent the afternoon checking Facebook for updates and making spaghetti and...I don't know. Probably reading blogs or something else critical like that.

At 4:30 I finished making spaghetti and suddenly realized there was way too much stuff still to do. In the course of 15 minutes I got myself presentable, put together a bowl of spaghetti with a lid for Scott and a bowl of spaghetti without a lid for myself, gathered up all of Scott's stuff (a change of clothes, since concert-wear is different than business-wear, and his book of music), got myself a book, and headed out the door. Then I got gas real quick because I was down to a quarter tank. Then I drove down to St. TwentyMilesAway, eating my spaghetti at red lights. (I do not recommend this. Fortunately, I was wearing a dress with little red flowers on it.)

Scott, meanwhile, was taking a bus from his office to St. TwentyMilesAway. After some confusion, we found each other at about 5:40. (The Schola was supposed to assemble for rehearsal at 5:30.) Scott got his clothes and found a bathroom in which to change while I just kind of hung out. Scott's dad, Middle Younger Brother, and The Only Sister showed up some time later. I was very happy to see them. Mrs. ScholaDirector showed up right behind them. Then Scott finished changing, so he was able to get up to the choir loft right as rehearsal was actually starting.

I sat in the pews and read Sense and Sensibility until the concert started. Just as it was starting, Scott's mom, Younger Elder Brother, and Mrs. YEB came walking down the aisle. I scooted over to make room for them and was very happy to see them too. Scott's mom whispered that she really wasn't supposed to be out and about, but she didn't want to miss the concert.

(Later: Me: "Did you know [YEB] and [Mrs. YEB] were coming?" Scott: "Yeah. I thought you knew." Me: "Um, no, because you didn't tell me." I wasn't mad, but I would appreciate not having to read minds. :))

So we listened to the concert and then we all went back to Scott's parents' house and hung out and ate ice cream and stuff. Then Scott and I got to bed way too late. And Scott ate his spaghetti for breakfast the next morning.
--- 4 ---
I don't really remember what we did yesterday. Scott went to work and then in the evening I think we just lolled around being tired and watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Oh, and I made muffins.

This really short take makes up for the obscenely long one that came before it.
--- 5 ---
Did I mention that Scott's mom is okay? I'd rather not post details because I don't know how much she wants the internet to know, but the immediate crisis was averted and we're all very relieved. But do pray for her if you get the chance.
--- 6 ---
It has been baking hot lately. My poor peas are very very sad-looking. I didn't post a picture last week because my camera ran out of batteries. I might not post one this week, either, because they just look so pitiful.

Then today it rained cats and dogs most of the morning.

Now I have an awful headache. Yay cold fronts. (Normally I like cooler weather, but not when it makes my intracranial air pressure all wonky.)
--- 7 ---

Here is a picture of my brother. I don't need interesting content if I have pictures of babies, right?
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