Thursday, April 30, 2009

Terrible, horrible, no good, very bad.... week

This has really been just a week from hell... I wish I could be all Suzy Sunshine all the time, but honestly I just don't have it in me. I'm tired... work's been crazy... my house is a mess... it's the end of the semester so everyone is crazy... the bulb burnt out in my projector... I had 400 women for lunch today... they took the gym away from me for 5 weeks making me bump a group to another location... they keep telling us to not spend any money, but do more work... It's just been a bad week overall...

Tomorrow is our annual Relay for Life fundraiser... which means I have to spend time with one particular family member that I am not always fond of spending time with... so I will have to grit my teeth a lot... but on the upside, I get to dress up like Cyndi Lauper... if I can just find some hair coloring. I have the outfit.

I need a vacation. Rum drinks served in pineapples with umbrellas... cabana boys... a beach... no responsibility. Dream on...

Sunday, April 26, 2009

50's Bash

We threw a 50's birthday party for my friend Debbie this weekend. She turned 50, thus the theme... We had a lot of fun planning it and she enjoyed it a lot. She's one of my very best friends.
Here we are in our 50's finest. Her daughter in law, Michelle, Debbie, her daughter, Monalee and myself.

50's party

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Good times with old friends!

We had our "Recall" this past weekend which is basically our yearly college homecoming. There weren't as many people as I had hoped but I did get to spend some time with some dear friends that I rarely get to see. One of my very best friends from high school and I (Amy) both skipped our senior years of high school to start college early. Our parents both worked there which probably helped. We were 17 and thought we were so cool to be in college. In hindsight I think I wish I would have stayed for that senior year and done a few things differently, but in the end I am happy to be where I am now. Who knows what different path my life may have taken if I hadn't what I had. Amy and I have managed to stay in touch somewhat over the years, but hadn't really connected until last summer at our high school reunion. After coming here this weekend her husband told her that she really needed to stop dragging him to these reunions if she was only coming to see me and that we should just get together on our own. He's right, of course, and I hope we can do that soon!

Amy and I

Amy and I at Casino Night.

Jamie and Amy Mackie

Jamie and Amy Mackie

I also got to see Barry Milam and his sister Amy. Amy married Kyle Johnson who I went to high school with. Small world. They are all living in San Antonio now, but I still haven't seen them since college. It was so much fun. I hope we get a chance to see each other more often!

The Milams/Johnsons at Casino night

Sara and Barry Milam and Amy (Milam) and Kyle Johnson.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Easter 2009

Morgan Easter 2009

Didn't get many pictures, but here's the kiddo hunting the eggs!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


I love my grill. It's the best thing in my cooking arsenal. When I asked for it for mother's day, James thought I was nuts. He said he never heard of a woman asking for a grill. Well, I do all the cooking, so I think I should have a grill fit for a queen... or at least for a mom!

Tonight we had beef kabobs. I bought boneless beef ribs, cut them into 1 inch pieces and marinated them for about an hour in worcestershire sauce, red wine vinegar, soy sauce, olive oil, grill seasoning and fresh garlic. Then I skewered some orange bell pepper and onions on some bamboo skewers (after soaking them for awhile, of course!) and the did separate skewers of yellow squash and mushrooms.

All and all I'd give it a 6 on a scale of 10. OK... Healthy, for sure... Even the kiddo asked for more mushrooms! She skipped the onions and bell pepper, but she made up for it in squash and mushrooms. The meat was really tender, but had some muscle running through it so it really had to be cut smaller even after the 1" pieces.

Last night I did the HEB pre-marinated chicken thigh fajitas on the grill... Two nights in a row I didn't have to heat up my kitchen and we had good food. I'm all about easy and good.

Tomorrow night is chicken fettucine alfredo... guess I could grill the chicken thighs first... that could be really tasty! Think I'll try... I'll let you know how it turns out!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Fish N Chips

We had this "good for you" version of Fish n Chips tonight. I added some smoked chipotle or cayenne pepper to the breadcrumbs to give it a little kick. Good stuff. This comes from Rachael Ray.

SERVES 4 Prep Time: 20 min Cook Time: 20 min

1/2 cup light sour cream
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon lemon juice, plus lemon wedges for serving
1 shallot, finely chopped
Salt and pepper
2 sweet potatoes (1 1/2 pounds), each cut into 12 wedges
1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
Cooking spray
1/3 cup cornmeal
1/3 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs
3/4 cup buttermilk
Four 5-ounce skinless, boneless tilapia fillets, each cut lengthwise into thirds

1. Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 450°. In a small bowl, stir together the sour cream, mayonnaise, lemon juice, shallot, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

2. On a foil-lined baking sheet, toss the sweet potatoes with the olive oil and 1 tablespoon parsley; season with salt and pepper. Spread in a single layer and bake on the lower rack until tender and crisp around the edges, about 20 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, coat another foil-lined baking sheet with cooking spray. In a medium bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, breadcrumbs, the remaining 2 tablespoons parsley, 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk and fish, turning to coat. Working with 1 piece at a time, coat the fish with the cornmeal mixture; transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Spray the fish with cooking spray; bake on the upper rack until golden-brown, 12 to 14 minutes. Serve with the fries, dipping sauce and lemon wedges.


Sunday, April 5, 2009

Tried it Twice... still don't like it

Last night we went over to see Gini and the baby at the hospital in Fredericksburg. I had thought we'd go visit and then have a nice dinner, preferably at Pasta Bella, but by the time we go there it was already 8:45 and by the time we left the hospital it was well past 9:00. We drove up and down the main street there in F'burg trying to find a restaurant, but amazingly most of them close at 9:00. You'd think for a tourist town, it would stay open later, especially on a really nice, warm Saturday night in April. We ended up at the Brewery which we had tried on one other occasion and were not that impressed. Last night was no different. The first time we ate there we tried their German food. Frozen pork/veal patty. I am not a fan of frozen, pre-purchased patties of any sort. And now that I have started making Jaegerschnitzel at home, we just don't eat it out anyway. I wish I could find veal, but pork works...

So last night James had the red snapper and I had a chicken fried steak. First of all, I am not a huge fan of restaurant chicken fried steak, but their menu is fairly limited and I was just wanting something that was mostly meat. It was about the size of a small dinner plate, but flatter than a pancake. The meat had all kinds of strings in it. Obviously a very cheap quality. I won't go as far as to say it was a frozen patty, but it was bad enough in it's flattened state. I will say the green beans were good. The German potatoes and onions were cold, had absolutely no seasoning on them and I am fairly certain that there are centuries of dead Germans rolling over in their graves at this very moment only because of them... James's fish was obviously from frozen state. (Not that we were expecting fresh red snapper in F'burg.) But these were frozen with the batter already on them. I'd say one step above Vandekamps.

My advice is... if you are going to visit the Brewery, stick to the brew.... enough of it and any food might taste decent!


Saturday, April 4, 2009

The goofiness of my kid

This picture was taken about two years ago.

Morgan Brush

I know God knew that she was safe and that "Grace" was never a name that I even slightly considered when naming my child. She found a round brush in the bathroom and decided to try to comb her naturally curly hair with it. A lot of conditioner and a lot of patience and we finally got it out! Just gotta love kids, don't you?

Morgan and Nana

She does lover her Nana, though. And as all good grandmothers, hers doesn't mind her goofiness as much as I do. She's so much more patient with her than I am. Funny, I don't remember my mom being that patient with me. Maybe I am just getting old and the memory is fuzzy? Somehow I doubt it. I think grandparents get a huge dose of patience somewhere along the line. Too bad they don't hand that out to parents as well.

Morgan and Papa Bear

She loved my dad so very much. I have never seen a grandparent/grandchild relationship that close. They truly were each other's best friends. Not too long before my dad died he told me that Morgan was THE most important person in his life. I truly think that she's the reason he hung on as long as he could. A year and a half later and there is still rarely a day that goes by that she doesn't mention her "Papa Bear". I miss him, too.

Baby Max

One of my best friends and coworkers and the person who performed my marriage ceremony, Reverend Gini Norris-Lane gave birth to her second child yesterday in Fredericksburg. Maxwell Robert Norris Lane joined us at 7:17 in the morning weighing 7 lbs and 10 oz and he was 20 1/4 inches long. He is welcomed by his parents, Gini and Wes and by big brother, Austin. We are all excited to have Max here with us. He joins the rest of the student services "M" children and we are thrilled that Gini continued the "M" tradition. The other "M's" include Morgan, Marcus, Marielle, Mattie and Maela. (We love Austin, Bishop and Lyric, too! And we forgive them for not being "M's" becuase their parents didn't work at Schreiner yet!)

Max and Aunt Tammi

Aunt Tammi and Max!

All together now

I've been blogging for awhile now in different sites all over the internet so I decided it was time to gather all my thoughts into one place. Most of you won't care and that's fine. I don't do this for any reason other than to get the random thoughts out of my brain. Helps me sleep... And helps me remember things. So that's that... who knows what will pop up here. Recipes, for sure. I seem to collect them a lot. Experiences, places we go, stories about the kiddo... yep, my thoughts are pretty random. But they'll be here... for what they are worth.