Sunday, June 26, 2011

Cole Slaw Salad


My department where I work has a lot of food days. 
One of my best friends there makes this awesome Cole Slaw Salad.  
I just love it and I am excited to make it with our fresh cabbage at the end of the growing season.
This salad is not a good left over salad because the Ramen Noodles become soggy when stored for a long time in the refrigerator.  I love the crunch of it the noodles in it.


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Friday, June 24, 2011

Friday Confessional



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It's that time of week for Friday Confessional. Please join Mamarazzi  for confession!


I confess...

I do not know where time has gone lately?  Seriously...I have been planning and preparing and missing the outdoors.  It did not help that it has rained so often.

I confess...

My one flower bed has brought such new life to me and this week I have had less grumpy moments.  I love this flower bed.  I plan to pick up some ornamental decorations to add.


I confess...

That we just completed our garden.  Yes, just completed.  We are so late this year with the planting.  Typically we are done in May with the peppers planted in the second week in June.




We still need to plant our tub garden.

I confess...

I love working outside.  Sadly I missed taking a photo of my rose bush this year and the stupid rabbits ate my entire new Asiatic and Oriental Lily bed.  I planted them last Summer and the rascals only allowed me to see two of the 9 new plants.  This is what they left me this year.  I am definitely going to have to place a little fence around it for next year or this bed will never expand.

Attractive isn't it? Darn rabbits.

What do you have to confess this week?
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Thank You Kera




Back on Halloween Kera told us she was pregnant.  
She totally surprised us and made me feel wonderful.
She told me she wanted me to be called Grandma as well.  
When it comes to the girls I can never assume anything.  
I love the relationship Kera and I have developed.

Her wonderful son came early. 
He is now 17 days old and he is definitely developing some personality. 
I love his facial expressions he makes.  
I love how he makes the cutest facial expressions while he is awake or asleep.


I love being a Grandma.
I can not believe how much I love this little guy.
He is tiny still...although
He has gained 9.5 oz since he was born.


I am also so proud of Kera.
She is a good Mom.
She tries so hard to do everything right.
With little help.
She beats herself up when she makes mistakes that she never knew.
I just remind her, she is a new Mom and a Good One.


Thank you Kera!

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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Wordless Wednesday


This has been linked to 5 Minutes for Moms and Marni's Organized Mess
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Tackle It Tuesday




I did not tackle my receiving blankets.

I did not tackle my quilt yet.

I did not tackle my surprise---guess what yet.

I did not tackle the remanding laundry, just kept up from where I was last week.

What I did tackle was more sleep this week.  I needed it.  I typically sleep 3-4 hours a night but Saturday I slept 12 hours and 45 minutes.  I have had 8 hours of sleep each night with exception of Saturday night.

I have been trying to get 64 oz of water every day.  
Saturday I bought this.





This has helped a lot.  
I add my water or crystal light to it.
I do not even have to get up from the phones, which helps since we are so busy.

That is it.  I feel kind of lazy this week,
BUT my Tackle this week was taking care of me.

What did you tackle this week?

I linked this to 5 Minutes for Moms

BTW...I love the new banner for Tackle it Tuesday.
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Sunday, June 19, 2011

2nd Time I Floated

Yesterday I posted about a time that I felt so high from a life experience, I mentioned within it how I had another.  Today I am going to dedicate this post to that man who created the second time I felt like I was floating from pure enjoyment, in honor of Father's Day.  Now he may not be my boys' biological father but he is a great role model for them.  He is here for them and they know he is reliable.  Now do not take me wrong, I have had several special moments in my life, the birth of each of my boys, the birth of my first grandchild, my wedding day, and graduations as well as whatever my child is involved in.  However there have only been two times in my life that I felt like my feet actually left the ground, the first July 18, 1990 when I saw Paul McCartney in concert and the other happened on May 31, 2008.

2008 was a two major big events for me, May my first born was graduating and July I was going to marry my Prince Charming.  My relationship with Matthew, my oldest was very unsettling. He was more then spreading his wings at that time.  It was very stressful.  We (Todd and I) had tickets to see the Cubs vs. Rockies game at Wrigley field on June 1, 2008.  It was a Sunday game, we purchased the tickets back in February I think.  Todd seeing how stressed I was between, Matthew, graduation, and trying to plan the wedding he felt a weekend away would be good and planned a surprise on May 31 for me.  All I knew is it had something to do with Chicago, since we were going there for the weekend now instead of just for the game.  He ended up telling me what it was prior so we can pack accordingly.  He purchased tickets for a dinner cruise from the Navy Pier.  He made all of these plans in just two weeks.

We drove up to Chicago and checked into our hotel and took a little nap.  Yep, first sign we are getting old when we are worn out from a drive. We then dressed up for our dinner on The Spirit of Chicago.  I was so excited.  I have never been on a cruise ship.  As we boarded the ship I remember the hostess telling us how elegant we looked.  I have never felt elegant but that made me feel good.  We had a two our cruise with dinner and entertainment.  Dinner was very good and the entertainment was superb.  It was just a DJ and 3 of the crew members singing occasionally but interacting with the guest.  It was very enjoyable.  I remember looking across the table and seeing this wonderful man I am so in love with.  During dinner Todd and I both agreed that this was so well worth getting a way for.  We were having a great time.  It was perfect.  After I got back from the bathroom the DJ announced it was time to grab that someone special and come out to the dance floor.  I thought "Yeah, right...Todd doesn't dance."  I have never danced with Todd on our first date he told me he does not dance so do not ever expect him to dance with me.  The song started....Oh My Goodness....it was our song. "Wonderful Tonight".  I looked at him and smiled and said something like Oh my goodness...our song...how coincidental. Now thinking this is a perfect night on this cruise. I looked over towards the entertainment directors and saw them looking at us with a huge smile, one saying to the other...it's their song.  I then looked at Todd, thinking something's going on...he smiled and said that he knows it's our song...it wasn't too coincidental, while I was in the restroom he requested it.  Then he asked me to dance. Our very first dance together ever!  It was perfect, although there were other couples that joined us, it was like we were alone...I kept leaning in and giving him a quick kiss.  I couldn't believe this man...how much he loves me...how much he wanted me to enjoy this evening. 

After our dance, we sat down and eventually, we joined in with the Conga, Limbo, and the Electric Slide.   We did not dance that well to the Electric Slide but we did not care either because we were having such a good time.  After the dancing we spent the remainder amount of time on the upper deck.  We enjoyed the view, the atmosphere, and took some pictures.  It was perfect.  After we docked we decided to walk along the Navy Pier and wait for the fireworks.  Oh yeah, there were lots of fireworks that night. It was absolutely the most romantic night I have ever had.  It was everything I hoped and longed for.  We both enjoyed our time so much.

The next day, we enjoyed our game too. Best seats we have ever had.  We only had 12 rows ahead of us and we were along the 3rd baseline in between the dug out and the pitcher's bull pen.  We had such great seats...a foul ball came towards us...aligned up for Todd, but then it dropped quickly and landed only 3 seats away from us. We got to see Soriano hit an out of the park home run.  The cubs won. Too bad they are not playing as well this year. 

We headed home and talked about our weekend.  He kept asking me how much I enjoyed it.  I kept telling him over and over.  On a scale 1-10 how would I rate this weekend. would be off the charts.  He asked me what my favorite part of the weekend. Wow this was hard, there were so many wonderful moments...It had to be the part that he requested our song and danced to it.  He smiled and told me that was his favorite too.  He told me that he wished he had the camera to take a picture of my face.  It was so worth the entire trip. He said I looked like I was a kid opening a Christmas present and seeing it was exactly what they always wanted.  My facial expression showed him how much that song really meant to me and how much I really love him.  He's right about that!  He told me that he was glad I enjoyed the weekend that much because it was all about me this weekend. I have never had a weekend all about me...I don't think I have ever had a day that was all about me.  On our trip home we would just giggle or smile at one another...we both were on cloud nine.  We watched a beautiful sunset as we were driving home.  What a beautiful way to end the perfect weekend.  I think my feet did not touch the ground for maybe 7 days after that weekend.  I just floated through the week.

Todd is good to me and my boys.  He's there for them, he will lose sleep to go see their performances.  I know they enjoy spending time with him and laugh with him a lot.  I could have not found a better father figure for them.  He means the world to me. Here are some pictures of that special weekend.














Happy Father's Day Todd!  
Thank you for being a great husband, best friend and Father.

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Saturday, June 18, 2011

Happy Birthday, Sir Paul

Today I am posting about a man that I have been gaga for since 1979. It is his birthday.  Although the man is 69 today, I think he looks good for his age, not as hot as he did before or I could just feel that way because I am so in love with my husband.   I wish I could talk to this man and tell him what all he has done for me.  This post is for you Sir Paul McCartney.

1979 was the year where everything really hit the wall in my home.  Our rock, the only person who could control my father came down with cancer, My Grandpa Rich.   He was actually diagnosed in February and past away in August.  My father is an alcoholic and abusive when he was drunk.  You could say he was abusive in other ways when he was not drunk either.  After his father died it became worse.  He would say that God never answered his prayers so there must not be one.  I turned to music.  I have always loved listening to music and I played the piano.  I loved a lot of groups from my parents area, like The Beatles as well as a lot of groups in the 70's.  I remember that Sunday when my Mom took me to K-Mart.  I wanted to buy a new album with the money I earned from babysitting.  I think I may have wanted a Shaun Cassidy album but once I saw Paul McCartney's newest album, I thought Wow!  He is so cute!  (I knew who he was because of The Beatles as well as Paul McCartney and Wings.  I remember when my mom was pregnant with Amy, Linda and Paul McCartney were on Good Morning America showing their newest child, James.)  I just had to have this album.

This was when I officially became gaga for him.  I would listen to his music for hours.  I would check out as many books as I could read from the library about him or The Beatles.  I would lose myself when I listened to his music or played the piano, this was my way of coping with what was going on at home.  My sister Lisa, turned to alcohol and drugs, I wish she would have made the same choice as I did.  It is funny because my mom was not worried about her but me, because I would lie on my bed just staring up at the ceiling listening to album after album of The Beatles, Paul McCartney and Wings, or just plain Paul McCartney. Now, I did listen to other music as well, but the bulk of it was The Beatles.  As I was on my bed I would fantasize, what teenager girl didn't when it came to stars.  I would fantasize about being his wife or even his daughter.  I read how he was a wonderful father and it was never in the media that the children were ever into trouble.  I would fantasize about James and Amy marrying one another.  I would fantasize about meeting him and telling him what he meant to me. It was his music that saved me. It saved me from what was going on in my house.  His music was my therapy, yes I was an addict but to his music not to the drugs that they (The Beatles) were addicted to.  I wanted to learn all the instruments that Paul McCartney could play. I wanted to make myself write left handed so I practiced all Summer, my teacher scorned me for doing this.  This was in 8th grade.

He was the subject of several of my journal entries while I was in 11th grade.  My teacher even commented on one stating how much of a huge fan she was as well.  She would taunt me in a friendly way how she saw him perform 3 times.  Oh, how I was envious of her.  To hear him play live in concert was one of my dreams that I wanted to come true in the worse way.  This teacher of mine during Spring Break that year went to California.  When we came back to school, in my journal was an envelope, inside was a post card of Paul McCartney when he was a Beatle.  She included a note as well, "Please keep care of this, it came from a Beatle Shop in California.  I wanted you to have it."  Years later when my oldest was in 8th grade I ran into her at his school.  She was the school's librarian.  She remembered me and asked me if I had the post card still.  I answered with a smile, that I do, it is in my photo album the same condition it was the day I brought it home from school.  I wish I could say I still have it.  When I divorced the boys' father he was suppose to gather somethings and give it to me, this was ordered by the court.  I never got them.  They are now long gone in a landfill when his house became foreclosed on.

My boyfriend in High School was jealous of Paul McCartney, that is how crazy I was about the man.  I think back now and find it humorous that someone I was dating was actually jealous of a celebrity that was/is way out of my reach.  Is that insane or what?  In college I still enjoyed listening to him.  I would listen to his music any time I was stressed or needed to relax.  The music would still take me a way to another place.  I married the boys' father while I was a Senior in college, 1988.  The following fall, 1989 while I was pregnant with our first son, I heard an announcement that I had been waiting for 10 years.  Paul McCartney was going to tour again.  This would be his first tour in 13 years.  I told my husband at that time, I did not care if we had to drive to New York or California, I was going to see him live.  It was announced that he would be playing two shows in Chicago.  I called and it was busy for 2 hours then I finally was able to get through, only to hear a recording that the shows were sold out, two concerts were sold out within 2 hours.  I was heart broken.  The nights of his concerts I cried myself to sleep in bed, both nights.  I thought what a cruel cruel joke this was.  THEN shortly after Matthew was born an announcement regarding his tour.  He had to cancel one of his dates in Canada and he scheduled a date in Ames, Iowa instead.  Oh this was my chance I thought, with my baby only being two weeks old, I stood in line for tickets while my Mom watched him and tried for tickets over the phone.  We both had success and we had 8 tickets.  We kept the better seats of the set and sold the others to someone else.  I could not believe it, one of my life time dreams WAS going to come true.  July 18, 1990, I went to Ames, Iowa to see him perform.  My sister-in-law watched Matthew.  On our way up, it was my Mother, her boyfriend, and my ex-husband, I was holding back tears because I felt so guilty for leaving my baby.  This was the first time I left him for more then 1 hour (the day I bought the tickets) and the furthest I was away from him as well.  I was starting to think I really did not want to be there.  We went into Cyclone Stadium (he played outdoors in the football field) my heart was so heavy from guilt.  We found our seats.  My Mom kept reassuring me that I was not the worse mother ever, then it happened....the stage floor opened...a piano was coming up from below and sitting at that piano was the man I had longed to see in concert.  At that moment, I did not think of anyone or anything, it was like who had a baby? Me?  I was lost in his music.  In awe of the moment.  I kept looking at my Mom and squeezing her hand every now and then.  I was thrilled I was sharing this moment with her.  I have never felt so high off the ground before in my life until my current husband whisked me away on a perfect get-away in 2008.  I can not explain how great I felt. 

Three years later when I was pregnant with my second son, he toured again, this time we did not go because his concert was only 4 days before my due date and we did not want to waste that much money.  I was okay with missing his concert this time.  I have missed a few other concerts since then.  He announced another tour this year.  We even looked into it.  The timing is perfect for us because we are on vacation during that time.  One of the shows in Chicago is on Todd's Birthday and we thought about getting tickets for an anniversary gift to one another but then we saw the cost and we just can not swing it right now with just replacing the washing machine.  I think we will sit on our deck and possibly listen to McCartney's music that night, maybe even dance to it who knows.

Oh by the way, Al, my Mom's boyfriend, he was a photographer and he is a big McCartney fan as well.  In 1990 when he was in Ames, Al drove up the day of the concert to see scope out things and took pictures of Paul McCartney.  In 2008 a few weeks before Al died he told my Mom to make sure I received this picture.  It is now on my head board in my bedroom.  I love it.  I reminds me of that special time in my life and of a very special man, Al.  How Al realized how much McCartney meant to me as well.


Happy Birthday Paul McCartney and thank you for all of the music you have provided us.

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Friday, June 17, 2011

Friday Confessional

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It's that time of week for Friday Confessional. Please join Mamarazzi  for confession!


I confess...

I have the huge case of grumpies.  Who knows maybe it is because I feel so exhausted.  I have been burning the candle at both ends and would love just two days where I can sleep as much as I want or need.

I confess...

It could also be from work.  The company made cut backs, basically 18 people in the Call Center and with Dependent Audit being so busy now and several companies having their Open Enrollment we are under staffed.  We are not meeting our department standards.  I have co-workers who continue to get up from their desk and chat as if when we were not busy.  Thus leading to us not being able to meet our stats even more.  This then leads to emails from the supervisor stating how we need to be available as much as possible and we have to limit the amount of people away from the phones.  We should leave for lunch on time as well as return on time.  I am always leaving late for lunch and going home because I was set high in all of our products.  That did change as of Tuesday evening when I finally brought it up.  My supervisor apologized because she did not realize this happened to me.  I confess that made me feel better.

I confess...

People who procrastinate to set up their benefit elections or did not submit documentation that was requested and now their dependents have been removed, if they call in and grumble grumble grumble...they do not get any empathy from me one bit.  Actually, they are contributing to my grumpies.

I confess...


There was this one caller that I DID feel bad for.  I hate it when we get a call and it is our mistake.  I know we all are human but this one bothered me.  This person called in back in April and we told the caller her file was complete.  Only to go through QA later to find out that the marriage certificate did not have the wedding date on it, therefore they dropped her dependent.  She calls and states she is mad, tells me what happened and her husband had a heart attack a month ago and needs his medication only we termed him.  This caller I did feel bad for.  This made me grumpy that the department that made the mistake tried to put it off as if she had time to fix it if she would have followed through.  She did butt head, your files stated she was complete therefore my department told her that.

I confess...

I wish there was a cure for the grumpies when it runs over to multiple days.  Well it's the end of the week, next week will be better...look for the silver lining!  :)

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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Tackle It Tuesday



Let me introduce you to one of my new best friends!


I never realized how crappy our old washer really was. 
It died a June 4th and I have not been able to wash any clothing
except for 3 outfits for each of us while I was tackling Kera's apartment for her
while she was in the hospital with Taj.
Since Thursday June 9th, 5 pm I have tackled 20 loads of laundry
and put away18 of the 20 loads. 
I still have about 10 more before I am all caught up.
I was behind to start with due to graduation the weekend before.

As I stated I also tackled Kera's apartment, well Todd and I did.
She and her sister moved the beginning of May and with her being pregnant
she had not unpacked many things. 
She was not ready for Taj one bit.  No baby clothing were cleaned as of yet.
I still had her bedding because we did not have time for her shower yet. 
It was scheduled for this Saturday.
I did 6 other loads of laundry for her as well in her apartment. 
This is on top of the 20 loads from our house.

I also tackled this...


I found this on Craigs List for only $20.
I cleaned it all up and disinfected it.
I washed the cover too.
If Kera does not want it then we are going to keep it for grandchildren.

We also picked this up a sport pack n play for grandchildren.
We found it on Craigs List as well.
I love it.  It comes with a fitted sheet as well as a bug net for the top.
I tackled this and cleaned it well.

This is linked to 5 Minutes for Moms

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Saturday, June 11, 2011

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

 I usually do not win contest but I sign up for them.  A few days before Joshua's graduation, Todd and I went to lunch at one of the Hy-Vee's here in Iowa City.  It was not the one by our house (the one that Joshua works at, the one that Matthew worked at.) it was our favorite one for the salad bar.  The Waterfront store has a much better salad bar.  They recently remodeled and they were having a Grand Re-Opening and had contest and I only signed up for one.  I signed up for the free grocery bag of food a $50 value.  Todd signed up for this one as well and a couple of other contest.

This evening I received a call from Hy-Vee telling me I won!  I cannot believe it...Winner Winner Chicken Dinner.  Nope, no chicken was in the bag.  Here are the products I won!

Pasta Sauce, BBQ Sauce, Powerade, Manwich, Pretzel M&Ms, Kraft Mac n' Cheese, 
Family Size Honey Nut Cheerios, Jalapeno Cheddar Bread, Family Size Brownie Mix, and Pringles
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