April 25, 2012

Things happen

It's been quiet here because life just got really busy. I am not even sure I remember everything that has happened but here are a few. ( by the way there might be errors here because I am using an app to type this using my little iPod keyboard)
1. On Monday I got a text asking me if I wanted a job... Thus I now have what is considered by most a "real job" (I realize what I have typed here might seem shady. The job is not shady... Well there are times when I am in the shade (lame joke laugh here) it is actually a really cool opportunity to help a fellow Maple Street pal. It's been fun granted it's a lot of work. I called myself the assistant to the assistant though my technical title is Jr designer... Not sure how much designing I will actually do which is fine sine I have only made a handful of arrangements in my life
2. A silk scarf order has come in. Sadly it's still within the family, but hey some of you where beginning to wonder if I was ever going to paint. I will hopefully post more about that later (after it is done and given to it's new owner)
3. My plan for pinterest Friday was in the works and then two things happened... First I realized that maybe I don't know how to do everything (ok so I knew that but sometimes I tell myself that "it can't really be that hard") secondly I was kidnaped

Ok so maybe I went voluntarily and MAYBE there was a lovely lunch and a side trip to my favorite store... So maybe it was more of a "fieldtrip" but that is the reasons that pinterest Friday did not happen this week.
Hopefully i will be able to sit down and write the rest of those interesting stories.
What have you been up to?

April 18, 2012

The Mystery of the Crackling Knee

To preference this post I have to say that I have been wary about posting things that are personal just because of the uncontrollable access there is in the internet, however lately I have been pondering more and more about this [and reading other blogs] and decided that maybe I should be a little more personal.

Last Christmas I received the gift of a gym membership, which was exactly what I asked for. After my introduction, I decided that I was going to scrap up the trainer fee as I felt it was important to keep me on track. I was going about 5 times a day with a trainer once a week until March and then I fell off the face of the earth. Between going out of town, getting www.308maplestreet.com running and eating junk food at birthday parties [we have a lot in march] I went 6 times in 30 days.
When April hit I mad myself promise that I would make up for it and not fall behind again. The one upside of not going in March was that I now had extra trainer days [they roll over into the next month if you don't use them] So for the month of April I am being forced to meet my trainer 2 times a week... and let me say that I think that is the best way and its too bad that I don't have enough money to continue on that schedule.

Anyway now to the real reason for this post

Since returning to my activities at the gym I have noticed my left knee "crackles" every time it is bent. And I am not talking about just an occasional "pop" I do mean.. EVERY TIME. I talked to my trainer [actually I talked to substitute trainer] and she said that as long as it doesn't hurt me I am ok and that its just a part of being old [ to which my mom kinda "freaked out" about saying that I am not old... aka she doesn't want to be ancient]
However she showed me that doing backward lunges would put less stress on my knees and allow me to continue working out.
This past monday I had my regular trainer and since it was my first time back with him since the crackling I told him what was going on and he to had me do different positions of squats and lunges to alleviate over stressing it.

After being told that this is "normal" I headed to the internet and WebMD told me I was dying of cancer to the knee... kidding [for those of you who have not used WebMD it is a online "Dr office" where you type in your aliments and it diagnosis you.. often the common cold is listed as also being something deadly... i guess they want to cover all their bases so that they can not be sued]
Anyway, most of what I read on various sites was that if there is no pain, then you use exercise to try to work it out on its own [which is what I am doing]
Today in my searching I finally came across what might be causing the issue... the way I sit. Now I will admit that the first cause is the simple fact that I am on my computer too much.. however the next big cause is that I sit in a "half lotus" position.. that is my left leg is tucked up in a half pretzel or for us --non-politically correct people --half Indian style. I believe this is in fact the cause to my knee pops so I am trying my hardest for a week to not sit like that at all and see if there is any improvement.

For those of you who remember the photo of my room, you will notice the green exercise ball. I actually got that out in February to help me sit more correctly but haven't used it in over a month... well that is being changed too.
So that's my current story, if you want to read some of the articles they are listed below. Since reading about the wrong ways to sit with your laptop I have dug out an old keyboard and have the keyboard on my lap while my laptop is still on my computer.. here's to trying to solve the mystery.


Oh and if you actually made it all the way down to here I shall reward you with this little trivia: I have been rereading books in my personal library and have several Nancy Drew's nearby which accounts for the Blog Title.

April 16, 2012

Monday movie review

Today I watched "Extremely loud and incredibly close". Its about a young boy struggling with the fact that his dad died in the collapse of the world trade centers. The child, named Osker, is extremely brilliant and knows a lot of trivia (the actor actually was the winner of child's jeopardy a few years ago) but has a huge list of fears (he is afraid of loud noises, old people and things where you could get stuck to name a few) and these fears just multiplied after his father's death.
While his father was alive he planned scavenger hunt like experience in the hope that it would help his son become braver. A year after 9-11 Osker finds a key in his dad's closet and thinking it is another clue (and desiring to "find" his dad) he sets on a journey to find the lock it fits.
This is a hard movie to watch at times but it's such a good story about the struggles of losing someone and yet finding out that you are not really alone. During his travels he mets so many interesting people and they share moments and dreams
One line that stood out to me was when Osker is talking to his mom and he says "everyone I met had lost something or someone." it truly was a healing process for him.
I'm not sure if I "recommend" this movie but I thought it was quiet good and thought provoking. The acting is well done with the young Osker as focus (my mom asked me where Tom hanks was... Which I informed her he was the dead father..they didn't focus on the big stars) There are a few choice words that are not needed and for those of you who are worried about the depiction of the tower collapsing:  they only show tv screens (no blood) though there are brief memory flashes of Tom hank's character falling (as if out of the building).

Pinterest Friday

Friday has come and went, but that does not mean that there wasn't a Pinterest Friday event going on... it only means that this gal is behind in her posting because of the crazy weekend. Also this Pinterest Friday was the most time consuming that I have planned, because it involved 5 days. You ask, why so many days for one event? Well today’s Pinterest is sponsored by thin you can’t live without.. FOOD! And I knew that I couldn’t just post one meal… so I have five meals that I made this week that where either new recipes or something above and beyond what is normally served at this household.

Monday: Chicken with Mustard Cream Sauce from Pioneer Woman.

Now I have made Mustard chicken since BC [Before College] and love it, so I figured that it was fitting to see if I could snazzy it up a bit.  But like most of my cooking, I hadn’t really planned for it and therefore started the cooking process without checking ingredients. {Typical} So there was a lot of googling for substitutions… like how to make your own heavy cream… which would have worked just fine until I realized that it was too soupy… thanks to our recipe making a cup of cream when we only needed ¼ cup… Heh. Also the recipe called for bourbon or white wine… which I had neither of… so out came a bottle of sparkling grape juice.
Despite not really following Pioneer Woman’s recipe it turned out really good and I will most likely be making it again [and who knows what I will substitute then]

Tuesday: Taco Boats… not one specific source other than my head... with handmade torillas

Something you may not know about me, is that I seem to be the only person around here that doesn’t really like the taste of beef… and because everyone else likes it I always am trying to come up with ways to hide the flavor [Or am I hiding the “Pink slime”?] I do like tacos because you have all the taco seasoning to cover up, so I made up the meat per tradition. However being required by Pinterest Friday to come up with something new/different I discovered a homemade tortilla recipe that I love [and have decided that I will most likely not be returning to store bought]
Making the tortillas was a fun new experience and has me requesting a press to make more.  Once everything was made [cooking the tortillas and the meat] I pressed the tortillas into a muffin tin and scooped the meat inside topping it off with cheese.
 Popping them in the oven just to melt the cheese they came out beautifully.
These were also really delicious and the left overs did not last very long [Me eating beef, who knew]

Wednesday: Based off “30 minute crispy salmon with creamy basil noodles” from How Sweet It Is

Since the New Year, our household goal is to eat fish more often and I have made it that Wednesday is fish night… However a certain member does not like fish so I am often on the lookout for a new way to make it more appealing. [Suggestions accepted]
Once again, I didn’t have what I needed to make this recipe so I just broiled the fish normally and then boiled some Asian noodles, drained them and then tossed the noodles in a cream of mushroom soup/milk mix. Toping that with the salmon and putting a dollop of left over soup mix on top.

Thursday: “Clean out the Fridge and Pantry” salad… from my brain.

It had been decided that we really needed to eat up the huge bag of spinach [from Costco] before it turned, so a big salad was in order. Again being “forced” to be creative, I wanted something other than “normal”. So I stood before the pantry pondering. My personal goal [besides making something “different”] was to make something that used up items that had been sitting around because we were not particularly fond of them. So it didn’t take me long to settle on a fruity salad.
For my Throw Out salad I used: 1 can of chicken breast[which I shredded], 1 can of pineapple bits, 1 can of mandarin oranges, 3-5 roma tomatoes[chopped], several splashes of strawberry poppy seed dressing, lots of spinach, some random cheeses, and a handful of pecans.
As a side we had a platter of 3 cheeses [which I can’t remember the names] and the very end of our box of wheat thins [Having not bought any crackers, again the whole planning thing] … was a pitiful platter but thoroughly enjoyed.

Friday was to be the last meal with me making pizza from scratch [something that is very rare around here] but I got rushed with preparing for scrapbook club [another interesting story], so we ate frozen instead. Saturday had us all in different locations so it wasn’t until Sunday that we once again ate a home cooked meal together.

Sunday: Mushroom Chicken and Fajita Chicken

Both of these are really simple and only count as Pinterest creativity in that I had never made them before. I pan fried chicken breast which I had cut up in 3 inch-ish pieces. Then in one pan I used the left over cream of mushroom soup with some milk and let that simmer while another pan had half of the chicken with the New Philadelphia Cream Cheese cooking cream Fajita style. Both were very good… personally liking the fajita more but I have never been a big fan of mushrooms.
Well I liked everything that I made this week. If you want to find out more about a recipe the links have been provided since I didn't want to type out all the recipes. 
Well I only have 4 days till the next Pinterest Friday... What have you created this week?

April 12, 2012

Come fly with me...

Let's fly away. Or just let balloons fly up in the sky.
Today was your average day, I woke up with a headache and then spend a long time perusing the net. After a bit I decided to mow the back paddock (between my yard and my neighboring grandma I have a lot of acreage that needs to be mown... Enough that you don't do it all in one day) So today I was in the far back that we just mow walking paths.
Again nothing really exciting (until google earth takes a new photo *wink*)
Returned the mower to the garage and proceeded to look in kitchen for inspiration for tonights dinner. At this time I look out the front door an notice that there is something shinny on the gate. Walking closer I see that it is a Micky Mouse happy birthday balloon. Now my birthday is far away, mom's is in three weeks and dads was last week but with extended family and a few of them practical jokesters you never know. Upon reaching the balloon I see that it has not been tied there (nixing a joke) and has been most likely pulled away from a party. Which is sad but still exciting to me cus I now have a birthday balloon.
Only a few seconds later I notice why the balloon got stuck in the first place... It has been tied to a dog collar.
Now not only sadness from a child missing a balloon but also worry that dog has escaped from party and child is now extremely heartbroken.
At the same time I wonder if maybe this is not really a collar of a pet as it is a "science balloon experiment" -- you know, like where you see how far the balloon traveled.
Seeing the pets name and a phone number and city I decide to call the number and find out what is going on.
Lady on phone: hello?
Me: um do you have a per named max?
Me: I found a pet collar tied to a balloon and wondered if you are missing your dog?
Lady: (starts laughing) I can't believe you found it. I was driving to ( omitted) birthday party and tied the balloon to my dog's collar. ( omitted)... It flew out the window.
Me: so you have the dog?
Lady: yes he's fine. Where did the balloon land? Are you in Indiana?
Me: yes actually im in the same city. Would you like the collar back?

She goes on to tell me that the party was not far from my house so it must have gotten stuck on the fence nearly as soon as it flew out her car. So now as I write this I keep getting up to look out the window and see if it's still there... I tied it back to the fence so she could see it from the road.

Yep still there.

Long over due...

Things that are often "over due" in my life.. Phone calls. Books from the library. And blog posts.
I don't really know why it is. I love rambling and it often is not that hard for me to come up with something to talk about... It's almost like I talk myself out of posting whatever idea I had... Or I say to myself that it really is not note worthy that I need to wait for something really good. Though that is true most of the time I would say it's because something shinny has taken my focus. Lets say that there is a Hanzel and Gretal in my life dropping shinny golden nuggets... Wait who am I kidding the original story of bread crumbs would work... Mmmm BREAD!! (this post has been interrupted by the dreams of bread loaves dancing in Marissa's head)

April 6, 2012

Pinterest Friday!

Today’s Pinterest Friday is sponsored by your childhood… crayons! When is the last time you used a crayon? Was it just the closest thing available when you wanted to write something down? Or did you color with a child recently?

I personally could not remember the last time I colored with crayons. When I babysat a month ago the girls wanted to use paints and makers… you know, the messy stuff is always better.
I have two projects today…

April 5, 2012

Behind the Scenes: Mouse in the House

308 Maple Street has a mouse… but this is not like your normal  house mouse, our mouse is kind of like Ratatouille… except he can do a whole lot more then cook… AND he doesn’t sit in our hair. [eww]

Cheese, who is illustrated by Laura of WatercolorTales

{http://laurawinslow.blogspot.com/} and {https://www.facebook.com/WatercolorTales},

 is a very personable mouse who’s best friend is a duck named Quackers.  I can’t tell you exactly how Cheese came into being, since I am not his creator, but I do know that it was developed through Laura’s love of mice. [Side note: She thinks they are cute when they are in their own habitat not necessarily when they are in her house]