Monday, April 30, 2012

Friend Makin' Monday - Cooking Habits

Wooohoo!  Happy dance for the A-Z Challenge that has now Zooooooomed away!

Spent the entire weekend watching kids dance at a competition - the girl's studio racked up by awards.  I like to think they were awesome, (and they were!!) but they were one of the few studios in this one particular category, so that may have helped some.  But we'll take it!

 It’s time for FMM!

If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section over at: so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

FMM: Cooking Habits

1. What is your favorite meal to prepare at home? Spaghetti and garlic toast.  It's one of the few dishes I make that Miss Picky will have seconds of.  I very seldom have leftovers.  I'm making lasagna tonight & they are both looking forward to that, too.
2. Do you like to experiment in the kitchen, or do you prefer to stick to the basics?  I like to experiment, but SOME people (cough, husband, cough, daughter, cough cough) in my house are not adventurous. 
3. What is your favorite cookbook? Hmmm…Hungry Girl has some great recipes! I also love and believe that Gina should publish a cookbook.  (Yes - I kept the same answer as Kenlie!)
4. Do you have any tricks to share that help you reach your fruits and veggies goal for the day?  Nothing recently, but I do love salads and will add spinach to my smoothies, when I make them.
5. What’s the most interesting thing you made last week?  This is a hard one - since I didn't go grocery shopping and was gone a lot due to the comp and stuff.  I had a box of Banquet Chicken & Dumplings (just mix it all up & bake and also very surprisingly low in Points!).  I added some extra Bisquick to make the dumplings bigger, more veggies and a can of cream of whatever and it was really good!
6. How often do you watch cooking shows on TV?  Never
7. When you’re hungry, where are you most likely to look first? Probably the fridge.
8. List a few healthy staples that can always be found in your kitchen. I always have chicken breast in the freezer. I usually have frozen strawberries, fresh spinach and romaine and skim milk. I usually always have bananas, peanut butter and eggs too. (same answer as Kenlie again!)
9. Are you motivated to cook at home even when you’re eating alone?  If it is just me, I have no problem with making some eggs and grits.  Or eggs & pancakes occasionally.
10. How often do you try new recipes? Not as often as I like, due to the afore-mentioned picky family.  Hubby likes the traditional old standbys and the girl will eat Pizza Rolls and Nutella until they come out of her ears.


Z is for ....Zulu

US Navy Signal Flag 
Semophore Signalling

source 1


Z is for Zumba!

Darn I wish my daughter's dance studio offered these classes sometime other than 9 am (when I'm at work) - this looks like a riot!

Zumba is a "Latin-inspired dance fitness program".  That pretty much explains it all.  The YouTube clip shows how its done.


Thank you so much for visiting me during the A-Z blogging challenge.  It's been a lot of fun and I will be sure to do this again next year!

Saturday, April 28, 2012


Y is for...Yodeling

Merle Travis & Betty DeVere with the Bronco Busters
featuring Tex Atchison on the fiddle and Herman the Hermit on banjo.
The Old Chisholm Trail


Y is for Yoga.

Yet another post that has taught me quite a lot!

Apparently yoga is not known for calorie burning, but it has been shown to decrease heart rate, help you to cope with stress better and just put you in a better mood.  This is besides the obvious benefit of increasing flexibility.

There are different types of yoga.  You know the guy sitting on the mountain top that people go to for words of wisdom?  He's practicing an Asana posture.  This pose is centered on the mind and you basically cannot move.  It's for deep meditation and relaxation.

Surya Namaskar are easy and repetitive poses known for the ability to make you relaxed and comfortable.  I have to assume this is for beginners, since it says you needn't be very flexible.

Bikram Yoga poses are the most common poses in yoga.  These are not relaxing poses and the room is usually hot.  There are 26 poses that you must do.  No alternatives, no shortcuts.  But people say they experience peace of mind and feel great afterward.

Pranayama is also known as the yoga science of breathing.  This sounds simple, but there is more to it than you think!  You must relax and be aware of your breathing.  You must also have a "free flow".  Not quite sure what that means!  And you must have just emptied your stomach.  I didn't realize that was something that just happens *snap* like that.  But t is suggested that you do this in the morning before sunrise, so yes, your stomach probably is empty. 

Shakti yoga helps people to change their way of thinking and teaches them to reach their maximum potential thru the use of powerful techniques.  There are a lot of methods used in shakti yoga that I'm surprised aren't used more, if they can change people's ways of thinking & such!!

This has opened my eyes to how pathetic my Wii Yoga really is!  However, even using the Wii regularly, I noticed myself having better balance - so i guess that's not all bad!

source 1

source 2

Friday, April 27, 2012


X is for... X marks the spot!

Let's go geocaching!

Geocaching is basically a real-life treasure hunt using hand-held GPS's.  It's a lot of fun. 

You enter the coordinates in your GPS, then go!  Sometimes it will be something like an old ammo box or a Tupperware container that you're looking for.  These are fun - there is a log book you sign (what better way to prove you found it!!) and possibly actual treasures that you can trade.  Other times it can be something you need to get info off of (like a headstone in a cemetery) or something you need to take a picture of. 

What's good about geocaching is that it can be as easy or as difficult as you want. Each cache is rated with difficulty & terrain so if you want an easy one to do with the kids, choose a 1/1.  If you want a really tough one, go for a 5/5.

We have found ones where I simply pulled into someone's driveway and it was in their flowerbed in the front yard.  My favorite one to do was in a cemetery, the original coordinates led us to a certain headstone and we needed to use the dates on the stone to find the next coordinates.  We did this 4 times before it led us to the actual cache. 

I highly recommend it!  I can even get my 14 year old daughter interested in this - she's learning physical geography and doesn't even realize it!  LOL!


X is for X-treme sports!!!

OK, these are the "craziest" of the extreme sports, according to

Volcano Boarding

Limbo Skating - for the very flexible!

Train Surfing - and if you watch the video on the link, they also train dance!

Crocodile Bungee - for when bungee jumping is too tame.  Here you get dunked into a neighborhood of live crocodiles!

Cliff diving.  Haven't Hawaiians been doing this forever?

Freestyle Powerisers Stilts - these look like a lot of fun!

Underwater Hockey.    O_o

 Airkicking - aka the human catapult

Slacklining - instead of using a tightrope, this is like walking on a rubber band.

Zorbing - or the human hamster ball.  Also looks like a lot of fun!  You have the option of being strapping a harness or filling the inner ball with some water so you slide around.  I would so do this!

One thing I noticed about all of these Xtreme sports - they are all being done by college aged guys.  Hmmmmm.  Coincidence?

Thursday, April 26, 2012


W is for....whatever!

I had a nice thought for a post today, but was actually busy at work today, then made this mistake of staying at the dance studio while the girl was in her classes, working on bling-ing out her warm up jacket.  So I didn't get my post written.....or weigh in done....or grocery shopping done...or aquarium scrubbed...or any number of things. 

So I'll close with a few more W words
Whack-a-doodle - (thank you Miss Angela!)
Wiggle wiggle wiggle ...yeah


W is for...

When I'm an Old Lady
~Joanne Bailey Baxter

When I'm an old lady, I'll live with each kid,
And bring so much happiness ... just as they did.
I want to pay back all the joy they've provided.
Returning each deed! Oh, they'll be so excited!
When I'm an old lady and live with my kids.

I'll write on the walls with reds, whites and blues,
And I'll bounce on the furniture, wearing my shoes.
I'll drink from the carton and then leave it out.
I'll stuff all the toilets and oh, how they'll shout!
When I'm an old lady and live with my kids.

When they're on the phone and just out of reach,
I'll get into things like sugar and bleach.
Oh, they'll snap their fingers and then shake their head,
When I'm an old lady and live with my kids.

When they cook dinner and call me to eat,
I'll not eat my green beans or salad or meat,
I'll gag on my okra, spill milk on the table,
And when they get angry... I'll run ... if I'm able!
When I'm an old lady and live with my kids.

I'll sit close to the TV, through the channels I'll click,
I'll cross both eyes just to see if they stick.
I'll take off my socks and throw one away,
And play in the mud until the end of the day!
When I'm an old lady and live with my kids.

And later in bed, I'll lay back and sigh,
I'll thank God in prayer and then close my eyes.
My kids will look down with a smile slowly creeping,
And say with a groan, "She's so sweet when she's sleeping!"

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


V is for...vegetarian!

Wow - writing this has been an eye-opener for me.  First of all - there's no way in hell I'd be a vegetarian and kudos to those who do!  I feel that God made animals taste good for a reason.  But I also understand there are many personal reasons why someone would choose to avoid the deliciousness known as meat. 

Anywhoooooo.  I had no idea there were different types of vegetarian diets. 

Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian eats dairy products and eggs, but no meat, fish or poultry.
Lacto Vegetarian eats dairy products, but no eggs.
Ovo Vegetarian eats eggs, but no dairy products.
Vegan eats no animal products whatsoever.

Then there are the Semi-Vegetarians.  They eat fish and maybe some poultry.
Pesci - Vegetarian eats fish, but no poultry.

The main concern I see with any of these forms of vegetarianism is that you have to be sure you include enough variety to ensure that you're getting all necessary vitamins and nutrients.   The article cited in my source is geared towards teens, but is very interesting.  I think like any way of eating, at first you'd really have to be conscious of what you're putting in your mouth.  It takes planning and thought, you just can't decide to stop eating meat and then grab a bag of potato chips!



V is for ...VF

VF stands for Fighter Squadron.  This is usually followed  by a number designation to tell them apart. These squadrons consisted of F-14 fighter jets - in my opinion, the coolest planes EVER!  Back in the day, when I was in the Navy on our cruise around the Western Pacific (WestPac '95) we had the VF-213 Blacklions on board with us.

Me & my Mom in front of an F-14 on the flight deck of 
USS Abraham Lincoln CVN-72.
October 1995

 Wings swept back for speed.

 Wings unswept.

You may recognize these as the planes Tom Cruise flew in Top Gun. I'm really sad that the Navy retired the F-14 Tomcats back in September, 2006.  They were / are awesome planes!


fun info

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


U is for.....the US Navy!

I enlisted in the Navy while still in high school.  I'd applied to and been accepted to a college in Ohio (for equestrian studies!) and thought I was happy with that.  One day I was walking thru the hallway at school and a Navy recruiter was standing outside the counseling office, minding his own business.  I recall doing one of those things where my head kept turning as I walked by slower and slower.  I sure don't remember what I said to him, but I know it had to have been the easiest sell in the history of recruiting. My parents were surprised, but supportive.

After some time in the Delayed Entry Program (I was both 17 and still in school when I signed up) and a couple other delays, I finally shipped out in March 1992.  First I went to bootcamp in Orlando (which has since been closed) and then to school in the Naval Technical Training Center, Corry Station in Pensacola (which I dropped out of because electronic savvy apparently is NOT genetic!) then went to my first ship at the Naval Submarine Base, Kings Bay, GA. 

 USS Canopus (AS-34)
submarine tenders provide maintenance and logistical support to nuclear powered submarines.

I got there in September 1992 and stayed until it was decommissioned in November 1994. We didn't go out to sea much.  However we did make a weekend trip to the Bahamas on the way from Georgia to Virginia.  We had the greatest captain!  I started out in deck department with my trusty paintbrush and then worked my way into the post office.

My next command was slightly bigger.

USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72)

Random aircraft carrier will never deploy alone. 
They are the central part of a battle group consisting of destroyers, cruisers, frigates and subs.

I actually loved the Lincoln.  I could tell stories all day about things that happened during my time there and places I visited like Hong Kong, Singapore, Jebal Ali, Bahrain, Diego Garcia etc.

Some of the more notable events...

dropping anchor in the middle of the America's Cup
I remember standing on deck with everyone else,
wondering why the heck these sailboats were so close!
There was extremely heavy fog, though.  And fiberglass doesn't get picked up on radar.

Crash at sea with the USS Sacramento (the Scrapmetal - LOL!) 
during refueling.

Re-enlisting between the rudders while in drydock. 
(sorry, no photos were taken!)

My required time at sea was up in September 1997, but I got to transfer to shore duty a couple months early due to the impending arrival of...
Miss Angela!

I spent the rest of my time in the Navy at Naval Station Everett, WA.  With the exception of duty days, it was like a regular job, with the base daycare a 5 minute walk away!

I did some cool stuff there, too.  The security detachment discovered I liked to help with training scenarios, so I was their "go-to" girl for outside help.  I got to be "shot" in the mailroom during a "hostile situation" and lay on the floor covered in fake blood & screaming.  Note - the personnel & legal offices on either side of the mailroom did NOTHING!!!  I also assisted in a domestic violence training bit with security and a mock DUI crash in conjunction with the Everett police. It was fun!

Anyway, I got out in 2000.  After Angel was born, I had a hard time with my physical readiness.  I couldn't breathe when I ran which made for some really slow times = bad.  Since I couldn't pass the PRT, I was not able to get stationed overseas (guess if you can't outrun the Italian natives, you can't be stationed in Signonella!), I was not able to take the next advancement exam and I was not able to re-enlist.  I was also going thru a divorce, so I took my honorable discharge and came home.

I don't regret a single minute of those 8 years and wish I would have put more "umph" into making it a career.  But if I did my life would be a lot different and I would be probably be retired with 20 years now. But I didn't and I also wouldn't change that for anything!


U is for Ugly Food.

I also wrote about ugly food for the "U" post in one of my other blogs, but this one is different.

I'll just let you go check out this site to peruse at your leisure.  I couldn't even choose a couple images to post here. 

Just a warning - make sure you're not eating.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Friend Makin' Monday - Q&A

I've been slacking on my FMM's due to the A-Z Challenge - shame on me!

If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section over at: so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

FMM: Q & A

1. Share one thing that has changed about you since you began blogging.  When I first started blogging, I'd only post maybe once a month, so my posts were novels.  I've learned that posting more often = shorter posts!
2. If you were forced to give up chocolate or potato chips for an entire year which one would you choose to live without? Potato chips. Easy!
3. What’s more attractive?  Without a second thought - uniform!  Maybe that goes back to my Navy days when that's all I saw?
4. If you could be a guest star on a reality show which one would it be?  The only reality show I actually watch is RuPaul's Drag Race, so I would have to choose that.  I think it would be a riot!
5. What is the last meal that you prepared for yourself? Spaghetti & garlic toast.  I promised the daughter I'd make it for her when she got her bottom braces on, since it's fairly soft and she likes it!
6. Is your hair colored, or is it natural?  Colored since my natural color is mud. And I've been showing some silver so Miss Clairol is totally my friend!

7. If you could leave town today and go anywhere, where would you go?  I'm OK with going "anywhere".  I'm not picky!
8. Do you prefer to exercise at the gym, at home or outside?  I haven't been to the gym in years.  So at home or outside.

9. Have you ever asked someone out on a date?  I've asked my hubby out on a date before!
10. How many cups of coffee do you drink on an average day? I usually have it 2 or 3 times a week.
11. Do you pack lightly, or do you over pack?  I usually slightly overpack.
12. What color are your nails now?  They're naked.  But since it is starting to be sandal season, my toes will be done soon.
13. If you could have lunch with one notable (living) person who inspires you who would it be?  Hmm.  I don't' know.  Maybe the former Kate Middleton, since she went from commoner to royalty.
14. Who is your favorite professional athlete? Nicklas Lidstrom - captain of the Detroit Red Wings - I don't care if they got knocked out of the playoffs already!
15. Gum or mints? mints
16. Have you ever eaten crawfish? nope, but I'm not opposed to it.
17. List one or more human characteristics that are a complete turn-off.  Arrogance / snobbiness / bad grammar / bad breath
18.  What is your favorite season?  Spring with Fall a close second.
19. Do you prefer to shake hands or hug?  hug
20. Can you quote lines from Saved by the Bell from memory?  If so, what’s your favorite?  nope, sorry.

Take a few moments to post your answers, then come back here to link up in the comments!
Happy Monday Friends!


T is for .... Trucks.

I must confess.  I like big trucks.  I guess maybe this is why I work at a trucking company!

 Gravedigger 30th Anniversary Semi
holds 3 Hot Wheels trucks. 

 My collection of Hot Wheels Monster Trucks

 I still need the zamboni to go with this. 

This past March, we went to Ford Field like we do every year to see Monster Jam.  It's such a fun evening!  We already have our tickets for next January.


 Hot Wheels

 Metal Mulisha


(check out the glowing eyes!)

 Maximum Destruction

 Gravedigger - the Legend

30th Anniversary Gravdigger

It's amazing some of the things these trucks can do!


T is for Tools.

OK, not that kind!

There are all sorts of items out there to help a person with their weight loss, whether it be to keep track of calories or carbs or any combination of nutrition and exercise. 

I use my WW eTools on the computer, there are all sorts of progress reports I can use to track how I'm doing. I also have my WW mobile app on my iPhone, although I learned quickly that the WW barcode scanner app is wrong.  I scanned a couple things that I had already knew the Points value for and it was wrong.  So that ticked me off a bit.  I also have measuring scoops for portion control and a digital kitchen scale that can switch between ounces and grams.

Everyone has their own methods that work best for them, either a simple notebook and pencil, a fancy website or whatever - tools help!

image from here

Saturday, April 21, 2012


S is for..... Shack

I wrote this when I was 15, about a small shack (that I believe could be haunted, but that's another story) that is only a short distance from the house I spent many summers & weekends as a child in central Michigan.


Standing on a hill,
Overlooking the river:
Far below.
The sun shines
With all its might
Through your door, your windows,
The hole in your roof.
All the summer days,
Sad and abandoned.

Snows fall, melt and
Freeze again.
Torturing your burnt wood
As much as the fire.
Buried in snow,
Pretty as a picture.
But you know different,
Because you’re the one
In pain.

At the edge of a field.
No one cares
About this poor little
Someone did – long ago,
But now they’re gone and
The shack is alone.

By Lisa Marie Owens
May 1988


S is for Smoothies.

Oh my - there are quite literally zillions of different smoothies out there to help you detox or simply get in some extra veggies.  If you go on Pinterest & search "smoothie" you'll get pins upon pins upon pins.

This is the first one that got my attention....

a frozen banana
Chobani Greek Yogurt, plain
peanut butter
almond milk

Of course I tweaked my recipe some, since I think almond milk is disgusting.  I used skim milk and tossed some strawberries in for some extra sweetening.  

Just any FYI if you do that......notice that lovely bright green up there?  Strawberries add red.  Which makes for a really nasty brown smoothie.  But if you can get past the color, it tastes really good!

Friday, April 20, 2012


R is for... Red Wings hockey!!

 Goalie ice sculpture in Utica 2/12

 Chris Osgood

 The rest of these were taken at HockeyFest 8/29/09

 me on the zamboni!

 The Spirit of Detroit
(this was actually taken the day of Game 5 in the playoffs 6/6/09)

 Sitting on the bench!