Thursday, May 8, 2008

We're Goin' on a Mini-Moon!

What's a Mini-Moon, you ask? It's a weekend honeymoon sort of thing. More accurately, it's a weekend away with no children. Yee-haw! Randey and I are going to Bricktown in Oklahoma City. I love Bricktown. It's just cool. Tomorrow afternoon we'll be driving to Midwest City to drop the boys off at my dad's and Randey and I are heading to OKC (yeah, well, it's only about 6 or 7 miles away, so it's not like we'll have a long drive ahead of us from there). We plan on going to the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum - Randey's never seen it and it is certainly worth seeing. It's so beautiful, the way they've created a place of peace out of something so horrific. And then, of course, we're going to be eating at Toby Keith's I Love This Bar and Grill Restaurant. I've been wanting to go since it opened, but we've never managed to get there. I'm actually not a fan of country music for the most part, but I do loves me some Tobe. We might also visit the OKC Museum of Art - don't know if I can talk Randey into that one yet. Odds are against it, but I'm going to give it a shot anyway. And - I'm happy to report - the Oklahoma Redhawks, a farm team for the Texas Rangers, just happen to be having a home game Saturday night so we're planning on attending that. I love going to those ballgames. It's a wonderful ballpark that has the most awesome statue of Johnny Bench, THE Greatest Catcher in Baseball History, outside the stadium on the 1st base side. I can't tell you the times I've had my picture taken with that statue. One of these days, I'm going to take a ladder with me so I can actually climb up on it and get a GREAT picture of me and J.B. together. lol ('d be so worth getting arrested for.....) On Sunday, we'll head back to Dad's, have brunch with them and then head on home. What a weekend! A mini-moon with Big Daddy (aka Randey!) and Mother's Day with my kids. Well, half of my kids. The only thing that could possibly make it any better would be to have all of my kids and my grandchildren with me on that day.
Anywho, since we're going on this little Mini-Moon and since I've recently cleaned out my closet like a madwoman, I decided I needed some new clothes! (I actually blame this on Brenda. I was reading her blog and she was showing some clothes and shoes she'd bought for her upcoming trip to Amish country and I lost all control of myself. Like I told her, I'm probably one of those people who could be hypnotized very easily because WOW, the slightest little hint of suggestion was all I needed to hit the stores!). Now remember, this is a casual weekend, so I bought casual clothes. First is this outfit:
I know, I know...I'm a sucker for bright colors. Can't help it. I showed my restraint when it came to the capri pants. They're dark chocolate brown (which sounds better than just saying "brown"). Then I got this outfit:
I'm actually not much of a fan of HOT pink, but what the heck. Randey's always loved me in pink (I have no idea why) so I'm going with it. Notice the blue jean capri pants have hot pink stitching, too. And then, because I'm a firm believer in "you can never have too many watches", I bought a new watch, too. It's pretty cool....has cross charms all thru it and it jangles. What more you ask for in a watch? (Besides that it tell time, you smart***es!)
I also bought this skirt. I don't know why. I have nothing to wear with it. I didn't need it for this weekend, but I tried it on and loved the way it fit and felt. I'll find a top for it, sooner or later. I hope.
And then, since I had two new outfits, I thought maybe I should look into shoes to go with them. Because of the 3 rows of shoes I have at home, not one single pair was THE perfect pair for either of these "casual" outfits. Although, come to think of it, just how "perfect" does a pair of sandals have to be before you can declare them "workable"? Ah well, the deed is done so it doesn't matter now. Here's what I found:
Cute, huh? Well. After all that fierce and frenzied shopping for little ol' me, I started to feel a tad bit guilty. So I bought Randey 2 shirts, too. The "official" name of the color for the one on the left is called "Lemon Sherbet". LOL Don't tell Randey. He'd have a stroke if he thought he was wearing something called that.
That's my shopping spree. This is what I have to show for my efforts of yesterday. Well, that and another PRIMO crock pot dinner that I cooked. By golly, I'll have you to know, I've cooked every single night this week! Not one dinner out. This is a record in our household. lol Of course, I did eat lunch out. But lunch doesn't count. (That's actually a rule in the Official Guidebook of Cooking, Eating and Spending Money on Food). Speaking of eating out though, I'd like to take this moment to pass on a little advice to any and all out there who work in the service industry for a living. Specifically those of you who work the counter at, say...Chick-fil-a (or anywhere else really) and those of you who wait tables for a living at maybe a Logan's Roadhouse, for instance. Should a robust and/or fluffier-sized woman happen to order a soft drink from you and you are unclear as to what she asked for, do yourself a favor and don't say "Did you say diet coke?". See that's just rude. It'd be better to say "Did you say regular coke?" or "I'm sorry, what was that drink?". This is twice within the last couple of weeks that this has happened to me. The first time, I ordered a coke and the waitress says "Was that a diet coke?" and the second time was yesterday, when I ordered a small lemonade. The chick behind the counter said, "Did you say diet lemonade?". You know guys, it may be your perception that I should be ordering the diet versions of those drinks, but I'm the paying customer. I have been kind enough to choose your place of business to spend my money, thereby helping to enable your continued employment. Try not to insult me, eh? That'd be great. Really. And by not insulting me, the life you save may be your own. I'm coming so close to succumbing to that almost overwhelming urge to pick up your little stick-figured selves and smack you around like the WWF Champion I apparently so closely resemble. Now remember, this advice is for your own good. I haven't gotten violent or loud about it yet....but it's comin'. (This has been a public service announcement brought to you by Kari on behalf of big-butted women everywhere. Thank you.)

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

American Idol...the Final Four

Notice I didn't say the Fantastic Four. There's only one of these people who has consistently impressed me this season and that's David Cook. The rest of them....notsomuch.Having said that, I'll have to also say that David Cook's first song last night was somewhat less than stellar, in my opinion. But his second one was right on the money. Loved it. I will so be buying his CD whenever it comes out. Syesha thrilled me not. At all. Either song. The first one seemed like Tina Turner Lite (as in lightweight talent) and the second one darn near put me to sleep. Until that big screech at the end, that is. Jason Castro...ahhh, what can you say about the Flower Child of the 21 Century? lol It wasn't until the playback at the end of the show that I even realized what song he was singing the first time around (I remember Eric Clapton's version of that song. Hated it, too!). His second song was much better. Crying shame he forgot the lyrics. Still, I thought the judges were bordering on cruel with him. Makes me wonder what he's done to piss them off behind the scenes. lol Finally, David Archuleta. You know, this kid is incredibly sweet and he just seems so darn nice. And his singing is very nice, too. But that's all I think it is. Nice. Not fabulous. Not incredible. Just nice. But I'm in the minority with that opinion. Most people seem to love his voice. And the truth is, he's such a pleasant personality that it wouldn't break my heart to see him win. But my bet is still on David Cook "for the gold". I think he's definitely got the best future in music! What did ya'll think?

Now before I forget, the Crock Pot Queen (that's ME guys, keep up!) would like to bring you the world's easiest and tastiest pulled pork recipe. Here it is:

Barbecued Pulled Pork Sandwiches
1 pork shoulder roast (about 2 1/2 pounds)
1 bottle (14 ounces) barbecue sauce (I use KC Masterpiece)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 medium chopped onion (I use dry, minced onions just 'cause I like 'em)
buns or hard rolls

1. Place pork roast in crock pot. Cover and cook on LOW 10 to 12 hours or on HIGH 5 to 6 hours or until done. Now the recipe doesn't say so, but I just can't bring myself to stick that chunk of meat in there without at least some moisture so I add about 3/4 of an inch of water. Maybe you're not supposed to and this is one of those tell tale signs that I'm not a real cook! lol
2. Remove pork after it's done; discard cooking liquid (wonder how much there'd be without that water I added?). Anywho, shred the roast using two forks (pulling it apart, hence the name! duh!). Return pork to crock pot and add barbecue sauce, lemon juice, brown sugar and onion. Cover and cook on LOW 2 hours or on HIGH for 1 hour.
3. Serve on buns or hard rolls.
I'm telling you guys...this is so flippin' easy and tastes sooooooo good. You'll love it. It passes the family taste for yum-0 and the Kari test for easy to make. Thems high standards ya'll! lol

Now for some funny ads from the '70s. Let's just say...WE'VE COME A LONG WAY, BABY!

Yeah. 'Cause I'm all about making "my guy" comfortable during my period. It's the way I've always been.
I loved this shampoo. Don't remember having a boy in science lab hanging all over me just to sniff my hair, but maybe that just means I wasn't using it right. Or maybe the frog innards we were forced to examine kept me too distracted to notice. I'll never know now. lol Oh, and you can still buy it, too. For about $14 bucks a bottle!

And does anybody remember Love's Baby Soft fragrance? It was a great scent for young girls. But in retrospect, and taking into account their advertisements for it, just who were us young girls supposed to be smelling good for? Yikes! This ad looks like something that would have run in Pedophilia Monthly. The girl looks about 8 years old and is wearing more make-up than Gene Simmons at a KISS concert. Icky, icky, icky. Oh yeah, can you see the Love's Baby Soft slogan? "Because innocence is sexier than you think". Eeeeeeeeewwwwwwwww!

And on that disturbing note, I'll sign off. I feel like I should go take a shower now because that last ad made me feel ookie. This'll teach me to take a stroll down Memory Lane with products of yester-year! lol

Alright, I can't leave on that note. It's just too freaky. So here's another ad from those fun-loving '70s. One of the famous Virginia Slims "You've Come A Long Way, Baby" ads! Funny thing about these ads...I love, love, love the concept of how far women had actually come by the '70s (although we've come even further since and still have many, many metaphorical miles to go before we arrive!). But I'm pretty sure that the whole struggle for equality wasn't about smoking a cigarette with ease in public. lol And let me just throw this out there to 'ya...I, personally, smoked for 25 years and, at or near the beginning of my smoking experience, Virginia Slims was my brand of choice. I smoked a lot of them, I did. Lots and lots. And not one time did I ever glance into a mirror and see myself morphing into a Cheryl Tiegs type super model. What the heck? These ads almost promised me I'd be glamorous and independent if only I smoked Virginia Slims! (Dirty, rotten, filthy liars - that's all I have to say about those people!) But don't you just love the slogan on this particular ad? "The Virginia Slims Tool Kit. Because you've got more to fix than your face." Okay, so maybe they did try to tell me I wouldn't ever look like Cheryl. But I think they should have marketed more than a stupid tool kit and a pack of cigarettes if they wanted to really help me out with that!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Allow me to introduce myself....I am

Yep. That's me. Queen O' the Crock Pot! I'm telling you, I have become a maniac in the kitchen since I discovered how to use this thing! (Susan. Stop laughing!) I've made some pulled pork that is just Out.Of.This.World.Yum-O (in my own humble opinion, of course). Last night I made something called Mediterranean Chicken (Randey loved it, I thought it was pretty good and Jacob ate everything on his plate, therefore I will declare this recipe a success, as well). Last week I made Apricot Glazed Pork Roast. (That sounds so fancy, doesn't it?) lol It was mighty tasty, I don't mind telling you. I'm making it again tonight, as a matter of fact. For you guys to understand the total weirdness of me cooking, you'd have to know just exactly how much I despise cooking. I am not a cook. I am an eater. There's a difference. Spending too long in the kitchen trying to create something is sheer torture for me. It's not an area of the house that I feel....what's the word?....competent, yeah, that's it...competent. Most cookbooks may as well be in a foreign language, for all the sense they make to me. However! Crock pot cooking has changed my whole outlook on this cooking thing. I mean really, most crock pot cookbook recipes are practically idiot proof (okay, so I had that one little issue with that one stupid recipe, but let's not get into that). I can throw 75% of our evening meal together by 9:00 in the morning and can kick back and not think about it for the rest of the day. When dinner time rolls around, I only have to do one or two things (like make rice, mash some potatoes, fix a vegetable or something) and dinner is done. Oh yeah, kind of cooking. Although, I have to admit that the pulled pork recipe does require a little more work about an hour before we eat...I have to actually pull the pork apart and mix in the BBQ stuff. Still, easy work. This kind of cooking makes me as happy as I'll ever be inside a kitchen. So anywho, rather than throw in 3 or 4 recipes at a time, I'll just post one now and then one later, etc., etc.. I'll give you the Apricot Glazed Pork Roast today. Here goes:

1 can (10 1/2 ounces) condensed chicken broth
1 jar (18 ounces) apricot preserves
1 large onion, chopped (I actually slice my onion because
I have a kid who would rather stick needles under his fingernails than voluntarily eat an onion. He can pick the sliced ones out easier than if I chopped them!)
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 (3 1/2 to 4 pound) boneless pork loin roast

1. Mix broth, preserves, onion and mustard in the crock pot. Cut pork roast to fit and add to the crock pot also.
2. Cover and cook on LOW for 8 to 9 hours or on HIGH for 4 to 5 hours or until done.

Tip: For thicker sauce, mix together 2 tablespoons cornstarch and 2 tablespoons water. Remove pork from crock pot. Stir cornstarch mixture into cooker. Cover and cook on HIGH for 10 minutes or until mixture boils and thickens.

This recipe came out sooooo tasty last week. I can't remember what I served with it then, but tonight I'll add some green beans and potatoes au gratin (thank you very much Betty Crocker Deluxe Potatoes Loaded Au Gratin in a box). Man. Who'd have thought I'd ever sit around planning dinner like this? (Again, stop laughing, Susan!).
Okay, cooking time is over...on to other things. I decided I needed a new front door wreath the other day. My old one wasn't looking springy or fresh. I headed to Hobby Lobby, bought a little this and a little that and here's what I came up with: I need to move some stuff around on it. Too much pink located on the right hand side, not enough fluff on the top left but, generally, I like how it turned out. It's springy/early summer looking and that's what I was aiming for. Now check out this:How cool is this cabinet? Randey and I were at the Benbrook Antique Mall (betcha Teresa knows where that's at!) a few weeks ago and came across this. The price was great! Okay, so maybe the price was average, but it looked great so we snapped it up. I haven't really spent any time setting up the display items inside of it yet. The top where it says "telephone" can be replaced (it's just printed on paper and put inside the glass). I think I'll print up something using a Star Wars style font and put it in there instead of the word "telephone". Maybe I'll print up the word "hyperlink" or "hologram" (Star Wars lingo for "telephone". lol). I haven't decided. Next, get a load of this:My sister, Sherri, sent this to me. Do you have any idea how hard it is to find something with the word "Granny" on it? Everything says "Grandma" or "Nana". What up wid dat? My granddaughter (the one that can talk, that is!) calls me Granny. Anyway, the funny thing is, I saw this Jim Shore statue - well, not this one, but you know what I mean - about 3 or 4 weeks ago when we were in Canton, Texas. A few days after I saw it, I talked to Sherri and she asked me if I'd seen it. She, herself, had spied it when she was out shopping somewhere and it caught her eye because of the word "Granny". I thought it was so funny that we'd both seen it at about the same time. I laughed and told her that I'd shown it to Randey, giving him a hint at how much I liked it, but he didn't seem fazed by my hint (he says now that he was just waiting for the right moment! lol). I had to laugh when I opened the box from her. I truly did like this thing when I saw it and knew I'd have to have it sooner or later. 'Course, she told me that her husband said the wolf disguised as Granny was my "true self coming out", but I can rise above that sort of petty talk and see it for the sweet thing it was meant to be. lolololol
Now for some kind of sad news...see Blu Boy, our chow-chow? Isn't he a beauty? This picture was taken back in September, I think. Notice how pretty his coat looks?Yeah. Well. After wintertime, his coat isn't quite so shapely. It's usually thick, ragged, and falling out all over (although it seems to aim mainly for my off-white carpet most of the time). Every year, we get him shaved because of that. He hates it for the first couple of weeks and we have to keep him coated with sunscreen (SPF 50!), but once it starts growing back in, his coat is as soft and silky as can be. Unfortunately, Blu doesn't take too well to the shaving thing. In fact, he's decidedly unfriendly about the whole process. The vet routinely sedates him for these ordeals (it's better for him...he gets entirely too stressed during his grooming!). Anyway, yesterday was that time of year for him. Randey took him in and stayed with him until they put him under. Apparently, they didn't figure up the dosage correctly or they waited too long before they started trimming because just before the procedure was over, Blu started waking up. And he wasn't happy. They'd gotten just about everything shaved....except his feet and under his chin. Now look at the poor thing....He looks like he's wearing boots. The groomers opted to give us a discounted price for the grooming rather than attempt to trim his paws. Blu's attitude was the deciding factor. He let them know that he was F-I-N-I-S-H-E-D with them and was ready to part company. So this is how he looks. I guess we'll get used to his boots. I'm sure we will. It's better than last year, actually. Last year, they insisted on doing the "lion" cut. They left his mane, which was okay, but they also left this giant ball of fur on the end of his tail. Every time he'd see his tail wagging out of the corner of his eye, he'd jump sideways, thinking something was sneaking up on him. lol Poor Blu Boy. Even Sydney the Wonder Dog has been looking at him with pity today....

Monday, May 5, 2008

I'm Finally Out of my Closet!

A-HA! You guys took that all wrong didn't you? I'll have you to know, I 've been cleaning my closet - a job that required a lot of time, energy and perseverance. But I survived it (yeah, I know. I'm a rock, huh?) First, though, Aunt Sandi, Kat, Joan....and anyone else who has asked about my whereabouts (thank you for that, by the way!) apologies for not answering you sooner. See here's the deal. Randey had to go out of town - again! - for his job. It was the fifth out of town trip he's had to take since January. I mean good grief, I've been patient and understanding (in my own little way, of course) up till this time. Enough's enough, though. When you start averaging more than one trip a month, you've gone too far (or, more accurately, you're gone too much). After all, as I very succinctly said to Randey, I did not marry a Navy guy or a Marine fella' or an Army dude. I married an Air Force man. An Air Force man who has since become an Air Force Reservist and, what's more, an Air Force Reservist who is no longer activated. My tolerance at playing "single mom" and my ability to sweetly sit back and keep the home fires burnin' while my dearly beloved traveled these United States has drawn to an end. So, in order to keep from losing my mind and to stop myself from saying words I was sure to regret one day, I threw myself into doing some things that I've put off doing for years. Stupid, boring, time consuming things, like cleaning out my half of our closet. What a mess! Apparently, I've never met a pair of black shoes I didn't love because I found about 2 dozen pair underneath the 30 pairs of dress pants I owned that will never stretch over my arse again! And the skirts! I found skirts I don't even remember buying. (Hello, my name is Kari and I am a shopaholic and a pack rat.) But...after much sweating, cursing, culling and disgusted head-shaking, my part of our closet is CLEAN! Yay me! I took 4 giant contractor sized garbage bags, 1 regular kitchen sized bag and 2 boxes of stuff to Goodwill. No, it didn't all come from my half of the closet. ( big of a pack rat do you think I am?) Half of one of the boxes came from stuff I cleaned out of the storage underneath the stairs. lol The upside of all this cleaning and purging is that I was able to work through my feelings about Randey's job traveling without resorting to too much violence but the downside was that I didn't blog or even so much as talk to anyone I didn't have to. (I wasn't really fit for human interaction anyway...I swear I actually saw fire coming out of my ears, eyes, nose and mouth at the height of my fury! lol) Randey's office is now looking into changing things up a little bit so that he won't have to travel as often. Time will tell if the changes are effective. I will say this much; pity the person who fails at making this plan a reality because hell hath no fury like a woman left raising teenagers alone!!

After I exhausted myself with all the cleaning, I decided a little escapism was in I went to the movies. One movie I saw was Made of Honor. Everyone told me that this movie wasn't getting great reviews, etc. I'm here to tell you: Everyone was wrong! This was a really cute and funny, funny, funny movie. Sure, it was predictable, sure you could guess where it was going almost every step of the way, but still! I found myself laughing outloud over and over again. (The restaurant scene and Grandma's new necklace were the best parts.) I recommend this for a fun little date movie. It was cute, it was entertaining, it was sweet and, most of all, it was funny!

I also saw Street Kings. I liked this one more than I thought I would. A whole lot of violence, but a good story anyway. Not great, but good. God help me, I never thought I'd say this, but Keanu Reeves actually seems to be maturing. I know, I know...that's kind of a bold statement, but truth be told, I haven't really enjoyed him this much since his movie Speed. I usually think his delivery is kind of wooden and boring. I don't dislike him, he just doesn't usually thrill me. But his portrayal of his role in this movie was definitely above average. I'd probably even watch this movie again one of these days.

I actually saw this next movie a couple of weeks ago, before Randey left for his latest trip. We'd heard that this one was going to be funny. Hmph. This is a prime example of "Don't believe everything you hear". Randey thought it was pretty funny. Me? Not so much. I'll confess...I don't mind a little raunchy humor every now and then, I don't. But when raunchy slides on into gross, I'm no longer laughing. I'm not sure where I think this movie went wrong, I just know I didn't enjoy it. I found myself checking my watch to see when it would finally be over. Oh, and just in case you haven't heard, this movie features full frontal male nudity. Several times over. (Yeah. And I hadn't heard that prior to the show). Unexpectedly seeing the "leading man's" junk in all his imagined glory up on the big screen was not the thrill that he perhaps thought it might be. In fact, I started to understand exactly why Sarah Marshall dumped him...

This Saturday afternoon, Randey and I went together to see Ironman. I really liked this movie. I mean, I really liked this movie. I love Robert Downey, Jr. (anybody else see Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang???). I think he's a wonderful actor. I enjoy watching him pretend for a living. lol (Those who have read my rants about Players and Pretenders will probably know what I mean by that.) This movie combined action and humor as well as a pretty good story line. I would definitely watch this one again and in fact, probably will. Some of you may have heard about an "extra" scene that is shown after the credits are done rolling at the end of the movie. It's true. There is an extra scene. But I don't think it's worth waiting for if you're not a big comic book fan. I say that because Randey and I (and most of the other movie-goer's over the age of 30 who were there) felt like we had wasted 10 minutes of our lives by waiting for that last scene to appear. Kaleb and Jacob (who saw the movie Friday night) thought it was absolutely wonderful and well-worth the wait. They still don't understand why we weren't thrilled to see that 30 second "preview" of what is sure to be the sequel to Ironman. Then again, Randey and I don't read comic books. Kaleb and Jacob do. 'Nuff said.
Okay - I'd better stop posting now. Hope to be back tomorrow. Maybe then I'll tell you about my Crock-Pot cooking. I'm fast becoming the crock-pot queen. Why didn't I discover this thing sooner??? Who knew cooking could be so flippin' easy? lol