Thursday, August 26, 2010

Scalloped Potatoes (aka Cheesy Layers of Goodness)

All summer I had been avoiding adding any unnecessary heat to the kitchen by using my crock pot, microwave, toaster oven, pressure cooker and of course the grill. The summer's unbearable heat was finally replaced with cooler temperatures when it rained last week. That meant I could pull out the dutch ovens and turn on the stove again.

Can you say happy?

Even though I've gotten quite creative with the toaster oven (meatloaf, muffins & chicken tenders respectively) I was dying for a real meal with something that had been baked low and slow to get the flavors just right. After a quick scan of the fridge & google I found the perfect side dish solution.

Scalloped Potatoes using PHILADELPHIA Chive & Onion Cream Cheese Spread.

To die for.

I omitted the bacon* and cut the recipe in half because hello it was only 4 of us eating dinner and we did not need 18 servings. Anyway, I put it all together and stuck it in oven. I *wish* I had taken a picture. The cheese was ooey, gooey right on top and the onions had literally melted into the potato layers while the Philly cream cheese gave it an oomph of flavor.

It was YUMMY good. So good in fact it's going to be the first thing I make next time the temps decide to dip back down.

*No bacon just because I was too lazy to fry any but I'm certain it would have been even more delicious with a little salty pork. Salty pork makes everything better right?

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Big (or maybe not so big) Announcement

I posted earlier in the summer about the teen's decision not to attend a four year university mainly due to cost. (You can catch up here.) Since that had been the plan all along he was at a crossroads about what to do instead & weighed his options with a lot of thought.

I never really thought about it before now but what pressure to decide your future by the time you graduate. Hell, I'm 34 years young and I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up.

The only option that was not on the table was going straight to work. Working a dead end job for minimum wage is not something that we wanted for him. Obviously.

There is a very nice community college nearby that he could have attended for two years and then transferred to a four year university to finish his bachelors degree. That would have been a much more affordable option for us so we even offered to pay community college - no loans necessary & of course he would live at home. We'll call this Plan B.

Plan C was joining the Army. I know, I know. I was vehemently opposed to this option from the start because...well you can imagine why; however I was keeping an open mind.

So the teen embarked on a fact finding mission arranging a meeting with both the college counselor and the Army recruiter. His dad went with him to the recruiters office & they talked for hours. Literally. The teen decided to take the test that tells them which job he is better suited for.

During that week we did a lot of talking weighing the pros and cons of both options. The guys told me everything the recruiter had talked to them about including the GI Bill, aka when they pay for college. They talked about the Army band and the band on each post.

Then he took the placement test. And did really well. After the test he meets with the recruiter again and is offered a job at this time. I knew that. It's standard procedure and we all agreed it wouldn't hurt to listen and then take a few days to think it over.

In the meantime I thought he was still leaning towards community college. That meant being at home and being closer to his girlfriend. The only downside was he wouldn't be able to continue to play and study music while he was there.

The next week the teen and his dad went back to the recruiters office. Again they were there for hours. When the teen finally called me he said that S was on his way back to the office and would call me later. I asked about the meeting; the teen said he was offered the job he wanted and we would talk about it later.

S finally called me that afternoon and I immediately started in with the questions. Then he dropped the bomb - the teen had enlisted.


I was under the impression it was a meeting and that we would discuss it before any decisions were made. Apparently the teen had a different view of it all and had been doing a lot of thinking on his own. After I calmed down a little S was able to tell me more details. I sighed (heavily) and said "well it's only for two years." To which S replied "He signed up for four years."

And I FUH-REAKED out. Again.*

So to summarize the teen has enlisted in the Army. For four years. And I'm dealing.

He doesn't actually leave until January so I'll have time to get used to the idea before he leaves.

And then I will FUH-REAK out. Again.

*FUH-REAK is putting it mildly. Very mildly. Very, very mildly.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Quite Appropriate for Friday the 13th

I have a doctors appointment today. But not just any doctors appointment - it's my yearly "lady bidness" appointment.

On Friday the 13th.

Yep, seems about right to me.

I haven't quite decided which is worse - the humiliation of the "crotch-to-face" position or the tearing of the paper when they make you scoot down. Oh you know how it are lying bared-assed in a lovely, not so flattering, hospital gown on a paper lined cot and your gyno says "Scoot down."

"A little more."

"Just a little more."

"Almost there."


"Okay that's good."

Apparently the paper tear signals when you in just the right "crotch-to-face" position. ~sigh~

Next week's post: The eye doctor & tales of dilation.

Damn getting old sucks.

**Okay so tell me am I the only one that wears socks during the gyno check? I just think it's rude to have my bare feet in her face. Oxymoron perhaps?!

Monday, August 2, 2010

August already?

I just cannot believe it's August. Already. I blinked and now summer is almost over.

Here's the lowdown of our happenings since the graduation & cruise:

The teen has made the decision on what his future will hold that I will reveal at a later time. He hasn't told everyone in his family yet (most notably his mother) so I won't advertise it until he does. Just in case the wrong set of eyes sees it. Ahem.

There's been a lot of working and very little playing. We haven't been on the bike once this summer. Blasphemy! I plan to rectify this next if the weather would just cooperate.

Speaking of weather we've been sweating. A lot. The norm has been 90+ temps for this summer so it's not been ideal for any outdoor activities. So I've taken to indoor activities like shopping. Specifically Christmas shopping.**

We just got back from an impromptu trip to WV to meet up with friends for a 24 hour visit in the wild & wonderful state. Fabulous.

...and well that's it. Seems like I've been busy doing nothing. How about you?

**Christmas is only 144 days away. How's that for a reality check?!