It’s Probably Nothing

This morning I got up to let Abby out.  She always has me up at the crack of dawn so I stumble out of bed, sleep walk into the livingroom and release her into the yard.  Then I stumble back into bed for a few more minutes of shut eye. 

 This morning though I had a very strange dream.  I don’t remember anything visually but I could hear someone talking.  They were saying, “I”m going to see Jesus soon.  I’m leaving very soon.”

I woke up and thought about what the heck that meant.  No one in my immediate family is very religious.  As I’m lying there contemplating all this and thinking that its now way beyond time I need to get up to make it to work at a decent time, the phone rings.  It’s my husband.  He is letting me know that his father is on the way to the hospital.  He has had a lot of medical issues the past few years, including a kidney transplant and diabetes.  He is currently suffering from dementia and had come down with a cold this past week.  He seem to be getting better but I guess this morning he was so weak he couldn’t stand.

Okay, this all may be an incredibly coincidence.  My father-in-law, who just turned 75 last week, is also a Christian minister.  Needless to say, its left me a bit uncomfortable today.  Certainly not anything I would share with hubby.  I’m going to hold onto the fact that this is probably a coincidence and maybe my brain was just in that mindset where I came from a volunteer meeting at the church last night after work.

Regardless, please think good thoughts for my father-in-law today.

The View From Tuesday

These little guys have the best view in town.  I see them on the way from the parking garage where I work.  They were kind enough to stay still long enough for me to take a picture.  It’s been so hot here that they seem to be enjoying the shade for the time being.

This little one may possibly be our latest house guest.  He is my in-law’s dog.  We noticed recently that he was losing some fur in patches on his face and hind quarters.  After bringing him to the vets this weekend, we found out he has lupus.  He’s on medication but it can’t be cured, only controlled.  Depending on how things go, we may have a new guest staying with us for awhile.  Not sure how he’ll do with the ferret.  We were concerned with Abby when we first got her and it ended up being we had to watch the ferret around her.  As little as Monsoon is she is not afraid to use those sharp teeth in that pointy little head of hers.

Recipe: Brie & Green Apple Empanadas

Yesterday I started channeling my inner Rachel Ray and got a little creative in the kitchen.  Maybe it was the recent full moon.  Anyways, during this time of the year I start to crave comfort foods.  I paid no mind to the fact that the high yesterday was 107 degrees F and still turned the oven on.  Wishful thinking?  I’d say so.

This was an experiment of sorts.  I had read about a recipe using goat cheese and where hubby is not a big fan of goat cheese, I decided to implement using brie cheese and green apples.

I bought a pre-made pie crust, wedge of brie, and a few green apples for this experiment.  Hubby appreciated being the guinea pig for this.  Here is the picture of the dough laid out.  I have a biscuit cutter that I purchased years ago from the Pampered Chef.  In addition to cutting round circles in the dough, it also perforated the edges which makes it easier to seal once the dough is stuffed and folded in half. 

 

Below is the first pass.  At first I didn’t want to use the oven given how hot its been here.  These were actually baked in the toaster oven.  They were a bit doughy.  The flavor of the dough seem to overpower the ingredients.  Hubby suggested that I baste them with butter and sprinkle on some cinnamon and sugar.  That apparently is how his mother makes her empanadas.  

So back off to the kitchen I went.  Here is the final product.  They were quite good.  The butter made the dough turn flaky and the cinnamon and sugar accentuated the tartness of the apple and the texture of the brie.  The dough flavor this time did not overpower the filling.  The next pass at this will include phyllo dough instead of pie crust.  I’ll post the results and see if there is any difference in the flavor and texture.

 Here is the recipe:

  • 1 refrigerated pre-made pie crust (should contain 2 pie crusts)
  • 1 Granny Smith apple
  • 1 wedge of brie cheese
  • 2 tbls of butter or margarine
  • sugar & cinnamon for sprinkling

Pre-heat the over to 350 degrees F.  Roll the dough out on a flat surface.  With either a round cookie of biscuit cutter (the top of a drinking glass will do the trick as well) press into dough.  Sliver the green apple into matchstick shapes.  Thinly slice the brie and add both a sliver of apple and cheese to one half of the cut out dough.  Fold in half and press edges with a fork.  Roll out excess dough with a rolling pin and cut out as many round dough circles as able.  Repeat this process until all dough is used.  Once empanadas are all stuffed, place on a flat baking sheet.  Melt butter in the microwave for 30 seconds.  Use a basting brush and apply liberally to the tops of empanadas.  Sprinkle sugar & cinnamon over top.  Bake for 40 – 45 minutes, or until golden brown.  Turn once during cooking.  Cool for 10 minutes and the serve.

Brie and apple can also be substituted with pie filling (which I may try next).  This was pretty easy to do.  Where the holidays are coming up, I’m always looking for new things that are easy to make and that friends may enjoy.  Next weekend I’m going to do this same recipe using the phyllo dough instead of pie crust.  We’ll see how that works.

Does This Sound Fair?

Back in June I received a letter from a certain service provider we had at home that the card that they were withdrawing monthly payments from was about to expire.  Shortly after that I received another letter from the company that they were going out of business.  Seeing this I of course didn’t call to give them the new card number. 

As predicted the service was shut off and where my husband was laid off from his job shortly after, I didn’t bother to get a new service provider. 

So last night I’m watching tv with hubby and the phone rings.  I get a call from what I thought was a telemarketer (you know how you get a pause before someone actually gets on the line).  Don’t ask me why I didn’t just hang up.  It ends up being a woman from another service provider letting me know that I was now past due 4 months worth of payments equalling $200 total.  I told her I didn’t know what she was talking about.

Apparently the company I had originally been dealing with was sold to another provider and I was not notified of this.  I tried to explain that I hadn’t had service in months and purposely didn’t update the account where they were going out of business.  She told me to cancel then I would have to pay a penalty.  WTH?  I said, penalty on what?  I haven’t had service here in quite some time.

So anyways, to make a long story short, until I can get this resolved, they credited my account $50 to keep me from going into collection status.  I pretty much went through the roof.  I told them that I would refuse to pay on the grounds that I never had service.  I never received so much as a bill from them.  How the hell do I owe them money? 

Well, I’ve calmed down now but receiving a call like that on a Friday evening is pretty much the last thing anyone would want to hear.  Why is it when companies screw up its us that has to prove their wrong doing?

Some Pics I’ve Been Messing With

Winter Dream

This extreme close up was taken of Abby right after Christmas last year.  We took her to Flagstaff to play in the snow.  The snow was quite deep.  I had fallen in the snow and she thought it would be the perfect opportunity to get herself up out of the snow and onto solid ground.  Yes, she is sitting on me.  I love the expression on her face.  So serene.

Moody

This shot was taken this morning by me of my hand while wearing a mood ring.  While fumbling around looking for a certain set of earrings, I came across this ring which I haven’t worn in ages.  It was purchased in Salem, Ma.  Yes, the Salem of witch trials and the Nathaniel Hawthorne house (he wrote The House of Seven Gables).  I remember it was a girl’s day out with my best friend that summer nine years ago.  We ate clam chowder and drank funky beers in flavors of blueberry and pumpkin.  The blueberry beer had real blueberries in it and they kept falling and rising with the escaping carbonation.  I wished I had gotten the pumpkin beer. 

We shopped.  She had her fortune told.  We bought matching mood rings and a floatee pen with a witch that moved on her broom and back again, depending on which way you tipped the pen.  It was a good day.

Autumnal Question

Capt. Stephel asks: Depending on your hemisphere, spring or fall is arriving on Wednesday. Show us what you love and/or hate about the season.

It’s Fall here in the desert.  Not that you would actually know.  It was 111 F on Sunday.  Here are the things I dislike about it (and there won’t be many):

  • All the snow birds are back and the streets are flooded with out of state plates from people in colder climates.  What should be a 20 minute ride to work now takes 40 minutes.

Likes:

  • Lower electricity bills from not using the Air Conditioning so much.
  • Going up north to see the leaves change or see snow.
  • Caramel apples!
  • Placing the comforter back on the bed.
  • Seeing the fluffy coat Monsoon, the wonder weasel gets.  This is commonly referred to the Russian Hat phase.
  • Actually using the heat every now and then.
  • Leaving the house in a light sweater and not sweating ones butt off.
  • A hot cup of coffee on a chilly morning.
  • Halloween  – my favorite holiday.  It gives me a great excuse to drink pumpkin beer while passing out candy (and then just plain passing out!)
  • Pumpkins for decorating and pumpkins for yummy Fall recipes.
  • And then finally, its nice to just open the front door in the morning and not feel the same blast of heat you’d feel if you had set your oven to broil and stuck your face in there.

The Desert Throughout the 4 Seasons Pictorial

Winter                                                                                                                  Spring

Summer

Fall

Summoning The Stork – Ready or Not

Hubby and I married in 2006.  We were already in our late 30s when we tied the knot so have been on the fence about starting a family.  We really were not ready at that time and worried that if we ever were ready then it might be too late.  We didn’t share these thoughts with family.  I have noticed, however, that my in-laws have taken on a rather strange obsession with the fact that we have not reproduced.  I’m not sure where this is coming from.  Although it makes me uncomfortable, I’ve learned to laugh at it.  It’s just, well, odd.  I think anyways.

A few months after our wedding the family decided to have a group portrait taken at a local park.  We all showed up and one sister-in-law arranged us in the order she felt best for all.  I was seated next to my mother-in-law, whom I love dearly, but what came next shocked even my ears, and I’m not one to embarrass easily!  She leaned into me as if to tell me something important; a secret if you will.  “I want you to have a baby,” she whispered.  “Oh,” was all I could say.  I mean, how does one respond to that?  “I’ll see what I can do.  How about I get back to you around the 5th?”  Gosh!

In any family gathering it inevitably comes up.  “Why aren’t you pregnant yet?”  I’ve thought of making up some strange story on why but nothing comes to mind.  At least nothing they would actually believe.  It instantly recalls to mind that kings and queens of the early days would be watched during the ‘deed’ to be sure that the heir that was produced was truly theirs.  Lest a scandal ensue.  I have yet to check the bedroom for hidden cameras but come to think of it, it may not be a bad idea!

I really don’t get it and why there seems to be so much concern over this.  They’ve all dreamt that we have a son so therefore I must be having a son  –again, if I were actually pregnant.  I did dream a few times about a daughter.  I dreamt of her having curly hair like mine, my husband’s face and his warm brown skin.  It was actually a waking dream when I swore I could have been awake but know I was still in that half asleep state.  I opened my eyes to see this little girl as toddler in a colorful sundress peeking around the corner of the bed.  I knew she was ours.  I blinked a few times and she was gone.  But this can’t be true.  Afterall, the family dreams and hopes for a son!  Silly me.  😉

New relatives of my husbands have come to our area.  Apparently there was a family meeting I was not aware of.  This new aunt & uncle must have been let in on the reproduction obsession already in progress and hubby came home one day with these little lovelies:

Yes, they are matching his & hers fertility pills.  I just had to laugh. 

We visited with said family over the weekend.  My MIL asked if I had started taking them yet.  No, I told her, and continued munching on the broccoli salad she had served me.  After lunch I cleaned the table and was beckoned into the hallway by said Aunt who also asked if I had started taking the pills yet.  Again I tell her no.  She starts to tell me in a hushed tone when I should take them and when the best time to have intercourse is.  Okay, at this point I’m trying very hard to keep a straight face.  My mind keeps going back to the old Beavis & Butthead cartoons.  “Heh heh.  Heh heh.  She just said intercourse!”

Although parenthood isn’t completely out of the question yet, there is always the question of age.  We are in our early 40s.  If we had a kid now, by the time we are ready to retire, this kid will be heading into college.   

We don’t think much about it.  We go through our days, most of them happy, without giving it a second thought.  I don’t think I’ll understand truly what the motive is behind this strange obsession but I’ve learned to take it in stride.  I haven’t bitten off anyone’s head yet (although theres still time).  I kind of picture if I ever do get pregnant, the entry on my Facebook page.  It might go something like this: Dear Inlaws, you got your wish.  I am pregnant.  My due date is xx/xx/xx.  Please make all checks payable to Mrs. Monsoon.   Now go away.  Thank you for your prompt response in the actions formerly stated. 

–I’d blame my snarkiness on hormones. 😉

Week of Joy – Post 4

Sea of Flowers

This was taken a few weeks back on the journey to Monument Valley and is located a few miles east of Flagstaff, AZ.  We decided we were going to see Sunset Crater and took a turn off the freeway.  As it turns out, it was quite expensive to get into the park and then it was another 20 miles or so to the crater.  The road to even reach the park was the real treat.  All these daisies were in bloom and it was a glorious sight to see them swaying in the mountain breeze.