Thursday, January 28, 2010

You Capture - Color

She comes in colors everywhere;
She combs her hair
She's like a rainbow
Coming colors in the air
Oh, everywhere
She comes in colors

My very most favorite Rolling Stones song and also this week's assignment for You Capture. I enlisted in the help of my favorite preschooler and we were off on a color hunt. Fortunately, we we found some color inside, because the only thing we can see outside is WHITE and that's really just the absence of color.

TOF and I found COLOR in our big box of crayons

and in our 'struction' paper.

On our COLOR chart of course!

TOF's Batman Shirt is RED.

Lots of COLORS in Pa's present.

The gate has COLORS!

Our plates have COLORS.

Now while we grab something to eat,
go visit Beth at I Should Be Folding Laundry
for more You Capture this week.


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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Tasty Tuesday ala The Avenue

Disclaimer---Betty Crocker I am not! Fortunately I have a husband who has NEVER complained about any meal I've set before him, NEVER.

Not sure this is exactly what Blessed With Grace had in mind when she started her Tempt My Tummy Tuesdays. But, it's a Carnival and I am going to ride the Tilt a Whirl today.

Meal planning has never been one of my favorite things to do. I can cook. I can probably cook well. I choose not to. I wish I could cook and bake like her. Hell, if she lived closer I would pay her to cook for me. For some reason everything I cook tastes horrible to me. I think I have bad taste bugs or something. This is why just about every day around 4-ish I'm scratching my head, foraging around the fridge and pantry wondering what to make for dinner.

Yesterday was no different here on The Avenue. I was distracted. Come on, I'm sure it's happened to you. There are blogs to read and people to stalk and games to play on Facebook. And...oh look...a squirrel. Then it started getting darker, because well, it's been dark for 3 months here in J-town, but it started getting even darker and I knew it was almost dinner time because my tummy was rumbly. So I had to peel myself away from the computer and start the dreaded task of meal preparation.

Luckily there were some pork chops thawed, off to find the Shake and Bake and....crap, no Shake and Bake. Now what? It's too cold to slap those babies on the grill. I could go back to the computer and search out a recipe, but I would surely jump from one site to another and then it would be midnight and my tummy would still be hungry. And then the light bulb went off and I had a great idea! So I'm going to share this original Megryansmom recipe with you here today.

  1. Take the thawed pork chops out of the fridge, open the package and remove each pork chop from the package and run under cold water to rinse off the trichinosis germs. Place pork chops in a single layer in a 13 x 9 baking dish. Mine is white, Pyrex maybe, I bought it for $1 at a garage sale. I love it.
  2. Now for the secret ingredient so these suckers won't shrivel up and turn into shoe leather in the oven. One big can of Bush's Baked Beans, any flavor. Mine were Homestyle. Shake the can. That's so the beans don't stick to the bottom of the can and you have to dirty another utensil to scoop them out. Open the can using your can opener. Now carefully dump the entire contents of the can on top of the pork chops. Make sure they are completely covered so that a little part of them doesn't dry up.
  3. Now carefully tear off enough aluminum foil to fit the baking dish and cover the entire dish.
  4. I knew I forgot something, the oven isn't preheated, oh well, no one will know the difference. Just turn the oven on now and place the baking dish on a rack in the oven. 45 minutes sounded about right. Set the timer and go back to Facebook or Twitter. But keep thinking 30 minutes. I'll tell you why in just a minute.
  5. OK 30 minutes into the baking. Go back into the kitchen and pull out some Romaine lettuce and 2 tomatoes. Chop that up into something that resembles a salad and place that and 2 bottles of salad dressing on the table. Add silverware and napkins. Pour yourself some milk and grab some water for the hubs.
  6. The oven timer should be going off just about as the garage door is opening and VOILA. Dinner is served.
Whynot loved it, he always does. I'm lucky.

Don't forget my giveaway here.

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Sunday, January 24, 2010

Football Schmootball

~~~Updated Wednesday January 27th~~~

Congrats to Dana!

It's almost kickoff time here on The Avenue. Colts, Saints, Vikings and who cares. I could ask Whynot, but I just don't care. I hate football. They throw, they run, they drop, they get a penalty, they tackle, they didn't have two feet on the ground. Pshaaa, whatever. Total waste of nine plus hours on a Sunday, where the male species feels the need to redefine an already prominent ass groove in the couch that they didn't even care enough about to give their input when at the furniture store on a non-football Sunday.

But Superbowl Sunday, well that's a whole 'nother story. Superbowl Sunday is all about the food, with annoying football on for background noise. Bring on the snacks and the chili and hot wings. Chill a few beers and call it a partay!

Whether you´re planning a huge party or you're just looking forward to kicking back at home with your friends and family, Old El Paso Green Chiles can help you spice up the festivities!

Old El Paso Green Chiles, which come in 4.5 and 7 oz cans, are a simple way to liven up your go-to favorites. Fat-free and with only 10 calories per serving, Green Chiles are not spicy, but will add a unique flavor to your dishes that the whole crowd will love!

Perfect for your dips and salsas, as well as your nachos and chili, Old El Paso Green Chiles can help you score a mealtime touchdown with your guests this year. For more ideas, check out these quick (with a prep time of less than 30 minutes each!) and delicious recipes that incorporate Old El Paso Green Chiles and will have your fans cheering for more!


Green Chile Dip

Green Chile Cornbread

Taco Nachos

Black Bean Dip

Slow Cooker Salsa Chili

Seven-Layer Bean Dip

Skillet Nacho Chili

Southwestern Dip

Click here to save $0.55 on one can of Old El Paso Green Chiles today!

One lucky football fan will receive an Old El Paso "Tackle the Taste" gift pack that includes two free cans of Green Chiles, as well as a football-shaped ceramic serving platter, two sets of football-themed plates, cocktail napkins, and a themed table runner.

Please leave a comment naming the 4th team playing in today's (Jan 24) time wasters AND your plans for Superbowl Sunday. You must answer correctly and completely to be considered and the winner will be chosen by using on Wednesday January 26th. Please leave an email so that I can contact you. The winner will have 24 hours to respond or another one will be chosen. Sorry thems the rules, you'll want your gift pack in time for the big snack fest so I have to be quick.

For an extra entry please tweet about this giveaway and leave an additional comment with the link.

Disclaimer...Old El Paso provided me with a prize pack for myself and one to share with a reader through MyBlogSpark, the opinion about football is purely my own and was not influenced in any way.

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Thursday, January 21, 2010

You Capture - Love Around My Home

Grrrr, I got an incomplete on last week's assignment. I hope Beth grades on a curve. But this week I am back in the picture hahaha.

LOVE is what makes a house a home so let me share a few things around The Avenue that I absolutely LOVE.

My DVR - needs no explanation.
If you have one, I know you LOVE it.
If you don't have one yet, what are you waiting for?

My DVR helps me to achieve certain goals.
For example, an empty laundry basket.

LOVE my DD cawfee! Megryansmom runs on Dunkin.

LOVE puppy bellies!

and LOVE LOVE LOVE baby fingers and all the other parts too!

There's more LOVE here.


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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Whine About It Wednesday

Warning, this post is all over-much like my mood swings lately.

I'm PMS-ing...still, again, take your pick. I'm just one big happy period this month, thank you Always. Today is DAY NINE of my period. NINE freaking days! I should be dead from the blood loss alone. But it seems the lost blood has been replaced by some wicked hormone that just makes me batshit crazy. I hate myself and I hate everyone around me. Well not everyone, TOF and Moose have been spared my wrath, but everyone else look out! So I'm going to whine and hopefully that will make me feel better because I have to hold off on the wine until after 6 pm.


Some of you may already know that yesterday morning on my front door stoop there was a ziploc baggie filled with a mystery liquid. No note, no clue what it was, so I pitched it in the trash. TODAY, more than 24 hours later I get an email from the gal that runs the dog rescue. In the unmarked baggie was medicine for deworming Sami. I was supposed to know this how? I'm sorry but the raging hormones have diminished my psychic abilities Jill. I threw the bag away and look, as I read your belated email, the garbage truck is pulling away from the front of my house. CRAP!


Do those squiggly lines up there look even? Because I didn't count them, which is odd for someone like me afflicted with OCD. Next paragraph break I will just copy and paste, don't know why I didn't think of that sooner. DUH!


Speaking of OCD, what is up with this?

Two people live in this house. Two. In that pile are a few of TOF's jammies but how do two people create this much laundry? And there's still one load in the dryer and one in the washer. Why won't this shit fold itself? I keep glaring at it and calling it stupid and it still won't leave the room.


I got my hair cut, I thought I didn't hate it, until I saw this picture. I hate it and I hate how I look without makeup so you can't see that.


This lying piece of crap I'd like to throw at someone! Is there a name for the disease that is the opposite of anorexia? Not bullemia, because I never purge. Like how anorexics see themselves as fat people but in truth they are sickeningly skinny. Well I have that for fat people. I am morbidly obese and I think the world sees me as a perfect size 10.


Hmmm, I actually feel a little better now. Might go fold some laundry. Tomorrow I'll be picture blogging about things I love around the house. Which is a good thing because it's too flippin cold to go outside. Just another thing I hate.

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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Delurking Day

Leave a comment

or my little friend will turn around
and things could get ugly then.

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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

1-2-3 Magic

First dogs, now kids, let me just say I am NOT an expert in either field, but I have lots of experience. Enough experience to be able to loudly proclaim, "there are a lot of people that SUCK at parenting." I wasn't a perfect parent, there were times I wasn't even good at it. In the end I have two adult children that are productive members of society, with just a smidge of baggage, compliments of their well meaning and ever loving mother.

Every month at TOF's preschool they hold a Parent Education Night, it's open to the parents of all the preschoolers there. Roughly estimating, 120 preschoolers. The average attendance, 15 parents. These sessions are free, they are informative and there's a DOOR PRIZE. Augie Dawgs and I are so there! Last night's session was "Behavior Strategies, Establishing Routines, and Disciplining your Preschooler." Who can't use a few tips in that area?

The social worker gave a very interesting presentation on the use of 1-2-3 Magic and the use of timeouts and redirection. If you haven't heard of 1-2-3 Magic, (it's nothing new, I began using it 23 years ago when my son was a toddler), I highly recommend that you go to the library and check it out. Afterwards, she opened the floor for discussion. That's when my head started spinning.

One woman had a question about enforcing time outs. She said her 4 year old would not sit in a time out, she would repeatedly stand up and walk away. So I gently suggested that she stand in front of the child for the 4 minute duration (one minute for every year of her age) and insist she keep her head down in her lap. Tried and tested here on The Avenue. IT WORKS! Her reply to me, "Oh no, she won't do that!" I said, "Really? If you stand right there and remind her, she won't?" But in my head I am screaming.....WHO IS THE ADULT HERE? Let me have a week with her, you'll have a changed child, so you can just screw her up again. I bit my tongue because, well you can't fix stupid.

This woman didn't stop there, she went on to say that her and husband both tip toe around the girl, so as 'not to set her off.' She's very strong willed and they never know what will send her into a frenzy. She hits and bites and will do anything to get her way. Now it very well may be that their daughter has some sort of deep neurological problems or is perhaps possessed by Satan, but my gut tells me it's just a case of bad parenting.

So before I jump off my soap box way up here, let me just say to parents, you are the adult. They are the child. Children crave stability, routine and consistency. They want to behave and to please you, but some of you make it so easy for them to become out of control and for that all of us suffer.

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Monday, January 11, 2010

We're Having a Howling Good Time or Why I've Been So Busy Lately

We've always been animal lovers here on The Avenue, although our first two acquisitions were back when we were still on The Lane.

Dusty '94, Derby '93 and Daily '92

November marked 2 years since we'd lost Dusty and I swore up and down I would never have another dog. No more, uh uh, I was done! Then this past October, GlitterGurl got a Boston Terrier pup she named Parker.

Of course she works and goes to school so Parker spends a good deal of time at Mema's Doggy Daycare. It got me to thinking, a puppy wouldn't be so bad. They're cute and cuddly and they pee in the house and chew on your shoes and underwear. What's not to love? Just look at that face! He was all of 2 lbs when I met him and I just melted, or maybe that was just another puddle of pee.

I've always wanted a sissy dog, one that could sit on my lap and that I could dress up in silly clothes but Whynot would have none of that. I started looking on Craigslist just to see the widdle puppies and I'd forward them to Whynot and he just kept saying no. No more dogs!

Around this time I learned from Ink Man that he and his roommate were fostering a dog. Hmmm fostering. A temporary home for a dog in need. A few days, or weeks of keeping a dog in an environment more social than a cage in an overcrowded shelter. Saving one canine at a time from Puppy Auschwitz. The rescue provides a crate, food and all vet care, we provide the love. I needed to learn more of this Rent a Puppy business, and a quick Google search came up with a few animal rescues in my area. I chose two that appeared to be nearest to The Avenue and quickly submitted a foster application.

The first to reply was Jill from Hart of IL. Jill informed me of a 2 year old mixed female that was already in foster care although it was not an ideal situation. I chose to pass on this pup, as I couldn't be sure of an adult dog's temperament and with the little ones here every day it was a chance I didn't want to take. Jill understood and said she'd be in touch when she had a puppy available. It didn't take long at all, December 16th to be exact, for Jill to bring us this sweetie.

Sara, a 10-12 week old Black Lab mix.

Sara was only with us until Dec 26th, when she was adopted by her furever family. Our first fostering experience was a good one and we enjoyed having Sara with us.

The following week was quiet, too quiet. I missed that pretty little girl and the pitter patter of her paws, so I began searching again. Back to looking at sissy dogs on Craigslist. I came across this adorable puppy and my mind was made up, I wasn't taking no for an answer. On January 2nd, the 3 pound puppy formerly known as Little Miss Muffet would now permanently reside on The Avenue and be forever known as Bella Cannoli or just Bella.

But our story doesn't end yet, by Tuesday, Jill was at our door with another rescue pup. A black lab mix again, about 4 months old, 26 pounds so far. We're calling her Sami. She's very calm, great with kids, and plays well with Bella. Her adoption fee of $250 covers her spay, microchip, vaccinations, fecal test and deworming.

We'll love her here until her furever family is found and then we'll lather rinse and repeat... saving one tail at a time.

If you're thinking of adding a pet to your home, please consider a rescue animal. If you're not ready to adopt, try fostering a pet temporarily. If neither of those situations appeal to you, please give some thought to making a donation to a shelter. Click on the widget on the right, no donation is too small and the Saras and Samis will be furever grateful.

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Sunday, January 10, 2010

You Capture - Year in Review

Somethings are better late than never,
so here is my delayed contribution for this week's
You Capture.

The Year in Review

1-1-2009 NHL Winter Classic at Wrigley Field

I may be a city girl, but I know this is NOT
a ground hog that came to visit in February.

My guys doing chores in April.

In May we visited with the gang
from Sesame Street thanks to Nap Warden.

Washing GlitterGurl's PURPLE car in July.

August 2009 - TOF's 1st day of preschool

9-15-09 Weighing in at 10 pounds 3 oz, another grandson.

October brought Parker. He's GlitterGurl's Boston Terrier puppy,
a birthday gift from New Man. He's just over 2 pounds in this picture,
sleeping in a shoe box. If they could just stay little.

Wrapping this up with the last picture of the year.
Cheers to a wonderful 2010.

p.s. I haven't forgotten I still owe you the BIG NEWS. Monday, I promise!

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Friday, January 8, 2010

Friday Quickie

Bleh, bleh, yuck, I think I just got a mouthful of cobwebs. Wow it's dusty in here, I haven't been around all year. Sheesh no one even bothered to clean up the New Years' Eve mess! I have so much to tell and not much time to sit down and collect my thoughts. I have big news times three so far. The Avenue is a hoppin place, tune in soon to read all about it.

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