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Monday, February 28, 2011

Blue Monday

Happy Monday, Friends!

Today is our filing deadline at work and the official end of 2011 group rating enrollment period for Ohio employers.  More importantly, it is the end of Hell Week.  Yahoo!  That means we will be meeting at the neighborhood pub for a celebratory drink.   

Speaking of celebrations, look at what I won from Pam at Frippery...
 Isn't it gorgeous?  It is a teardrop turquoise necklace from Lia Sophia.  Pam sent it in this sweet crocheted drawstring bag.  Poor Pam is nursing a broken ankle.  Please stop over and wish her a speedy recovery.    
While we're talking about winning giveaways...don't forget to enter my giveaway HERE for a signed copy of Pioneer Woman Cooks. 


I will be linking this post to Blue Monday.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Pioneer Woman Cooks: Olive Cheese Bread

Hello Friends!

There are still a few days left  to enter to win a signed copy of Pioneer Woman Cooks, by Ree Drummond.  You may enter by going here.  If you don't win this copy, do yourself a favor and buy a copy.  
Today, I am sharing one of Ree's recipes, Olive Cheese Bread.  This is very delicious and very filling.  I served it with salads and we were an olive.
Olive Cheese Bread  
1 14.5 oz. Can Pitted Black Olives 
1 6 oz. jar pimiento-stuffed green olives
2 Green Onions
1/4 lb. Butter (1 stick)
1/2 Cup Real Mayonnaise (not salad dressing)
1 lb. Shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
1 Loaf Crusty French Bread

Preheat oven to 325*.

Roughly chop the black olives, green olives, and green onions and set aside.  Mix butter and mayonnaise together.  Add the cheese, chopped olives, and onions.  Stir until well combined.

Slice the bread in half lengthwise.  Spread the mixture evenly on both halves.  
 Bake 20-25 minutes.  Cut diagonally and enjoy!    
I will be linking this post to Mosaic Monday.  Follow the link to Mary's blog to enjoy some beautiful collages.  

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Stormy Weather

Hello Friends.

I hope you all had a wonderful week.  Unfortunately, my week was horrendous.  As you know if you are a regular visitor, last week was Hell Week at work.  It is always a busy, stressful, and exhausting week.

This year, Hell Week was no exception and it would be a gross understatement to say that I didn't handle it well.  Somewhere between my frustrations and exhaustion, I had a massive meltdown of which I am very ashamed.  I was in a meeting and in my mind prepared to ask a question in a calm manner.  Somewhere between my brain and my mouth there was a huge malfunction because what came out of my mouth sounded more like a screeching banshee.   

Without going into detail, let's just say the screeching banshee set off an ugly chain of events resulting in me showing the very worst part of my personality to people I truly care about and with whom I have worked for many years.  

Thankfully, I have the most incredible and understanding department manager.  He took me in his office, gave me some tissues, and within a few minutes had me laughing at myself.  Hopefully, he knows how much I appreciate him.  I suspect he does, but I'd like to go on the record by saying,  

You are the best, Dumbledore!   
I don't know what I'd do without you and 
I appreciate all that you do for all of us.

 I forgot to do this this week. 


Thursday, February 24, 2011

My Wish for You Today

May your joys be as deep as the ocean, 
your sorrows as light as its foam.


Enter here

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


...about fun in the sun.

Don't forget to enter to win a signed copy of Pioneer Woman Cooks.
Enter here


Monday, February 21, 2011

Courting Spring: Buzzy Grass Grow Kit

Hello Friends.

Yes, I am still up to my neck in work during Hell Week, but I wrote several posts on Sunday so you will still see new posts from me.

As you know, I've been courting spring for the past few weeks.  I think it is working as we had unseasonably warm weather last week.  Today I am sharing another way I am courting spring. 

I saw these happy little grass growing kits at Michael's.  There were different insect pots, but I chose the sunny bee.
 Everything you need comes in the kit.  Simply add 3 tablespoon of warm water to a small dish and drop the soil tablet in.  Once the soil has absorbed the water, place half the mixture in the post followed by the seeds, and finally the rest of the soil.  
I placed them on the window sill above the kitchen sink where it gets indirect sunlight and I remember to keep the soil moist. 
After only a week, these bad boys need mowed.  They make me smile.  These kits would make a fun, inexpensive project for kids of any age.  Are your kids suffering from Spring Fever?  Buy a couple of these kits and allow them to court spring.

Don't forget to enter to win a signed copy of Pioneer Woman Cooks by clicking on the button on my sidebar. 

I'm linking up to Mosaic Monday.  Stop over and see some beautiful photography.  


Sunday, February 20, 2011

Weekend Recap, the Week Ahead, and a Giveaway

This giveaway is now closed.
Hello Friends!

Did you have a wonderful weekend?  What did you do?

I so needed a fun weekend.  February is the worst time of the year at work.  We file more than 15,000 group applications with the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation on February 28.  A great deal of work and time goes into this process.  

The analytical staff works long hours during the last two weeks with this upcoming week being UN-affectionately dubbed Hell Week.  I probably won't be visiting much this week because once I get home, I normally go straight to bed with or without eating.  Any positive thoughts and energy you can send my way this week will be most appreciated.    

You may recall a couple of weeks ago, I mentioned that Ree Drummond, aka Pioneer Woman, would be visiting Columbus for a book signing.  A group of Buckeye Bloggers got together to attend. 

No respectable blogger outing would be complete without some shopping.  So we started the day off early with a trip to Scott's Antique Market at the Ohio State Fairgrounds.  
One of the first things we happened upon were these creepy doll molds.  They were very unique, but really unsettling to me.  I suppose a doll collector would love them.
Check out these flamboyant lamps.  How fun are these?  Would I have a home for them in my house?  No, but they sure are fun.  
Speaking of fun is this little guy?  Check out his happy little face.  He was already sold so I don't know what the going price was.  
You KNOW this booth caught my eye.  I had to be patient here, because this display was attracting many shoppers.  Yes, I bought something.  You will see it soon; I promise.   
There were many sets of china available, but the prices were pretty steep.  I loved the pattern below, but I would need two more jobs to afford it.  Isn't it pretty?

After lunch at Champps, we headed to Barnes & Noble for the book signing, which started at 2:00.  We were ill-prepared for what we found.  The place was packed with people waiting to meet Ree and have their book(s) signed.  The signing was scheduled for 2:00-5:00.  I suspect it lasted well past 7:00 because Ree said she would stay as long as it took to sign everyone's book.

It was a long wait.  Unfortunately, Lori and Cindy had to leave to take care of their families.  Sue and I finally got to meet Ree just before 6:00.  She was well worth the wait for me.  She was delightful and engaging.  She made eye contact when she spoke and didn't at all rush us.  She was genuine, sweet, and funny.  
When you got to the front of the line, a Barnes & Noble employee took your camera and took pictures while you were with Ree.  The first picture I am going to share is poor quality, but I wanted to show you how engaged she was when I spoke with her.   

Ree signed three books for me.  She signed a copy of Black Heels to Tractor Wheels and two copies Pioneer Woman Cooks.  What am I going to do with two signed copies of Pioneer Woman Cooks?  Hmmm...

Because I love you...I think I'll give it to one of you.  To enter, leave a SEPARATE comment for each entry:
1. Answer this question: What is your favorite food?
2. For a second entry, become a follower of A Musing Potpourri or tell me you already are a follower.
3. Add my giveaway to your blog. 
This giveaway is open to all international readers.  You do not have to be a blogger to win.  If you do not have a blog, leave your email address in the comment section so I can contact you when you win.  I will use the Random Number Generator and choose a lucky winner on March 1.  Good luck!


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Spring Project Planning

We are enjoying beautiful springlike weather here this week.  Temperatures are flirting with 60 degrees, the sun is shining, and the snow and ice are melting.  FINALLY!

When the weather improves, I start thinking about spring projects.  I have two major room makeovers in my sights for this year, the kitchen and the den.  

Today, I am daydreaming about the den.  Right now, this poor little room serves as a catch all for everything.  Frankly, it is a mess and an embarrassment to me.  

I have dreams of making it into an office/sanctuary for me.  One of the purchases I am considering is a new computer desk.  I googled computer desks for home and found some fantastic options. 
Number 1

Number 2

Number 3
What do think?  

I hope you are enjoying a spring preview in your neck of the woods.  


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Alphabe Thursday: Letter S

S is for Saint Patrick.  Saint Patrick is known as the Patron Saint of Ireland.  He was born in Kilpatrick, Scotland in 387.  As a boy of 16, he was carried off into captivity by Irish marauders and sold into slavery.  

According to his confessio, during the six years he tended his master's flock he prayed hundreds of times a day.  His six years of captivity prepared him for his future apostolate.  He was fluent in Celtic and used his knowledge to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ's Passion, Death, and Resurrection.  He died on March 17, 493.
Those who know me well, know that St. Patrick's Day is one of my favorite days of the year.  Over the next few weeks, I will share some stories of St. Patrick's Day past, some recipes, and some plans for this year.
Also, Cuisine Kathleen is hosting her annual St. Patrick's Day Blog Crawl on March 15.  Start thinking now about your fun St. Patrick's Day post and join in the fun.    
I am submitting this post as my homework for Jenny Matlock's Alphabe Thursday.  Visit Jenny's blog to read more essays for the letter S.


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Blogger Generosity

Hello Friends.  

I hope you had a fabulous Valentine's Day.

Are you as amazed as I am by the kindness and generosity of bloggers?  I am blown away by the support network this communication medium creates.  When one blogger is having a rough time, the rest bolster their spirits and support them until the sun shines again.

I've also been surprised by the number of generous giveaways offered in Blogland.  I have never been a lucky person, but I have won many fantastic giveaways in the past months.  The great thing about giveaways, aside from winning, is getting to know a new blogger.  

Recently, I won another giveaway from Amy at Just Another Manic Momday.  Read about my first win here.  Amy is a sweet young mom from Illinois.  Visiting her blog is such a treat because she often posts pictures of her adorable toddler, Jack.  She also has many giveaways and is currently offering a $20 gift code to Pear Tree Greetings

Earlier this month, I won Amy's Valentine's Day giveaway.  This too was for a Pear Tree Greetings gift code.  I chose these sweet personalized Valentine's Day cards.  
I handed these out to the girls at work.  The guys just got a sucker since I didn't think it would be appropriate to give my male co-workers a card signed Love, La.

Now go over to Amy's and enter her giveaway!

Have you met Barb at Rocky Mountain Woman?  She lives in Utah and has a fantastic blog.  Do you love beautiful scenery, fantastic recipes, wine, and travel?  You will love Barb's blog.  If you attend Jenny Matlock's Alphabe-Thursdays, you probably know Barb as she is a classmate.

She recently had a Sundance Film Festival giveaway on her blog.  The lucky winner won a souvenir from the festival.  Guess what?  I WON!  Boy, was Barb generous.  She sent me this fantastic jacket.  Check it out!

I love it!  It's going to be warmer here this week so I will be wearing this baby everywhere.

So, if you've been hesitant to enter giveaways, stop sitting on the sidelines and ENTER.  It's a lot of fun, you make my friends, and the odds are better than the lottery.  What's not to love?


Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

Hello Friends.

Today is the holiday of love and romance.  If you don't have a special someone in your life, treat yourself.  I have 3 wishes for each of you this Valentine's Day.
 Flowers from the heart.
Sunny skies to make you smile.
Love to warm you.


Sunday, February 13, 2011

Go Go Gadget

Hello Friends.

I am joining Lynn at Happier Than a Pig in Mud for her fun kitchen gadget party.  Stop over and see what your friends are using in their kitchens.  Lynn is also drawing one linking blog to win a fabulous kitchen gadget, a cupcake corer.  

What would we do without our kitchen gadgets?  Can you imagine life before food processors, Kitchenaid mixers, and dishwashers?  I thought it would be fun to visit our great-grandmothers' kitchens. 

One of the modern gadgets we may find is a Raisin Seeder.  Can you imagine if a recipe called for a cup of raisins and you had to painstakingly seed each raisin?  Maybe that's why so many old recipes read "raisins (optional)." 

This ominous looking gadget looks like it is better suited for the dentist office than the kitchen.  Do you know what it is?  These are Sugar Nippers.  According to The Historic American Cookbook Project, during the 18th and early 19th centuries, sugar came in a dense cone wrapped in blue paper.  The sugar nippers were used to break off a piece of sugar for use in coffee and tea.  I'll bet more than one tooth was pulled by these bad boys.  
You may actually have one of these meat grinders in your kitchen.  I have one and I use it to make ham salad.  You simply put the meat or vegetable in the top, turn the handle and the ground meat/vegetable comes out the front.  

Do you know what this is?  It's an ice cream freezer.  When I was a kid, we had a hand crank ice cream maker.  It was more modern than this one from the 1850's...I'm not THAT old!  All I have to say about a hand crank ice cream freezer is...THANK HEAVENS FOR ELECTRICITY!  The closer the ice cream is to being done the harder it is to turn and by the time it gets to that point, you are already tired because you have been churning it for a very long time.  

 Do you have one of these old egg beaters?  I do and it wasn't too long ago that I used it.  My mixer broke in the middle of a recipe and I used one of these to finish mixing the batter.  I wasn't without a mixer for long.  They are very awkward to use...or is it me that is awkward.  No need to answer that question. 

I love this food chopper from the late 1800's.  It has a fabulous design and I like the way it is bell-shaped.  This chopper would be welcome in my kitchen.   

How fortunate are we that we live in an age where we can fix dinner with little effort thanks to the innovative minds of cooks before us?  I wonder if our great grandchildren will look back at our favorite gadgets and muse about how primitive they were?


Friday, February 11, 2011

This and That

Hello Friends!

How was your week?

There were a couple rough days here.  I had an old-fashioned head cold and it knocked me for a loop.  I had absolutely no energy.  My family KNEW I was sick when I didn't even get on the computer.  Wednesday I stayed in bed all day and Thursday I went to bed at 6:30.  Sleep must have been what I needed because I feel so much better now. 

I missed all of you.  I will be playing catch up all weekend.  

A couple reminders to all of you.  There are several great giveaways ending Monday.  Want to enter?  Simply click on the links on my sidebar to be taken to these great blogs and enter. 

Also, Joni at Red Couch Recipes is giving one follower a $75 CSN Stores Credit.  Woohoo.  Her giveaway ends next Friday.  Good luck!  
Make sure you enter these fantastic giveaways.  You can't win if you don't enter.  I've won so many wonderful things in the past months.  I will show you my newest winnings this weekend and tell you about the fantastic blogs I won them from.  

Last but certainly not least, Lynn at Happier Than a Pig in Mud is having a fun link party.  Feature your favorite kitchen gadget in a post this weekend and link it up at Lynn's party on Monday.  She's drawing one linking blogger to win her new fun gadget, a cupcake corer from Williams-Sonoma.
Have a fantastic weekend!