Monday, February 28, 2011
With a few supplies and a purchase of some clearance boots she got her wish. She had to wait until the paint dried which was excruciatingly painful, but she was happy. Mat and I were also happy she could stop nagging us too!
And then shortly after church, she was transformed by the Powers of Grayskull (and Mat's photoshop capabilities)!
I was amazed she could go to sleep that night, but not without her She Ra costume of course!
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
After reading the title, don't frown yet! It was perfectly infused with salty feta making it a great companion to my spinach salad. I sauted them in sesame oil for more flavor and may have added some garlic salt and other seasonings. I thought adding spinach to it would be a nice touch too.
Feta Zucchini Pancakes
- 1 cup shredded zucchini
- 1/4 cup panko (Japanese) bread crumbs
- 2 green onions, chopped
- 1 egg
- 3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoon snipped fresh dill
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 3 teaspoons olive oil, divided
- In a sieve or colander, drain zucchini, squeezing to remove excess
- liquid. Pat dry. In a small bowl, combine the zucchini, bread
- crumbs, onions, egg, parsley, dill, garlic and cheese.
- Heat 1-1/2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-low
- heat. Drop batter by heaping tablespoonfuls into oil; press lightly
- to flatten. Fry in batches until golden brown on both sides, using
- remaining oil as needed.
- Yield: 8 pancakes.
This one is so easy you could do it with your eyes closed, well, after you opened the green chili cans. I'm not even a big pork lover and I liked this one.
Baja Pork Tacos
- 1 boneless pork sirloin roast (3 pounds)
- 5 cans (4 ounces each) chopped green chilies
- 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium taco seasoning
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 24 corn tortillas (6 inches), warmed
- 3 cups shredded lettuce
- 1-1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
- Cut roast in half; place in a 3- or 4-qt. slow cooker. In a small
- bowl, combine the chilies, taco seasoning and cumin; pour over pork.
- Cover and cook on low for 8-9 hours or until meat is tender.
- Remove pork; cool slightly. Skim fat from cooking juices. Shred meat
- with two forks; return to the slow cooker and heat through. Spoon
- 1/4 cup onto each tortilla; top each with 2 tablespoons lettuce and
- 1 tablespoon cheese. Yield: 12 servings.
This one is a tangy surprise party in your mouth. It is also easy.
- 1/4 cup white wine or cider vinegar
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
- 1 17-oz. pkg. refrigerated cooked Italian-style herbed beef roast in au just
- 1 cup sliced baby or regular size red or yellow sweet peppers
- 2 square whole grain ciabatta rolls or buns
- 4 slices provolone cheese
- 2 Tbsp. snipped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
1. Preheat broiler. In a large microwave-safe bowl combine vinegar, sugar, and pepper. Stir in undrained beef and sliced peppers. Cover and cook on high (100 percent power) for 4 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, split rolls and place cut sides up on baking sheet. Broil 3 to 4 inches from heat for 1 minute or until lightly toasted. Top each roll with cheese; broil 1 to 2 minutes until cheese is melted.
3. Using a fork, coarsely shred beef. Stir in parsley. With slotted spoon, mound beef mixture on rolls. Sprinkle with additional snipped parsley. Serve with any remaining cooking liquid. Serves 4.
I used kielbasa instead of ham. I might have added more mustard because I love mustard.
- 1 medium green sweet pepper
- 4 oz. cooked ham, cut in strips
- 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
- 1 large onion, chopped (1 cup)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 15-oz. cans cannellini beans (white kidney beans) and/or navy beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 Tbsp. yellow mustard
- 2 Tbsp. cider vinegar
- 2 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
- 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
- Crushed red pepper (optional)
- Fresh oregano leaves (optional)
1. Slice two rings from sweet pepper; wrap and refrigerate. Chop remaining pepper; set aside. In skillet, cook ham in hot oil over medium-high heat until browned; remove from skillet. Add onion and garlic to skillet. Cook and stir 3 to 4 minutes or until tender.
2. In a 1-1/2-quart casserole dish combine beans, ham, onion and garlic mixture, chopped sweet pepper, mustard, vinegar, maple syrup, Worcestershire sauce, and crushed red pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate overnight (up to 24 hours).
3. Stir 2 Tbsp. water into bean mixture. Reheat over medium heat for 5 to 7 minutes or until heated through, and adding the pepper rings for the last 2 minutes of cooking. Sprinkle with fresh oregano. Makes 6 to 8 servings.
I made this with a pizza crust. It headed straight to the top five of my pizza preference list.
- 4 whole wheat flat bread (naan)
- 3 Tbsp. olive oil
- 6 cups fresh spinach leaves
- 6 oz. garlic and herb flavored goat cheese, crumbled
- 2 6-oz. jars marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
- 1 medium tomato, chopped
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. pepper
- Pizza seasoning (optional)
1. Brush both sides of flat breads lightly with some of the oil. For a charcoal grill, place the flat breads on the rack of an uncovered grill directly over medium coals for 2 minutes or until golden. (For a gas grill, preheat grill. Reduce heat to medium. Add flat breads to grill rack. Cover and grill as above.) Remove from heat.
2. Top the grilled side of each flat bread with spinach, cheese, artichoke hearts, and tomato. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Return to grill rack and grill about 2 minutes more until bottoms are browned and toppings are heated through. Top with pizza seasoning. Makes 4 servings.
Rice crackers are a must. It just doesn't taste quite the same without them.
Sesame Chicken Dip
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 4 teaspoons sesame oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 cups shredded cooked chicken breast
- 3 packages (8 ounces each) reduced-fat cream cheese
- 8 green onions, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup chopped salted peanuts
- 2 cups chopped fresh baby spinach
- 1 jar (10 ounces) sweet-and-sour sauce
- Sesame rice crackers
- In a large resealable plastic bag, combine the soy sauce, sesame oil
- and garlic; add the chicken. Seal bag and turn to coat; refrigerate
- for at least 1 hour.
- Spread cream cheese onto a large serving platter; top with chicken
- mixture. Sprinkle with onions, peanuts and spinach. Drizzle with
- sweet-and-sour sauce. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
- Serve with crackers. Yield: 36 servings (1/4 cup each).
Thursday, February 17, 2011
35 is respectable.
35 is responsible.
35 is almost FORTY
(no 'fense Mat, but it is!)
Sheesh Mat, when are you going to start looking and acting your own age? For the love of PRETTY PLEASE. (I'm going to look like your great aunt, instead of your younger wife)
The guy almost completed a 50K last weekend. If it hadn't been for the 8 miles of snow he had to trudge through he would have gone the 31mi instead of ONLY 27mi. In fact, he's out running 13 right now as I write this post birthday post. If he does anything less than 7 in a morning, I wonder if he's feeling alright. When he was out job hunting, he decided to run to Utah's state capitol from his house in Sandy. Why not?
He also still carries actor, thick, dark, luscious hair. It only has a few hints of gray.
He still spends a lot of his time inventing things with his kids. The latest, detailed Star Wars cut outs from cardboard. These are usually done on Sundays at the kitchen table with a scalpel, a sharpie, and his mini me's. Still a kid at heart and still madly obsessed with Star Wars.
He's very resourceful thanks to his This American Life Stories and knack for figuring out things quickly, ie I never have to think for the rest of my life.
So, to celebrate this 35, but not so 35 year old man, Micah and I surprised him at work with an afternoon refreshment. A perfect treat after completing surgery. We got him some new clothes to wear and some casual shoes that actual fit his sizable feet. I also got him some new bedding, which sounds lame and practical like my gift giving tendencies, but he was actually excited to see that old tattered and torn bedspread go. The kids got him his favorite breakfast cereals. (Have you tried the chocolate chunk hazelnut crunch biscotti granola from target? Hardly qualifies as granola, but it's so good) I took him to dinner via PRT at the Golden Finch, a new eclectic restaurant in town and then we had some fruit pizza with a few friends. (Thanks Kelli for watching the kids) We fell asleep at 9:30, after all, we're almost 40.
PRT (personal rapid transit, personal life saver for Friday night traffic out of Morgantown)
We're in front of the Golden Finch. We had some Gumbo, Calamari, Paella, and some Shrimp and Grits. All had a unique Cajun- slash- Spanish- slash- smokey flare to them.
Fruit Pizza with a few impromptu friends
Oh Perfect! Looks like he's back from his run. Better go, he's asking Becket to smell his armpit. Doh.
Happy Birthday, Love me.
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Micah- She has a lisp, her r's are wr's, and she has a bit of sass to her happy, giggly personality.
I love that everyday Mat and I make her a sandwich and, EVERYDAY she chooses to pull the bread apart and lick the gooey stuff in between. Then, as if that wasn't enough, she politely puts it back into her sandwich encasing. Thank you my dear daughter, now that is proper etiquette.
Gretchen- quick witted, confident, with a twangy, fast talking, southern accent
She is the new SHE-RA. We just finished season 1 and over the course of the season, I have watched Gretchen transform herself into a mini She-ra through pipe cleaners, yellow necklaces (like the one she is wearing in the heart picture) and now a new, Power of Grayskull sword from the dollar store. Yes, I bought it for her and yes, it was rather exciting to present it to her. Power to the super girls.
Becket- crazy, note making, bouncy, wise cracking, dancing king.
He's been up to writing notes lately.
To the girls: "Happy Valentine's Day. Have a super ooper duper smooper Valentine's day."
And, some not so nice
To the girls: "Boys rule, girl's drool (sp jrool)
I like how he strategically placed it between the girl's pictures:
So that's my kids in the norm
And, in the not so norm (which is most of the time).
I have a feeling this is the norm for most of you!
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Paper Heart-- Sort of a documentary.I dig the sometimes awkward Michael Cera.
White on Rice--
Totally cheesey, really cheesey. You might hate it cheesey, but I liked it. Hmmmm, now that I think of it, there is some gore at the beginning. But, it's that funny, impossible gore that contradictorily is supposed to make you laugh at the start of the movie, not vomit.
An old favorite and not as well known--Danny Deckchair (an Australian Film)
About a Boy. Might have some swearing but it's an oldie and a goody.
And since we're talking about starring Hugh Grant, why not throw in Music and Lyrics
If you have a favorite out there please send them my way. I'm always looking for a way to torture Mat.
If you want to find a way to un-valentine your night, watch The Cove or The Duchess. They make you hurt. ( I had a little time to watch whatever I wanted while Mat was traveling!)
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Sunday, February 6, 2011
As thoughts go by at his desk, Mat gets Divine inspiration to check back with a doctor we had approached over the summer in Salt Lake City, UT. Mat didn't know why he was doing this, but he did and he soon began to dial his number. When the secretary answered, Mat explained that he just wanted to see if the Dr. C had decided to retire yet (as of the summer, he was not ready to). The Secretary said, "As a matter of fact, he decided to two days ago to retire. His lease is up in September, and he didn't want to renew it, so he said it was time to go. Would you like to speak to him?"
Really? After speaking with Dr. C, Mat was booking a plane ticket to fly out the very next day to go and meet with him. Luckily, he left when he did because a terrible snow storm hit our area and he wouldn't have made it otherwise. Mat's mom cried. My mom, in utter shock. Grandma Elaine's prayers had been heard. She's magical. And, I am in a stupor trying to figure out what just happened
While in SLC, Mat had a really good conversation with Dr. C and he called me to tell me that he felt like it went really well. He was firm and honest with him about taking over the practice and thankfully Mat was well prepared (thanks to few phone calls, Stokers, family and the Internet google: How to take over a practice?). Of course, there was another guy who had also approached Dr. C about wanting the practice too. (What is up with the other guys? Stop following us already! It's really getting on my nerves.) But Alas, we got the call Wednesday night, from the nice man, Dr C, asking Mat to be his partner and eventually his successor. Mat's mom cried. My mom cheered. Grandma Elaine probably already knew through intuition. And me, I'm happy we can move forward. There's a lot of possibility for us with a little hard work and it will be good to embrace family for a bit.
So, we did get our happily ever after. We got a ring (telephone ring that is, Wednesday night), a date (July), and a beautiful wedding (Mat's very own practice). You are all invited to come and see us at our new home in Salt Lake (when we find it).
We asked Palm Springs if we can still be friends. We hope to hang out with them occasionally for road biking and rock climbing.
My, how things turn out! Funny how your faith is maxed. Funny how much you have to trust in God that things will work out. I really started to hate that phrase "Well, things will work out for the best" when people would say it to me, "things will work out ba ba blah blah." I was just tired and emotionally drained from it all. It was hard to swallow, but I knew it would eventually work out.
As for the kids, they were surprised it wasn't California. They are excited to chum around with their cousins and grandparents. My only concern is telling Gretchen about the fault line in Salt Lake City and it's pending earthquakes. We'll spare her that detail and celebrate for now.
We're coming home, thank you God.
Saturday, February 5, 2011
We decided to call Sacramento the next day, Saturday. Not too early, not too late. We didn't want them to have the afternoon crankies. We let them get some breakfast, read the morning paper, go for a run.... then we dialed. Perfectly timed. The first doctor didn't answer so we left a message. The second call was to the head chief, the Chairman. He answered and immediately sounded nervous. After Mat hung up with him, and said, "I certainly don't feel any better after talking to him. He just said they haven't made a decision and they would let us know next week, but he sounded so uneasy, like I caught him off guard." An hour later, the other plastic's doc returns our call. He was totally cool. He told us they hadn't made a decision yet. Mat was still high on their list. Fair enough. I'm still breathing, deeply and very intentionally now. Well, at least we'll get their decision soon, I thought. Frankly, I'm just happy to have a decision and move on. You either want us or you don't, but we have to make a move onto Palm Springs if you don't.
Monday morning comes. Our inside guy in the company, who we've been in contact with, calls telling Mat that the Sacramento position has been given to another guy from San Diego. This guy's wife was already hired by the company as a radiologist so, by hiring him, they were a golden couple for them. (Queue the wedding bells) Mrs. Radiologist and Mr Ocular Plastics Guy were happily married to Sacramento, Monday January 31st, 2011. I'm sure they will have a wonderful life together and I guess I shall be happy for them.
Mat called me to deliver the bad news. During Mat's phone call to me, the chairman finally emails us his one liner decision that we didn't get the job. How disappointing.
My stomach feels like it just got punched and I quickly took a seat on our bench to curl over. I didn't cry, just blurred a bit from the rejection. That one liner email from the chair made me too sick to cry.
Devastated. How could he just break up with us like that? We loved you guys, you said we were a good fit. I thought you loved us too! Maybe you'll change your mind if you just take a moment to think about it? Maybe you'll create a new position for us because you'll realize you MUST have us? you had us at..... hello. (Do you want your pen back?)
To be continued
(last one coming tomorrow, if you're still with us, if you still care and I hope you do)
Friday goes by and we haven't heard anything from our soon to be fiance. Why hasn't he called? Why hasn't he emailed? Did we say something wrong? Did we not say enough? WHY HASN'T HE CALLED!? Breathe. I'm okay. It is a holiday weekend, we will give him until Tuesday of next week, surely he will call then.
Nothing. No communication from them whatsoever the whole week! The line went cold. We got this icy feeling that something was not right. Was it my hair? Is it the way I dress? Maybe Sacramento's hurt? Maybe there was a bomb I didn't know about and they have no way of contacting us! Oh my! Maybe the chairman had a heart attack and he is in his hospital bed trying to form the words, "Call the Harrises and let them know they have the job. I'll be alright. Just call them."
Sadly, I HONESTLY had all these thoughts running through my head. No lie. That is how mentally insane I was that week. Parenting skills and copings skills flew completely out the door. I was a ticking time bomb. Absolutely irrational at times. The kids could feel it too. I walked up to Gretchen's room one night to check on her. She was still awake and greeted me with a sigh-fully, "Moo Ma!" (new nickname my children have given me that has stuck, unfortunately). I gave her a hug and she said, "Moo Ma, don't worry, Jesus will show us the way and where we should go." Pushing down the frog now swelling in my throat and stopping the leaks in my eyes, I squeaked out "Oh, Gretchen, you don't know how much I needed to hear that." Gretchen: "And He better not take us to a place with earthquakes or tornado either." Then I burst out laughing.
As Mat and I laid in bed unable to fall asleep, we had come to the decision that we would call them. Tomorrow. On a Saturday?
to be continued.... (I'm telling you it was a saga!)
Friday, February 4, 2011
We decided to go for it and tell Sacramento how in love we were with them. We told them that this is where we would like to be listing all of our goods from our list and then we asked when we could we hear from them. Their response, "You are a very impressive candidate and we think you would be a great fit for our practice, but...." I HATE buts!, "But, we have one more guy to interview a month from now, so we won't let you know until after then." Seriously. A whole month!
A month was a long time to wait, but I was still in love, so I was going to move them up to boyfriend status until "the other woman" stepped into town. I drew hearts around their name, dabbled a bit in their real estate, dreamed of cross country skiing in Tahoe, designed my espalier fruit trees in my future backyard and I even visioned catching a Broadway play in San Francisco as a surprise treat for the whole family.
Occasionally, we would send emails to Sacramento letting them know how we still felt about them. We also made a few calls to people working inside the company to see if the department was still thinking about us, like we were thinking about them. Oooo la la!
To be continued....
My list for Palm Springs
6hr drive to southern Utah
You can be outdoors most of the year
mountains close by
rock climbing galore
Not so family friendly because of the retired and alternative life styles
Hotter than Haiti summers
Gardening would be difficult
The mild weather year round
gardening (I mean throw a seed into the ground and it will grow gardening, including citrus and avocados!)
Day trips galore
IDEAL job. They set you up like a king.
An all days drive to get to Either family
The Govenator was leaving
But, I was quickly falling in love with Sacramento and I hoped they liked us too. I was having a serious crush on them and wanted them as my new boyfriend (so to speak). We wouldn't have to worry about buying into a big partnership, Mat would go to work and come home, pay was great, weather was great, so romantic!
To be continued....
(2 of 6 posts. This job saga happened over mths so bare with me. There was a lot of things going on that I couldn't write about, but certainly wanted tooc!)
Thursday, February 3, 2011
So we went with our only leads, Palm Springs, CA, Sacramento, CA, and Cheyenne, WY. We decided to date Palm Springs and Sacramento first and then ask out Cheyenne on a rebound date later. I just couldn't see myself dating Cheyenne, they just weren't my type. During this dating process of jobs, many would ask, "Why would you want to date them?" (translation: why are you choosing there out of all places?) My response, "There's just not that many fish in the sea or all the good fish are already married."
So we traveled to Palm Springs and Sacramento during the Fall to interview with the kind help of the Manwarings watching our kids and the kind help of the practices flying us out.
In Palm Springs we got to see our loved ones for a brief moment which I'm so glad they made the trip down for us. It was also a fun resorty vacation:
Date farm, perfect for our dating game for jobs.
In Sacramento, it was just the two of us, Mat and I. Mat went to interviews all day while I passed out almonds to homeless people on the city street corners.
See, nuts. I happened to be the only one requesting to watch the video on almond processing that day.
The kids were okay with either, well, except for Gretchen, of course, she's my onion, lots of layers. One night I went to check on her before going to bed and as I walked into her room she was turned on her side with quiet tears streaming down her face. Out of concern, I hustled to her and asked what was wrong. Gretchen: "Nothing." Mic: "Gretchen, you can tell me." Gretchen: "I just don't want to move to California because (her voice starting to build now) there are Earthquakes. And I don't like earthquakes. EARTHQUAKES ARE SCARY." She cries some more. Gretchen: "Why can't we just move somewhere like the middle like Kansas where there are never any earthquakes?" Mic: "Well, these are our only options right now and Daddy needs a job. And, besides, Kansas has tornadoes." Gretchen: "It DOES? Oh! We can't live anywhere in the United States!" Mic: "There, there." She begins to cry harder.
Both Palm Springs and Sacramento had there goods and bads (with possible chance of earthquakes), but I quickly fell in love with one more than the other. continued....
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Gretchen is really getting into the spirit of Valentine making. I wonder where she is getting her unlimited access to paper at school? I wonder where to display these proud cards of hers with more coming home each day and 12 more days to go until the 14th?
Micah, desperate for her dessert, but not wanting to eat her spinach or salmon, decides to tuck her green chew into the pocket of her cheek. It stays this way for over an hour. I said, "Just swallow it!" for over an hour too! Exhausted, I decided to shut up about it and just take a picture instead.
Last week in the mail, my kids got free Frosty coupons from our dear friend Mary Jo in Harrisburg. They were supposed to be for Halloween, but sometimes (well, maybe more then sometimes) Mary Jo sometimes misplaces things quite often and then she calls me up to tell me that she found them. Gotta love her. This happened to be one of those times and it made me laugh. They expired Monday so instead of letting them go to waste I ordered 30 of them through the drive-thru. The lady told me she had to put them into the jr size frosty cups, she said it was the rule. I told her Dave Thomas would say that was wasteful. I ended up coming home with 5 32 oz-ers of chocolaty frosty ice cream. I just need to have an ice cream party now. I'll pick the warmest day of the week, hopefully upper 30's?
Becket fell asleep here.
Must play with LEGOS. Must play with LEGOS. Must play with LEGOS. Must plaa...wiit...
Every time after we pray, my children put it into their routine to climb on my back. All three of them. At once. What a great way to send me off duty, as if I didn't already feel weighted down.