Monday, March 29, 2010

Monday Musing - Facebook Games

Hello, my name is Donna and I'm a Facebook games addict.  I really don't know how it happened.  A friend invited me to play Farm Town and that was kind of neat.  A few weeks later I got an invitation (from the same "friend" whose neck I would cheerfully wring right about now) to participate in FarmVille.  Okay, why not?  The merry-go-round got faster.  YoVille.  PetVille.  Country Life.  Zoo Something.  All of those invitations I managed to turn down.

Then, I discovered My Town on my own.  I was simply lost.

What makes reasonably intelligent people sit down in front of a computer and spend HOURS farming virtual fields and building little cities?  It's crazy.  I've been late for appointments because I just had to do "one more thing" on my farm.  Is it the control factor?  Is it some latent autistic bent.....mindlessly clicking that mouse?  I have no idea.  Surely my life can't be THAT boring, can it?

What I do know is this:  I have a REAL house with a REAL yard that REAL people live in with our REAL animals.  And all of that requires REAL work to maintain.  True, it's a lot more messy to manage than anything on Facebook.  Real things tend to be sort of messy in my experience.  But I think I should remember that it's a lot more satisfying to go smell a REAL flower growing in REAL dirt, even if I can't control how well it grows or how much it blooms.

There's a place and time for games, just not every day.  And maybe not even on a computer.  Anyone for a game of Hearts?

Friday, March 26, 2010

You Can Quote Me

There is a muscular energy in sunlight corresponding to the spiritual energy of wind.

                                  ~~~  Annie Dillard ~~~

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I'm Eating Quesadilla Casserole

YUM.  YUM.  YUM.  I am smacking my lips.  Do ya hear 'em?

Found this really great receipe.  It's a Rachael Ray concoction.  No meat, so it's cheap.  But VERY filling.  And, it only takes about 30 minutes to put together and another 30 in the oven to heat through.  Not bad, huh?  Feeds 4.  And yes, it really feeds 4.....we had plenty of leftovers.  Which will be eaten.  So here it is.  Hope you like it.

3 Tbsp vegetable oil
3/4 cup chopped onion
2 15 oz cans black beans, drained, 1/2 cup liquid reserved
1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels, thawed
1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
5 10-inch flour tortillas
8 oz shredded Monterey jack cheese (I used a Mexican blend)
1 cup store-bought green enchilada sauce (I couldn't find any, so used regular)

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  In a skillet, heat the oil over medium heat and then add the onion and cook for 5 minutes.  Add 1 1/2 cups of the beans and mash into a chunky paste.  Stir in the reserved bean liquid.
2.  Grease a heavy, ovenproof skillet (or use Corningware like I did).  In a bowl, combine the corn, parsley and remaining black beans.  Place a tortilla in the skillet and spread with 1/3 cup mashed black bean mixture.  Top with 2/3 cup corn-bean mixture and 1/2 cup cheese.  Press to compress the layers.  Repeat with the remaining tortillas, mashed black beans, corn-bean mixture and cheese.  Bake until the cheese is melted and the casserole is heated through, about 30 minutes.  Transfer to the broiler and cook for 1 minute.  Serve with enchilada sauce.

I have to tell you.....I ate mine with salsa verde and it was scrumptious.  So, if you like your food on the spicy side, try that.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Rover Ramble: Paws in the Garden

The Little Black Dogs, I and the MOTH (Man of the House) decided to get out for a breath of fresh spring air and a little sunshine this past weekend.  One of the botanical gardens opened to dog people -- and dogs -- as a fundraiser for a local shelter.  We got there about noon and had to wait in the parking lot for a space to come open so we could park.  People certainly love getting out with their dogs.

Blue & Vivi did me proud.  They didn't go nuts.  They didn't bark their fool heads off.  Vivi didn't play-growl at any other dog.  Blue didn't snap at impertinent puppies that got too much in his face. They were on best Scottie behavior.  This made me happy for two reasons.  One, they didn't embarrass me to death by acting like some rabid dogs I had picked up off the street.  Two, they comported themselves in a wonderful "ambassadorial" style, letting strangers know that Scotties can be very mannerly and wonderful little dogs.  I know there are many people who have a poor opinion of Scotties because the ones they've seen in the past acted like lunatics.  I blame this primarily on the owners for not teaching appropriate manners to their dogs.  It's kind of like people who let their small children run up and down the aisles and crawl under the tables at restaurants.  Nobody blames the kid.  Nope; those nasty looks are reserved for the parents.  Same thing with dogs and owners.  Dogs can learn if owners will teach.

Now that the weather is getting better, we'll be getting out and about more and more.  All will be excellent learning opportunities for them.... and for me.

Blue & Vivi

Vivi did have to throw a little growly fit about all these turtles.  But it was mainly under her breath.  Good thing she was leashed; she would have been swimming out to get them.

Team Dosido:  Donna, Blue & Vivi

Monday, March 22, 2010

Monday Musing - New Year's First Report

So, it's almost the end of March.  How am I doing on those hopeful New Year's Resolutions from January?  I thought I'd better check in with myself to see.

More Adventures:  hmmmm.....I guess walking the dogs through the pastures a few times doesn't qualify.  I hate to be whiney about the whole thing, but damn.....the weather just hasn't been conducive to many outings.  That's going to get better though soon.  So, I better have a couple of places in mind.  And no; I don't have my "See Alabama First" list on the refrigerator yet.  Oh dear....guess that should be the first thing I get done.

No More Recipes:  can I just say that I've been BETTER?  It's hard to resist those yummy looking magazine layouts.  But I have cut back.  Really, truly.

Becoming More Techie:  boy, I'm thinking I'm about to get a failing grade on Resolutions 101.  I have gotten the computer and it works (and the printer, too, finally).  I am working on figuring out how to get the pictures from the camera (that I really don't know how to use yet) to the computer.  I've put Windows 7 on the back burner for now--way too much information to take in all at once.  Haven't done one damn thing with this blog.  BAD BLOGGER.

National Park Visit:  I've identified the one I want to go to first.  That would be Hot Springs, Arkansas.  It's fairly close and I've never been to Arkansas before.  Now to research the whens, hows, wheres.

Support for Responsible Dog Owners:  AH I see where the bulk of the time has gone.  These first 3 months have been filled with writing letters, runs to the state capitol, the day-to-day details of being an officer of the state federation, web research.  More balance, Donna.  More balance.

Okay.  So maybe the first quarter report ain't so hot.  Let's see what April, May & June hold.

Friday, March 19, 2010

A Friday Addendum

Glory Halleluiah!!  The sun is shining.  It's supposed to be 70 degrees today. And the ##!!?*#! flagstone patio is DONE.  Well, he does have to come back and do the final cleaning of the stone on Monday.  But that's it.  And I've turned the adding machine in my head off.

There is a God...........  Am I shining brightly (see today's quote)?  Yes ma'am, I am.  Do you see this big smile on my face?

Crowing with delight!

You Can Quote Me

The gem is not polished without grit, nor man perfected without trial.

                                  ~~~Author Unknown~~~

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Life Lessons

I know that I'm supposed to be learning something from all this aggravation over the backyard redo.  But I'll be damned if I can figure out exactly what it is.  My guess is probably more "patience" lessons.  Or, maybe how to not cuss under duress.  Possibly it could be to smile in the face of adversity.  Whatever.  All I know is that the weather has been gray, gloomy and cold to match my mood.  So untypical of mid-March here.  We usually get at least a few days that hint at the April spring days to come.

So, with hope in my heart I am looking forward to the weekend, believing that the majority of construction will be over and the great cleanup can begin.  Oh....and that the clouds will clear and the sun will shine.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Monday Musing - Remodeling Blues

I stayed angry pretty much the whole entire week last week.  I'm trying to get over it, but it's taking a whole lot of effort......and I'm not there yet.

I contracted with a man -- supposedly a professional landscape architect, but now I'm wondering -- to lay a flagstone patio for me.  In my mind, it started out as a smallish job, but sort of grew.  I agreed to that based on the estimate he gave me.  He started on Monday.  The weather has been uncooperative which hasn't helped.  It still isn't finished and the cost is now double his estimate.  Plus, my yard has sand piles where we usually walk and ruts where some imbecile tried to drive their truck out of the "big" backyard, forgetting that it has rained off and on for days and the ground is SOFT.  To their credit, they did attempt to fill the ruts with MORE SAND.

As you might imagine, I am fed up with the whole process and cannot wait for them to finish and leave.  All week I've wondered one thing:  do I just attract incompetent help or are there really no workman left who can be trusted to do a good job and stand by their word?

There were a couple of bright spots to the week.  I managed to have lunch with two friends on two different days..... one I hadn't seen in quite a while.  I am hoping for a much more peaceful week; in my heart, anyway.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Monday Musing - Scottie Kisses

Last week was pretty busy, so no notes from me.  I'm not exactly sure WHY it was so busy except for two things:  one was a lot of emailing/phoning/conversation back and forth for the Alabama Canine Coalition and the other was Jake.

At the beginning of the week, I was notified by a friend that there was a Scottie boy still in our county shelter for the second week.  I didn't know who the Alabama Scottie rescue person was, but I quickly found out. After a flurry of phone calls from her to me to the shelter to my vet's office, I pulled the poor boy on Thursday and took him for vetting.  And what a wonderful little guy he is!  He, along with 2 or 3 other dog sidekicks, were abandoned by their family -- another foreclosure casualty.  I'm not pointing fingers, because I don't know the particulars.  All I know is that I would be very hardpressed to just walk off and leave my dogs in the backyard.  Especially if they were all like Jake.  We found out he's full of worms (but heartworm negative, thank goodness) but actually in pretty good shape.  We also found out that he loves, other dogs, people of all shapes and sizes.  Thankfully, he already has a home eagerly waiting for his release from the vet's.

I like busy weeks like this past one.  Especially when they are accompanied by lots of very sweet Scottie boy kisses.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Monday Musing - Just a Small Tremor

Earthquakes seem to be going on everywhere.  First, Haiti; now Chile.  And  Obviously, my measly little shake-rattle-and-rolls aren't a drop in the bucket to the utter devastation and misery in those countries.  I can't even imagine....words fail to do those tragedies justice.

But yes, the earth under my feet is perceptibly shifting.  Last week was a busy one.  This week looks to be similar in activity level.  But the focus is changing.  Things that were once so terribly important seem to be losing their immediacy in my life.

Over the weekend, I attended a function with a group that I have been a part of for quite some time.  I always felt comfortable there up until now.  A part of me is saddened by the alteration in ambiance; a part of me feels a lifting of a burden that I really didn't know I was carrying.

Spring in the world is around the corner.....evidence of new beginnings will be appearing all around.  Spring in my heart is pushing toward the sun.