Thursday, April 30, 2009

The True Story of Bigfoot

Before this story begins, you really must know something about Jim. He has this uncanny ability to get anybody to do anything. My cousin Steve calls him "The Devil" because he is a (Jim's word) creative, (Angie's word) shameless instigator.

A couple years ago, Jim was visiting back home and staying at my Mom's house. He had been toying with the idea of a Bigfoot ruse for some time. The idea being to dress up in a Bigfoot costume then strategically walk near the road as a car was driving by to see if word got out that there was a Bigfoot in the area.

This is a typical Jim-ish prank, but a bad idea for two reasons. One, there are a lot of people with guns in that area. Two, there are a lot of people with guns in that area that drink.

So being the supreme instigator he is, he talked someone else into doing it under his tutelage.

I wasn't around during this event, but this is how the story was ultimately relayed to me, and keep in mind this was mid-June in Missouri, so it was steamy hot.

Jim: "OK, walk across the field and I'll tell you what to do."

Jim: "Now swing your arms a little more." (Jim grew up in the Pacific Northwest and knows a great deal about Bigfoot culture)

Jim: "This time look over at me as you're walking by, like in the famous Patterson footage of 1967." (I'm telling you, the boy knows his Bigfoot trivia)

Jim: "That was too much. Don't stop, just look at me as you walk by, and don't forget the arms."

Jim: "Perfect! Now let's go try it on the road."

Anonymous Bigfoot Culprit: "Can we take a break? I think I'm about to pass out."

They actually took their ploy to the road. One car even slowed down.

I believe it was around this time that Alan Anonymous Bigfoot Culprit came to his senses about the potential for dying of a heat stroke in a gorilla costume in mid-June, or being shot, stuffed and mounted on some Hillbilly's wall.


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

It Was Bound To Happen

It started out with this guy.

Now I can’t help myself. I need to take pictures of strangers. It amuses me and I get a thrill out of sneaking pictures with the chance of getting caught. Just call me Miss Dangerous. Or Miss Too-Nosey-For-My-Own-Good. Or Miss Needs-To-Get-A-Life.

Here’s what happened today.

I was at the airport, minding my own business, when I noticed this guy.

Can you see that he has his hands down his pants? I was using my camera phone, so the pictures all stink. Then I took this one about 10 minutes later, hands still in the pants.

He could quite possibly win a hands-in-the-pants contest. (I’m big into hyphened phrases today)

Then a lady came over and sat by me, and holy crap did she smell like cigarette smoke (Disclaimer: I have nothing against smokers, per say, just this particularly smelly one invading my good-smelling space).

As is my habit now, I felt the need to take her picture.

I snapped just this one horrible shot and she immediately looked over at me.

Caught. Dang it!

I tried to play it off as best I could, but there was no real recovery. I just looked straight ahead until time to board, praying she didn’t ask questions.

I could tell you that I learned my lesson and that I’ll stop this nonsense, but I won’t. I can’t.
I refuse.


Random Bits of Randomicity

I have experienced an all time high on the lame-o-meter in the last 5 days. I've worked, I've eaten, I've slept, and... that's it.

Here are some completely unorganized thoughts because I'm still in lame mode.

I really hope I don't get swine flu. When people cough at the airport now, I assume they have it and run away. It causes a scene.

I'm thinking about starting Weight Watchers again, but honestly don't know if I'm ready to give up my bad eating habits yet (see next point). I have to decide what's more important, getting a swimsuit body for this summer (since I plan on spending time on Big Jim's boat) or eating (again, see next point).

I ate 5 key lime cupcakes in 2 days.

I love that Christina Applegate is People's Most Beautiful Person. She's wonderful.

I'm glad that (for the most part) I'm an optimistic person and feel joy in little things around me.

The tomatoes we planted in the Topsy Turvy may not make it. We bring them in each night, but they're starting to get wilty. So help me, if they die, that will be 3 strikes against Mother Nature.

There's more, but responsibilities call.

One more thing, several people have reached out to me about this blog and I want to say Thank You! I have some new Blog Buddies coming (you know who you are) and others sending me recipes to try (you know who you are, too). You guys are the greatest!


Sunday, April 26, 2009

Key Lime Cupcakes

I was craving something sweet today, but wanted a fruity, fresh flavor. These were just the thing!

1 box white cake mix
1 container vanilla frosting
14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup key lime or lime juice (took me 4 limes to get that much juice)
3/4 cup whipping cream
4 drops yellow food coloring
1 drop green food coloring

Prepare cupcakes as directed on cake mix box. Allow to cool for 5 minutes.

While cooling, grate lime zest into the vanilla frosting.

Mix together the condensed milk, whipping cream, lime juice and food coloring.

Poke several holes into the cupcakes with the back of a mixing spoon.

Using a pastry bag (or turkey baster if you're like me and don't have one of those), fill each hole with the lime mixture.

It's OK if some of the mix remains on the top. Refrigerate for at least one hour, then frost.

Yum! Fruity, tart, sweet and delicious!


Friday, April 24, 2009

Tales of Tobacco Man

I am a frequent flyer.

My circumstances put me in roughly 22 airplanes a month. Not 22 days mind you, I have a lot of connecting flights.

I long for the days of old, when flying was classy. When people were considerate and well mannered. And clean for crying out loud.

When boarding, there's always those uncomfortable moments as people walk down the aisle and I'm thinking to myself "please don't sit by me, please don't sit by me." And other times I think "they look clean, sit here, sit here."

Today I thought I was in the clear. I approached seat 5B and immediately see a thin man, 60ish, clean looking, in 5A. So far so good.

I always say "Hi" and secretly hope the conversation ends there. Sorry, but I am just not a morning person, or overly talkative for that matter.

He was friendly enough. Made some lame joke that I can't even remember about the plane being crowded. Then it started going down hill. As I leaned forward to put my briefcase under the seat in front of me, he pulls out a can of chew and takes a dip.

Now, I have been around chewers my whole life, and it has never bothered me. But we're on an airplane, and I don't know you. Come on!

I thought for sure he was going to whip out a bottle and start spitting tobacco juice into it, which would undoubtedly make my flight unbearable. Turns out, he's a swallower. But then he started humming. Incessantly. For the whole flight.

I desperately wanted to take his picture, but the opportunity never presented itself. My camera phone does not have the capability of turning the shutter sound off, so that makes it a little tricky to take discreet pictures of strangers for my amusement.

My second flight was a little better. I sat next to a young, somewhat Gothic girl who just listened to her iPod, which was fine by me. The guy across the aisle from me, however, fell asleep before we even took off and snored loudly the whole way to our destination.

Since he was passed out, I was able to sneak this.

See the lady next to him? I'm pretty sure she was beating her head against the plane.


Thursday, April 23, 2009

Angie vs Mother Nature

The outdoors are beckoning me.

"Plant something Angie. Look, the trees are budding. It's time."

Our backyard has an apple tree, a pear tree, and a plum tree. They're beginning to show signs of life once again. The strawberry garden is also teasing me with their silky green leaves.

I must remain steadfast. Mother Nature is trying to trick me with the lure of beautiful days and sprouting plants.

She better watch it. I still haven't forgiven her for all the snow that caused my trees to do this.

No, that's not a real snake. The strawberry garden was constantly under attack from a bunch of dirty birds last summer and that was my attempt to scare them away. It didn't work.

Another grudge I'm holding against Mother Nature.


Influence Album

A while back I was feeling especially grateful for the people who have had the most positive influences on my life. I am so blessed to have such a strong, loving family.

I created this album with the idea that I wanted it to be very simple. No frills, just the words in my heart.


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Montanta Road Trip

Once a month I have to drive to Montana for my work.

If there's a prettier drive in this country, I don't know where it would be. The Northwest is like driving in a postcard.

This river runs along the Interstate. The water is getting high due to the snow melt off.

There are 2 essentials on an early morning road trip. Coffee and music.
That's Jim's leg. He goes on the road trips with me.

On the way there we listened to Jim's iPod. Since he spent his formative years in the 80's that's what's on his. I got music control on the way home. My iPod is a mish-mash of whatever I'm feeling at that moment. I extend no music loyalty.

This is my favorite tree in the whole world. I love that it stands high above the others, watching over the lake like a great forest king.

Whoops! Sorry little guy.

As we reach our highest point of the journey, crossing Lookout Pass, the road gets steep and curvy. I don't know why, but this seems to be when Jim is at his all time highest speed. I think he secretly times himself on these trips to see if he can beat his previous times.

On the way there we stopped about halfway at a McDonald's for a quick breakfast bite. I got a sweet tea.

I only drank that much, and darn if I didn't have to pee like 20 minutes later.

The trip home is much the same with the exception of this sign.

I love it.


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Klopeks and Powertools

Last year we set out to fix up the inside of our home. It's an older home and needed (needs) many updates. The exterior was ignored completely.

If you've seen the movie "The Burbs" then you recall the Klopek house. That's what we're talking about here. It was sad. We were the only house on the street without a sprinkler system (those are huge here). Every home around us, even Crazy Lady's and Hippie Lady's, were lush and green. Ours was just dirt.

This year we have a plan.

*Block out the White Trashies and dogs with a privacy fence. (Check)

*Install sprinkler system. (That's what the Jims will be doing this Friday)

*Paint over the current pukey gray tan color.

*Landscape, landscape, landscape.

I have been incredibly tempted to buy flowers and vegetables already, but last year it snowed into May, so I am refraining. Impatiently.

Yesterday I had the landscape bug, bad. I drove to the store and walked around the plants with admiration and longing. Actually I've done that the last 2 days. I came home with only a tomato plant to put into the Topsy Turvy I had previously purchased.

My desire to landscape didn't stop there. I decided to prune the plant in our front yard. I have no idea what it is, but it's thorny.

Jim gave me this to do it with.

What the heck was he thinking?


Monday, April 20, 2009

Confessions of Self Consciousness

I hate to walk in front of anyone because I'm afraid they'll look at my butt which I find humiliating.

I'm in a state of paranoia after every meal that perhaps I have food in my teeth, especially when eating lettuce.

I rarely wear dresses because I feel too exposed with no pants on.

I feel most self conscious when I dress up because it seems like I'm trying too hard to look nice and everyone knows it.

I pretty much always think my underwear is showing when I sit down.

I like to shop for shoes in places where you find your own size so I don't have to verbalize it to a perfect stranger.

I have random moments of panic throughout the day that I have a booger hanging out. (Note to self: check mirror after posting)

I don't like to talk too closely to anyone for fear of having raging stink breath.

So, if you know me and ever see me gazing into a mirror, I swear to you it's not out of vanity. I'm checking for lettuce and boogers.

I will be closing this post to comments so no one tries to waylay my insecurities. Then I would just be insecure about my insecurities.


Sunday, April 19, 2009

Angie's Chicken Stirfry

2/3 cup soy sauce
4 Tbsp packed brown sugar
2 Tbsp + 2 tsp cornstarch
1 1/2 cup water
2 shallots (or onions if you absolutely must)
2 cloves garlic
1 cup peas and carrots, frozen
1 bell pepper
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (or more if you need clear sinuses)
1 pound chicken, cut into 1 inch pieces
3 Tbsp oil, divided
Hot cooked rice

This recipe goes fast, so I like to get everything completely prepared before starting.

For the sauce, combine the water, soy sauce, sugar, cornstarch and pepper. If the measurements sound odd, it's because I've tweaked this recipe over and over until I got it just how I wanted it. Let it sit until needed, just remember to stir it up right before you pour.

Slice the shallots and bell pepper, roughly chop the garlic.

Heat 2 Tbsp oil over medium heat. Cook the pepper for 2 minutes then add the shallots. Cook approximately 5 minutes or until crisp tender. Add the garlic and frozen peas and carrots. Cook one minute longer. Remove the veggies from the pan.

Heat the remaining 1 Tbsp oil over medium-heat. Add the chicken and cook until almost done, around 5 minutes. Add the liquid to the middle of the pan. Stir often, the sauce will thicken quickly.

Add the veggies back into the pan and boil for 2-3 minutes.

Serve over hot rice.