May 31, 2008

Pratchett Has Alzheimer's

The world is, quite frankly, over. There's no other wa to say it.

My favorite author, Terry Pratchett, has early onset Alzheimer's.

The man is prolific. He writes two books almost every year. I was looking forward to at least 40 more books from him.

All literary considerations aside, though, I am so sad for him and so sad for his family. I know someone who has this, and it is devastating.

Worst. Day. Ever.

Posted by LoWriter at 12:56 AM | Comments (4)

May 30, 2008

Planning, Panicking, and Playing

I have only just begun to plan!

That is my motto, it seems, after looking at The Knot, which appears to be designed to freak me out with long lists of things that have to be decided and paid for. EEK!

Right now, I am trying to get ideas for invitations because we are going to probably print our own, which means we can design our own. And when I say print our own, I mean print on the press. So, that's a little intimidating, actually, because what if I make something that looks stupid? Then not only did I pick something that looks dumb but I actually designed something that looks dumb, which is worse.

And, apparently, that is not my first order of business. Apparently, I have to interview caterers and find officients who match my "style" (does "beer" count as a style?) and also choose a theme ("beer"?).

I am not entirely sure why I want a wedding. I mean, let's be honest, I'm a princess. But I've never really gotten into the whole wedding thing. It's always been just way too girly for me. It's always been a lot of rules and ribbons and other crap I just don't care about. But since it turns out that I really really want one, I am having one, and since it is, after all, "my day," I am laying down five (so far) ground rules for myself (and others who may want to be involved).

1) Thou shalt not freak out about ribbons, decorations, or any other thing that will not matter two weeks after the big day.

2) Thou shalt have fun!

3) Thou shalt not set thy heart on things you cannot have.

4) Thou shalt not procrastinate and try to throw this all together in six months rather than the comfortable year and 1/2 month you have now.

5) Thou shalt not drive everyone around you nuts.

Other than that, I am still walking around being pretty silly. I love Ben. And he loves me. And we're going to spend the rest of our lives taking care of each other. I can't think of a better way to spend the next rest of my life.

I know I sound like every other stupid bride, but we really do just click. We are soul mates. I feel like I've known him for a hundred years. And I feel like I want to know him for a hundred more, which is a new feeling for me. When he hugs me, I'm home. And as I plan a wedding, I need to keep all that in mind.

I am a little afraid after looking at The Knot, but I think it will be ok. I have some good friends who will keep me grounded, and that's nice. Thanks, ladies!

Posted by LoWriter at 10:46 PM | Comments (3)

May 22, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me!

While it is not as exciting as getting engaged (yes, I just had to plug that again), today is my birthday! Feel free to send me presents if you so desire. ;)

This birthday is going to end up being weird. Tonight, Ben and I are doing a small something, and then we are going to finish cleaning my apartment for the arrival of my parents (who are helping my sister move). Then I think the fam will do some dinner and maybe some cake at my place. My mom is maybe making red velvet cake, which is delightful.

Then on Saturday, Ben and I are going to make breakfast because my sisters and I didn't get to make it home for Mother's Day. We're going to attempt to make omelets, mostly because I have many things to make yummy omelets with right now (like tomatoes), so I should be able to get by with buying eggs and cheese (and maybe a pepper or some onion) (which no one but me will want anyway).

And then they will all leave, which will be a relief, and we will go to Narnia. And then they will come back after taking my sister to New Hampshire and stay over night. And then I think I'm celebrating with my friends on the first weekend in June. So, this is a very extended birthday, but that's all right. :)

For those of you who are wondering (and for those of you who are not), no, I still can't stop looking at the ring.

Posted by LoWriter at 12:54 PM | Comments (1)

May 19, 2008

And Now for a Very Special Announcement

Some of you know this already, but it was time to make a public announcement of some kind....

Ben and I are engaged! :)

Pictures of the ring will follow at a later date.

It happened on Wednesday the 14th. He took me out to the movies at the theater where we first met right after work for our 1 year, 7 month anniversary (before you freak out, we don't celebrate every month. We usually celebrate the year and half year but we both forgot). So anyway, he was standing by his cycle looking all sheepish when I pulled up, and we went inside the entryway, which is where we met for the first time, and he pulls me towards him and says, "I wanna stop here for a minute." And I was like, "But we're going to be late for the movie." He said we had plenty of time.

Then he said, "Do you realize that this is where we first met? This is where I first saw you and went, 'Is that her? Is she my date? She's even more beautiful in person than in her picture.' And I'm so glad you didn't leave that day when I was late. And do you realize that it's been one year and seven months, and we're still together. Isn't that amazing? So I was wondering..." and he got down on one knee and said, "[Lowriter's full name], will you marry me?"

And of course I said yes.

But wait, there's more. So, when we were first looking at rings, he was all wondering what would happen if he picked out something that I didn't like, and I had said, "You know, it's not about the ring. I would take a twist tie if you asked and that was what you had. I prefer that it not be a twist tie, but I would take one."

So, he's down on one knee in the entryway, and he's got my hand, and I'm waiting for him to put the ring on my finger, and he slides a twist tie on my hand and says, "And here's the twist tie you said you'd take." I burst out laughing, which was good because I had started tearing up. And I said, "Are you serious?" and then he said, "And here's your real ring." And he slipped the most beautiful ring in the world onto my finger. :) (I'm sure others will disagree, but every bride-to-be has to think her ring is the most beautiful, and today, it's my turn.)

Then, we went to the movie, and for the first time in my entire life, we were the only two people in the theater, so no one else had to put up with our giggliness. For those of you who must know and will ask, the movie was Speed Racer, which was not as horrible as I thought it was going to be. (In fact, when we were walking up to the building from outside, Ben had asked me if I was excited, and I had gone, "For Speed Racer? No." Little did I know...) It was a pretty good movie, especially because it was a lot of light and color, and I could watch it all reflect off my ring. (Which is, as I mentioned, the most beautiful ring in the world.)

So, we do not have a date or a location as yet (I am leaning towards next summer). (On the other hand, I almost typed next Sunday instead of next Summer, so there's that.) I have not taken pictures yet, either, but when I do, I will get him to help me put them up here so that you can all see.

I tried to call as many people as I could, but if I missed anybody, please forgive me and chalk it up to absentmindedness and silliness. Hooray!

Posted by LoWriter at 07:41 PM | Comments (5)

Beefy Kabobs

This week's meal was Greek-Style Beef Kabobs, another great recipe brought to you by the fine people at Diabetic Cooking. I think it was amazing; Ben believes it was merely pretty good. As usual, we altered a little.

We used:
1 and 1/2 pounds of beef sirloin steak cut into pieces (one inch thick)
1/4ish cup fat-free Italian salad dressing (we used a little extra)
4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 green bell pepper, cut into chunks
1 package grape tomatoes
1 package mushrooms
2 teasopons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt

1) Combine the beef, salad dressing, 3 tablespoons lemon juice, oregano, Worchestershire sauce, basil, lemon peel, and red pepper flakes in large resealable bag. Seal tightly; turn to coat. Refrigerate at least 8 hours, turning occasionally. We refrigerated it 18 hours because I was dumb and didn't realize it needed to be refrigerated at all. Thus, we had to leave it over night.

2) Preheat the broiler. Put all peppers, tomatoes, meat, and mushrooms on some skewers. Spray a rimmed baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Brush kabobs with marinade; place them on the baking sheet. We broiled the kabobs for 9 minutes, turning twice. Remove skewers to serving platter.

3) Add 1 tablespoon lemon juice, olive oil, and salt to pan drippings on baking sheet; stir. Pour juices over kabobs.

5 Carbs, 193 calories, and 8 grams of fat for each skewer (according to Diabetic Cooking math, which always seems to be somewhat off). Keep in mind that they did not have mushrooms in the original.

On the whole, I thought it was quite delicious and I loved it. We will definitely make it again, possibly with garlic next time. Yum!

Posted by LoWriter at 07:19 PM | Comments (0)

May 15, 2008

The Joy that Is Chicken Tostadas

Sunday's meal was chicken tostadas, featured in Diabetic Cooking. We doubled it (this is the doubled recipe).

We used:
Half a bag of boneless, skinless chicken breasts
4 teaspoons of cumin
1 and 3/4 cups of salsa
Half a bag of mixed peppers and onion stir fry mix (which you can get at Rainbow and apparently NOWHERE else).
1 15 oz. can of refried beans

First, you fry up the chicken until it is almost done. Then, throw in 1 and 1/2 cups salsa, the peppers/onions, and the cumin. Cook for six to ten minutes or until the chicken is completely done.

Meanwhile, mix the refried beans and the remaining quarter cup of salsa together and microwave. It said to do it for 3 minutes, but I did it for 2.

Spread the beans onto the tostadas and put the chicken mixture on top. Enjoy!

It was yummy and sweet. I highly recommend.

Posted by LoWriter at 10:22 PM | Comments (3)

May 08, 2008

100 Mile Garage Sale Bust and My Pyrex Addiction

Last weekend, Ben and I trecked out on Saturday to see the 100 mile garage sale. Before you get all excited and say, "Oh, I wish I could go to the 100 mile garage sale," let me just say, "No, you don't."

Don't get me wrong; it was a very lovely drive, and it was a beautiful day. We spent a lot of time in Red Wing even though there wasn't much going on. We checked out a three story antique store and the Hush Puppies store. (So, yes, we got side tracked.) But we were there pretty early, and everything was looking rather picked over. We wound up driving a lot and finding only a few things. I got a couple of junk jewelry pieces that are kind of fun (10K gold filled ring with a funky green stone and a little buddha man on a chain), Season 1 of Law and Order, and a tiny little vase that I got for a dime. But overall, I felt like we would have done better if we had just stayed in the Cities.

On the way out of town, we stopped at a little shop where the owner informed us that what nobody tells you is that the sale actually started on Wednesday (even though it was advertised to start on Saturday). So, there was quite a differnce there, which is probably why it looked really picked over.

The trip wasn't a total bust because I did get a couple of fun pairs of new shoes for cheap, but they were not at the garage sale, so you know.

Plus, while we spent time in the three stories of delight that is the (overpriced) antique store in Pottery Place in Red Wing, I developed a vintage Pyrex addiction. Specifically, I love the refrigerator dishes with lids and the primary colored mixing bowls. I bought a couple of things on EBay I shouldn't have. Oh, well, that stimulus check is burning a whole in my pocket (mine isn't even here yet).

And today, we did poke around in St. Paul, and I found myself a cookie press! My grandma has one, and she used to make spritz cookies at Christmas that eveyone loved. And I figured, I could argue with my sister about who will get Grandma's cookie press, or I can just buy my own right now for $2. My mom made fun of me and said she'll be waiting for those cookies. That's ok because I will be eating the cookies while she's busy waiting for cookies to magically appear before her.

So, on the whole, it was a good day, and we have plans to go to more sales this weekend. (Ben is great fun to go to these things with.) Feel free to share your own great garage sale finds/obsessions in the comments.

Posted by LoWriter at 11:41 PM | Comments (1)

Another Great Dish

Ugh, I am so behind on my blogging!

We made another great meal this week. It's so fun to say, "We cooked a great meal." I love cooking with Ben, mostly because he handles the raw meat. This recipe came out of Diabetes Cooking, and, as always, we modified it slightly.

It was called Southwestern Chicken and Black Bean Skillet

We Used:
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons ground chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
(which was all we had left, but it worked out about right. Cut 'em in half)
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 chopped yellow onion
(we used a vidallia because that's all Cub had. Perhaps they are the same, but I don't think so.)
1 to 3 green bell peppers
1 can (15 ounces) black beans
, which we did not rinse, but we did drain. I see no point in rinsing beans, plus, anyway I imagine doing it just seems like it would make an enormous mess. I'm sure there's a reason to do it; i just haven't discovered one yet. This dish was fine. No need to rinse anything that didn't come from the produce aisle.
1 cup Pace Medium Picante sauce
They offered the option of using 1/4 cup chopped cilantro or thinly sliced green onion, but we did not do this.

Mix up the spices in a little dish, and then sprinkle them over both sides of the chicken. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken until it's done. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set it aside.

Add the onion and the pepper to the skillet and cook for six minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Add beans and salsa. Mix well. Put the chicken on top and cover. Cook for another 6 to 7 minutes, and enjoy.

1 Breast and 3/4 cups beans is a serving for 22 grams of carbs, 4 grams of fat, and 262 calories.

It's spicy, but delicious. In fact, I really want to make it again this weekend. It's probably too soon, but this was a winner.

Posted by LoWriter at 11:03 PM | Comments (0)

May 01, 2008

I Can't Believe It's Been Ten Years

I got a message on Facebook today asking me what I thought about the tentative plans for my high school class's 10 year reunion.

My first thought was, "Wait, that's gotta be at least a couple of years away yet!" Well, no, it's not actually. 1998 plus 10 equals 2008. So, here we are at the brink of my 10 year reunion, and I can't believe it. In the first place, I am way to fat to go to my 10 year reunion. In the second place, I am pretty much where I was five years ago. My goodness, how can it have been five years since I went to the last reunion.

I don't really have much else to say about it. I was just stunned. I'm still stunned. I will eventually get over it. :)

Posted by LoWriter at 10:20 PM | Comments (4)