Hello and Welcome to my blog! I am quite new to this, so I hope you'll bear with me until I figure out exactly how it all works (wishful thinking?). In the mean time, I will try to keep my blog updated as best I can! Thank you for stopping by!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Love, Ice Cream, and Blessings

"Our hours in love have wings; in absence, crutches."                ~Colley Cibber

     Six days apart and counting.  It still amazes me how, everytime we are seperated for an extended period of time, everything seems to become so much clearer.  I love B more than I ever imagined a woman could love a man, but we still have our rocky roads, our cookie doughs, and our s'mores.  This is a s'mores moment.  I want s'mores of my man.  
     The begining is always the hardest.  Going from having him around anywhere from some-a lot and then not at all.  He is my addiction, and I have been cut off--cold turkey.  And such is the military life.  I'm not complaining.  He's not in Iraq or Afghanistan, thank the Lord.  And he will be coming home to me eventually.  I just have to find a good routine.  A good, busy, distracting...routine.  But, no matter the routine, the nights are always the same.  Whether I'm stressing over a sick dog, comforting my confused daughter, or sitting around trying to force myself to sleep, the nights are always long, cold, and silent.
     I've heard others say they cheat because they are lonely.  Well I know loneliness, but mine cannot be subsided by anyone but B.  He is my better half, my everything, and my cliche.  Truth be told, I doubt he knows that.  I'll bet he doesn't know that he is the best man I have ever known.  And I love him not despite his flaws, but because of them.  They are a part of what makes him, him. 

     I'm sure some will read this and think it's pathetic, but I don't care.  He makes me want to be a better person.  Heck, I'm even trying to learn to cook!  Not exactly successfully...but I am trying.  

     I wasn't looking for love when I met him.  What I wanted and needed was a friend.  Little did I know, I was getting both.  Funny how things work out.  I suppose I should thank my sister for being so persistant with both of us.  

     So I shall end this with a prayer:
                      Thank You Lord for answering my prayers.  Thank You for blessing B and me with a beautiful, healthy, stubborn baby girl.  Thank You for all of the friends I have made along the way, and for the love and support they give everyday.  Thank You for my family and B's family and the unconditional strength and foundation they provide.  Thank You for my healthy, loving dog Natalie, who protects my house and those inside.  Thank You for today, tomorrow, and yesterday.  Thank You for Your Son, Jesus Christ, who died for ME.  And thank You, Lord, for every blessing, every rough patch, and every journey that has brought me to You and to where I am today.
     In Your name, AMEN!

"Parting is all we know of Heaven.  And all we need of Hell."    ~Emily Dickenson

Thanks for listening!

Carolina North.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Crap. Literally.

"My husband and I are either going to buy a dog or have a child.  We can't decide whether to ruin our carpets or ruin our lives."        ~Rita Rudner
     Two weeks ago my husband and I rescued a black lab pup.  The people we got her from lived next door to the original owners who had a litter of puppies, did nothing with them, and then moved away without them.  By the time we got her, she was five months old and hadn't been to the vet.  Period. 
     Before we took her home, we stopped by the vet we like in town.  Fortunately they were able to get her right in.  She had dual ear infections, scratches on her tummy that were infected, ring worm under her leg, and she was pumped full of intestinal parasites (round worms).  She went on ear meds, antibiotics, antifungal swabs, and got her very first dewormer.  Other than the above listed ailments and being underweight due to having parasites so long and being left untreated, she seemed to be in relatively good shape.  Smart too. 
     In just two weeks, we had her sitting on command, come, stay, go to the kennel, drop it, and almost house trained.  I was so proud of her progress.  B was pretty confident that all would be well once he left for school.  Boy were we in for a surprise.

     The day after he left, she pooed twice on my carpet (something she hadn't done for at least a week, and then twice in one day?)  To make matters worse, I literally took her outside less than five minutes prior to the accidents.  The next day, she pooed once, and peed in my daughters room.  Also within a few minutes of taking her outside.  Everything looked fine, so I began wondering if this was a behavioral problem.  Daddy leaves, so puppy poos.  Wonderful.  Oh, and did I mention that just the thought of picking up dog feces makes my stomach turn? 
    The next day, she went on the carpet again, same MO, but then she vomited in the kennel.  Great, she's sick. 

    Well, vomit turned into diarrhea.  Alllll night long.  Last night, to be exact.  I figured I would take her to the vet first thing in the morning.  But the fourth (and final blowup) had some blood in it.  So off to google dog sickness I go. 
                                "vomiting bial and bloody diarrhea in dogs"

     So many results, and none looking promising.  I called the vet and asked what their opinion was.  Parvovirus.  Google again.
                                 "parvovirus in dogs"
     Treated with IV solution and IV antibiotics in less severe cases.  More severe cases may need blood transfusions.  If left untreated is fatal.  If accompanied with other intestinal parasites/disorders will probably be more severe. 

     As I said earlier, she was pumped full of intestinal parasites and has only had one dewormer.  Our first visit to the vet was $300. 

     And since my loving husband was unavailable due to school, I had to make the hard decision on my own.  We don't have extra cash right now for IV fluids and IV antibiotics, nor do we have the money for blood transfusions.  Add onto the having a 2 year old to worry about, another dog (parvo is extreamly communicable), and finding out that parvo stays in clothes, carpets, kennels, etc for up to 6 months if not bleached and in the ground for up to 8 years...I decided we couldn't keep her. 

     I called the local pound (the one in our county is really nice compared to the other ones I have seen down here).  Through tears I told them what happened, and they told me to bring her in.  When I dropped her off, I told them all the strides we had made in training.  They told me that they would evaluate the severity of the parvo and decide from there whether to treat her with IV's, or to euthanize her. 

     Boy do I feel like a piece of crap.

     When B finally called me back, I told him what happened.  He apologized for her being so sick.  (Not his fault)

     I guess we're only meant to have one dog.

 "The dog is a gentleman; I hope to go to his heaven, not man's."   
                           ~Mark Twain, Letter to  W D Howells, 4-2-1899

Thanks for listening.  Sorry to be so glum.

Carolina North.


Saturday, October 9, 2010

Sugar-Free No-Bake Cookies

"There is a peculiar burning odor in the room, like explosives.  The kitchen fills with smoke and the hot, sweet, ashy smell of scorched cookies.  The war has begun."               ~Alison Lurie Quotes
     Around 8 PM today, I decided that I would try to make B's Aunt's No-Bake Oatmeal Cookies again.  The last time I made them (and the first time making them on my own) they didn't set up properly.  We had to eat the gooey deliciousness with a spoon.  But I was determined that this time, they would be a successful fingerfood!  So I brought out the recipe from the cabinet, and started throwing the ingredients into the pot:
               1/2 cup butter, 1/2 cup milk, 3 TBS cocoa powder, 1 tsp vanilla
     I turned up the heat, and started stirring them with a whisk (just like his Aunt showed me!)  After allowing the liquid to boil a bit, I added the peanut butter (which is probably part of why it didn't set up last time.  I added it too soon) and VOILA!  The liquid started to thicken immediately!  I threw in the oatmeal, let it cool a minute, and started spooning the mix onto the wax paper.
         Wait.  I could have sworn that when his Aunt made it there were more than six small cookies.  And weren't they a lighter brown than that?

     So I licked the spoon expecting Heaven in my mouth, and ended up with Hell instead.  Literally.  They were burnt!  How do you BURN a NO BAKE cookie?  Seriously?  Who does that?  Me.  I told B that I didn't know what went wrong.  His response: "I know what went wrong.  You went into the kitchen." 

     Since B was of absolutely no help, I called his Grandparents house to talk through what I did with his Aunt.  His Grandpa answered and told me that he was the only person home. 
     I'm pretty sure that was the first time in the history of his family that his Grandpa had the whole house to himself!
    So I talked to Grandpa for a little while, and suddenly, in the middle of our conversation about the Navy, a little lightbulb went off.  I forgot the sugar!  How do you FORGET the sugar when making cookies?  It is the main ingredient in this particular recipe!  2-1/2 cups of sugar, and I forgot to add it! 

     I will not accept defeat.  Not tonight anyway.  So I cleaned up some of the mess, and started all over again.  This time adding the sugar first. 

     We have to eat the gooey deliciousness with a spoon.  Perhaps that's just my "thing."

"Children ask better questions than adults.  "May I have a cookie?"  "Why is the sky blue?"  and "What does a cow say?" are far more likely to elicit a cheerful response than "Where's your manuscript?"  "Why haven't you called?" and "Who's your lawyer?"             ~Fran Lebowitz Quotes
Thanks for listening!

Carolina North.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Grandma's sporting high heels and camel toes?

"If high heels were so wonderful, men  would still be wearing them." -Sue Grafton-
     Since moving to NC, I have noticed many things that bring me back to my rodeo days!  There are horses everywhere (which wasn't the case in Alaska), "hoof black" is a must, and a camel toe is a fashion statement.  The difference between the fashion of them here than there is that here they are worn (typically) with high heels and on older women.  In the rodeos they are worn with cowboy boots and come on all ages of women.  
     Honestly, I like camel toes like I like seafood.  I suppose I don't mind them as long as they aren't associated with me.  In fact, I tend to make it a point to check my pants before ever leaving my house.  You can thank my older sister for that.

     I'm sorry that it has been a few days since my last post, but my hubby was supposed to have left last Tuesday for school.  Fortunately, he decided he didn't need to leave until tomorrow, so I have enjoyed a few extra days with him!  The Army life is one filled with many benefits and downfalls.  This being both.  He gets to learn a new job on the Army dime, but he wont be home for a while.  I suppose you must learn to be positive, but expect reality. 

    That's all for now!  Thanks for listening!

"Some people wear their heart up on their sleeve.  I wear mine underneath my right pant leg, strapped to my boot."  -Ani Difranco Quotes

Carolina North.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Cheese Loaf-vs-Southern Accent

A great actor is independent of the poet, because the supreme essence of feeling does not reside in prose or in verse, but in the accent with which it is delivered. ~Lee Strasberg
     Three visits to the grocery store in one day is absolute over-kill.  This was made clear to me when I had a very interesting conversation with the check-out lady.  I wish I could say it was just the conversation itself that was interesting, but I can't.  The manner in which I delivered my half just made it that much better. 
       My last trip there, B asked me to pick him up some Copenhagen.  Well, in the state of Alaska, you must be 19 years old to buy tobacco products.  So whenever he would ask me to pick him up some, I would pretend that it was for me (even though he is older than me) because I didn't want any trouble.  But NC is different.  18 years old is old enough, and considering the legal age to be married without parental consent is 18, I figure that I'm safe.  Here's how the conversation went:
     "You're from Alaska?"  (Driver's liscense.)
     "Yeah, we just moved here about two weeks ago.  You know, in the state of Alaska you have to be 19 to buy tobacco products.  So when my husband would ask me to buy him some Copenhagen, I would just pretend that it was for me since you can be married before 19.  A few times the cashiers would say something like, 'Oh honey, you're too pretty to be chewing tobacco.'  So I would just tell them, 'I know, it's a terrible habit, but I just can't shake it.'  Not that it would have mattered anyway since he's WAY older than me."
     "Yeah, my husband and I have a big age difference too.  He's 34 and I'm 21."
     "Oh!  Ya'll are worse than we are!  He's 28 and I'm 23.  But I always tell him that he already robbed the craddle, so he can't trade me in for a younger model!"
     "Have a good night."

     Now, if that wasn't bad enough, throw in a terrible fake southern accent (from me, pink words), and you have the full story.  I swear that whenever I get around people with accents, I start to pick it up!  It is the most senseless habit on the face of the planet, and I have it. 
     Four years ago I worked on a ranch in Montana (as a wrangler), and we had some businessmen from Minnesota there for a week.  It took me one day to pick it up, and three months to drop it!  Other people were convinced I was from Minnesota.  Truth be told: to this day I haven't been there once.
     I suppose a better question would be, "Why am I sharing so much information with a cashier?"  I just can't stop myself.  The entire time my brain was screaming "shut up, Nicole.  Just shut up!"  But the words just kept coming! 
     And why does Walmart put Velvetta (or other types of cheese loafs) in a different part of the store than the other cheese products?  Now I know it's about as real as my southern accent, but still.  If it says "cheese" then put it with the cheeses!

I love to go shopping.  I love to freak out salespeople.  They ask me if they can help me, and I say, "Have you got anything I'd like?"  Then they ask me what size I need, and I say, "Extra medium."  ~Steven Wright
Thanks for listening!

Carolina North.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

A Taste Of Home

    "If God had intended us to follow recipes,
He wouldn't have given us grandmothers."
~Linda Henley

     During my husbands second deployment, I had decided that I wanted to learn how to cook (and cook well).  So I figured I would look into local cooking classes.  When I expressed this to B, his comment (in a loving way) was, "That would be a waste of food."  After a good laugh, I thought maybe I would put cooking on hold, at least until he returned home from his deployment. 
     Once he returned home, I went out and bought the 3 Books in 1 Rival Crock Pot Cook Book.  If I can't put the effort into a Crock Pot meal, then I certainly wouldn't put the effort into actual cooking, right? 
     The first recipe I tried out was "Brownie Bottoms."  It was A-MAZING, but waaaay too rich for me, B, and a few of my FT WW Spouse friends.  Although, it did give me an "ah ha" moment in realizing that maybe all I needed were a few lessons, and I might actually become a successful, cooking wife!  So I perused through the cook book to find a harder recipe to try out.  Dinner.
     Although I desperately wanted to try out the "Fall-Off-The-Bone BBQ Ribs," it wasn't an option considering the recipe requires one to grill the meat before putting it in the Crock Pot.  (Our apartment complex in Alaska wouldn't allow the tenants to have grills at all.)  So instead I tried out the "Ropa Vieja" recipe.  Thankfully my dear friend Mrs. K went to the grocery store with me, or I might have been looking for a flank steak far into the night!
     Even though I was quite pleased with my creation, B wasn't exactly wow-ed.  He said it was good, but he would have liked it better had I made it into more of a stew-type meal.  Although, I do agree that adding some carrots, celery, and onions would probably have added to the yum factor.  After that, B went back to doing the majority of the cooking.

     But here I am, six months later, and ready to try again!  Limiting my options to just Crock Pot meals was probably not the best idea, so I bought another cook book, "Taste Of Home casseroles slow cooker & soups".  I am really excited about it!  My goal is to keep up on trying out new recipes, perfecting a few, and wow-ing my hubby when he gets home from school!  I know it's a tall order for such a short attention span, but I am motivated and enthusiastic!  Luckily for B, he won't be home for my trials and errors, but unfortunately for my daughter, she will be.  
     Well, that's all for now.  This won't be turning into a "Julie and Julia" type of a blog, so I hope I didn't get your hopes up.  But don't worry, I will let you know how some of them turn out! ;)

     Did I mention that his grandmother is (argueably) one of the best cooks in NC?  Yeah, I have some big shoes to fill!

     Thanks for listening!

Carolina North.

"There is one thing more exasperating than a wife who can cook and won't, and that's a wife who can't cook and will."
~Robert Frost