Am I Just a Whiney Baby?

October 23, 2009

Maybe it is because my husband and I have been listening to Dave Ramsey or maybe it is due to my laziness,  but we are putting the main house on the market so we can remodel the lake house.  For the past two years, we have spent more time on home repairs than on home enjoyment.  Where do I begin?  The crushed septic field lines underneath the newly installed tumbled stone patio started it all, 3 AC units that gave up the ghost,  a new roof, trees that had to be cut down because they were growing over the roof,  garage doors that broke despite having them serviced every year, 3 skylights that started leaking, 11 large pine trees that have blown over due to storms (I am thankful they fell away from the house), a washer and dryer and refrigerator that had to be replaced,  a leaky 2nd water heater we didn’t know we had in the attic until it was too late,  dry wall repairs from the roof, the water heater and the skylights, squirrells in the attic  (we did catch and release–they can’t get back in because we cut down the trees) and I am not including all the repairs I have done myself. To borrow from a 6 year old nephew talking about the family dog who wanted to go outside and play, am I just being a “whiney baby?” 

Hawk, the Whiney Baby

Hawk, the Whiney Baby

 I hope not and that is not my intention.  We are excited about this journey!  We have been saving ideas,  pictures, thoughts, and a dream list in an idea file for 7 years.  Our ultimate goal is to have a place that is comfortable and welcoming to family and friends.  There have been a lot of good memories made at the lake house and we look forward to many more. We meet with a draftsman and builder tomorrow morning and I plan to document this remodel every step of the way.

The Lake House

The Lake House

Our View

Our View

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Mom to Mom

October 21, 2009

Mom telling Santa what she wants for Christmas.

Mom telling Santa what she wants for Christmas.

At the end of my sophomore year at Auburn University (WAR EAGLE), I called my mom to discuss what I was going to declare for a major.  Home ec education or accounting were her two options to help me choose from.  In about 10 seconds, together, we decided it should be Home Ec Education.  After my first year of teaching, I went back to night school to start working on a degree in Accounting.  My students were bigger and more worldly than me and ate my lunch on a daily basis.  Marriage and children followed shortly after and I have spent the last 18 years as a happy homemaker.  I do love all things home ec-whether it is cooking, sewing, family, gardening, or taking on minor home and repair projects.  I will share the good, the bad and the ugly of my home pursuits and hopefully you will learn from my successes and mistakes.

Yesterday I spent two hours preparing Arroz con Pollo (chicken and rice) for my daughter’s Spanish II class only to find out that after I delivered it, the teacher had gotten in trouble for not asking  the principal for permission.  No food was to be in Spanish class that day!  Of course, I was a little irritated at the new principal, but was humbled by the heart of my sweet 17 year old daughter.  Because of the recent pay cuts for teachers in our county, she knew of someone who could use Arroz con Pollo for 20 and texted me during school and told me of her great idea.  My heart melted and determined that this was His plan all along. 

Arroz con Pollo

1 whole roasted chicken

1 medium onion cut into large chunks

1 cup beer

6 cups chicken broth

3 Tablespoons worcestershire sauce

3 tablespoons spanish seasoning, recipe follows

1 bunch cilantro leaves, chopped

6-8 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

3 cups long grain white rice (brown rice can be used)

2 cups frozen peas

1 cup chopped carrots

1 cup tomato sauce

1 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons butter (olive oil can also be used)

1/2 red pepper, thinly sliced

1/2 green pepper, thinly sliced

1/2 onion, thinly sliced

1 cup green olives

Spanish Seasoning

1 Tablespoon paprika

1 Tablespoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon lemon pepper seasoning

1 tablespoon ground oregano

1 tablespoon onion powder

1 tablespoon chipotle chile pepper

1 tablespoon salt

1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes

1 teaspoon ground cumin

Combine all ingredients in a jar and cover with lid and shake to blend.   Use in all your favorite spanish recipes!

In a large stockpot, combine chunks of onion, 2 cups chicken broth, beer, spanish seasoning, worcestershire sauce, 1/2 of cilantro and garlic.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to simmer and simmer for about 40  minutes.  Strain broth and return to stock pot.  Add 4 cups chicken broth  and rice to stock pot.  Bring to boil.  Add carrots, peas, tomato sauce and salt.  Reduce heat to simmer.  Cover and cook until rice is tender and fully cooked about 25 to 30 minutes.  Stir rice occasionally as the tomato sauce has a tendency to burn.  While rice is cooking, melt butter in pan and saute onions and peppers until tender.  Skin the roasted chicken and shred the meat into bite size pieces.  Add to onions and peppers and heat through.  When rice is done add chicken mixture and stir.  Remove from heat and add rest of cilantro and green olives.  Serve with a salad or green beans to complete the meal.  This will feed about 6-8.