Mamma Mia Memory Lane

Posted by Tammy

One of the things that Mike got me for Christmas, along with many other wonderful things (which I'll post photos of soon!), is a copy of the movie Mamma Mia! I saw this in the theatre a while back, and of course - being a huge ABBA fan, I loved it. Had to own it!

Like ABBA's music, it makes me happy - it is a totally campy, cheeseball movie, but I loved every minute of it.

The thing that surprised me was how sentimental I got during the movie. And in rewatching it on DVD, I'm really realizing how much I miss my friend Travis. He instilled my love of all things ABBA in me. We listened to them all the way to Canada and back on our road trip back in 1995. We watched Priscilla, Queen of the Desert countless times! I can't tell you how many times I would get home while we were roommates to hear Gimme, Gimme, Gimme cranked up on the stereo!

I find myself getting a little teary while watching this movie. I miss Travis very much. We were friends from childhood. He died in January of 1996 - almost 12 years ago. He was just barely 21. He had cystic fibrosis. One of my only regrets in life is that we had a falling out a few months before he died. We talked only once more after our "fight" and never really got the chance to make up. It has taken me a very long time to work through that.

This movie would be so much better with Travis laughing and singing along with me. He is there in spirit I'm sure! If Travis were still here, he would approve of Mike and be friends with him too, I'm sure of that! :)


My 2008 Book List

Posted by Tammy

I realize there are still a few days left in 2008, but I thought I would post my book list for the past year now anyway! I have read 60 books this year, and I listened to five on audiobook also. Of the 60, 27 were new books that I had never read before, and 33 were re-reads. The audiobooks were ones I had read, but hadn't listened to! I kept track using www.listigator.com.

First Time Reads (in the order I read them):
1. Twilight by Stephanie Meyer
2. New Moon by Stephanie Meyer
3. Eclipse by Stephanie Meyer
4. The Naming by Alison Coggin
5. Songs of the Humpback Whale by Jodi Picoult
6. Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin
7. Something Blue by Emily Giffin
8. Baby Proof by Emily Giffin
9. Midnight Champagne by A. Manette Ansay
10. There's a Slight Chance I Might Be Going to Hell by Laurie Notaro
11. Crazy as Chocolate by Elisabeth Hyde
12. Love Walked In by Marisa de los Santos
13. Cooking for Mr. Right by Susan Volland
14. Just Like Heaven by Marc Levy
15. I Did, But I Wouldn't Now by Cara Lockwood
16. The Last Time I Was Me by Cathy Lamb
17. Breaking Dawn by Stephanie Meyer
18. Love and Meatballs by Susan Volland
19. Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen
20. The Girl with No Shadow by Joanne Harris
21. Book of the Dead by Patricia Cornwell
22. The Boleyn Inheritance by Phillipa Gregory
23. The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen
24. Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives by Guy Fieri
25. A Lick of Frost by Laurell K. Hamilton
26. Gypsy Masala by Preethi Nair
27. Sage-ing While Age-ing by Shirley McLaine

Re-Reads (also in the order that I read them, but they were mixed in between the 1st reads!):
1. Julia's Chocolates by Cathy Lamb
2. Dance Upon the Air by Nora Roberts
3. Heaven and Earth by Nora Roberts
4. Face the Fire by Nora Roberts
5. Dancing Naked at the Edge of Dawn by Kris Radish
6. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

7. Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon
8. Voyager by Diana Gabaldon
9. The Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon
10. The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon
11. A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon
12. Twilight by Stephanie Meyer
13. Dance Upon the Air by Nora Roberts (NR) (yep, re-read this one twice in one year!)
14. Born in Fire by NR
15. Born in Ice by NR

16. Born in Shame by NR
17. Blue Dahlia by NR
18. Black Rose by NR
19. Red Lily by NR
20. Key of Light by NR
21. Key of Knowledge by NR
22. Key of Valor by NR
23. Jewel of the Sun by NR
24. Tears of the Moon by NR
25. Heart of the Sea by NR
26. Daring to Dream by NR
27. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
28. Celia's House by DE Stevenson
29. Holding the Dream by NR
30. Finding the Dream by NR
31. The Last Time I Was Me by Cathy Lamb
32. Love and Meatballs by Susan Volland
33. Twilight by Stephanie Meyer (yep, again - after seeing the movie)

Audiobooks: (I will listen to 6 and 7 in the series too, but they take a lot of time to get through on audio, so it will be next year!)

1. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
2. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
3. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
4. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
5. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

You'll notice - I went on quite a streak of reading Nora Roberts this year... I love her trilogies. I have read my favorites numerous times. For some reason mid-year this year, I didn't want to read anything new - just "comfort" books. Stuff I knew I liked, etc. There was a lot going on in my life, and I think this was one place I could have something familiar without change!

Next year, my goal is to read at least as many books as this year - and to read a few more new than I did this year! I have a list started of new books I want to read. Not necessarily new publish-date wise, but new to me! :)

Any recommendations for me? I'm sure I will have some of the same books on my list next year that I have on my list this year... I am a creature of habit when it comes to reading. I love to re-read my old favorites pretty regularly!

Do you do this too? Or once you've read a book is that it? Do you move on to something new? Also - do you always buy your books, or do you use the library? I used to always use the library as a kid. Then I worked at Barnes and Noble for a number of years. I own MANY books. I love having them in my possession (in case I want to read them again!) But this year, I did use the library a bit more than I have in the past... I am bad about getting books back on time. Not because I haven't finished, I almost always have... I just forget to get it back by the due date!

Happy Reading in 2009! I have a stack of new cookbooks calling my name at the moment! :)



Posted by Tammy

Well, I went and did something really dumb last night. Something I have done many times, and never thought about!

I wanted a coke... I couldn't get the plastic rings off of the bottles, so I used a knife to cut them... only the knife slipped and sliced my hand open as well! Yikes!! It hit me in the fleshy part of my palm right under my left thumb. OUCH!

It is a pretty deep cut. We probably should have gone to urgent care last night, but we were able to stop the bleeding with pressure and it seemed like it was OK. Then I realized - I have NO idea how long it has been since my last tetanus shot... so, it was off to the urgent care this morning instead.

The doctor thought maybe it could have used stitches, but since it had been a while since it happened, he couldn't do any at this point. (It was iffy whether it needed them anyway...) So he put on the steri-strips to hold it closed, gave me a shot, and sent me on the way (2 hours of waiting later). Now, not only does my hand hurt, my arm hurts too from the darn shot!! Sheesh!

Oh well - it could have been much worse, of course. And I'm covered on my tetanus for 10 years now! And because it took so long waiting - we went out for lunch instead of breakfast to our favorite new place - Cafe Athens! Yummy Greek food! :) I took a very long, cozy nap when we got home.

My cookie-baking plans for the weekend have been foiled. I have to keep my hand all wrapped up for several days... Darn!

Moral of the story... don't use knives to open things they shouldn't be used to open! :)


Nine Questions and Growing

Posted by Tammy

Jamie at Starshyne Productions tagged me with a new meme!

The rules are:

1. Link to the person or persons who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Copy these questions (originally 8, plus Jamie's added 9th, and my own 10th) but add your own answers to them
4. Add one question to the last one, don’t forget to answer your own question
5. Tag as many as you feel like but you have to a least tag one
6. Let each person know they’ve been tagged and leave a comment on their blog
7. Let the tagger know when your entry is up.
8. If anyone catches this out in blog world is welcome to jump on board

The Questions:

1. Real or Fake tree?

I haven't put up a holiday tree in many years. The last time I did was probably about 11 years ago. I had two young cats - Lissy and Oscar. (Oscar is still with me!) They got rambunctious one evening and knocked my tree (fake at the time) over and broke a whole bunch of my antique Shiney Brite ornaments. I was so mad!! I haven't put up a tree since! I have a ton of ornaments and decor, but I never get it out anymore! I should pass it on to someone who would use it I guess!

2. How many do you expect at your family holiday dinner?

On Christmas day, it will just be Mike and I. We have made it our tradition to stay home on the day of - just the two of us. I make a breakfast casserole for the morning and then we do something different each year for our meal. Last year I made Cuban food. I'm not sure what we're doing this year yet!

3. Do you know one of your great great grandmother's name?

I honestly cannot remember either one. I feel like I should know, but I can't find it in the old memory! I knew my grandparents, but not my greats, and definitely not my great, greats! I'll have to ask my mom for some names! (My paternal grandmother was Lula Annis Travis, and my maternal grandmother was Elma Etta Evans.)

4. Did you have chocolate today?

Not yet, but the day is young!

5. Do you visit all of your blogging friends everyday?

I definitely try to. I don't make it every day, but usually at least every couple of days for sure!

6. Do you have carolers come to your home?


7. What is on your feet?

Black socks with multi-colored hearts and black tennis shoes

8. Do you make Candy for the holidays?

I haven't made candy, but this year, I'm in a cookie baking mood! I saw a recipe for salt caramels yesterday that is tempting me. Maybe this will be a first for making some candy!

9. What's a favourite holiday memory of yours?

I loved my first Christmas on my own. I lived in an apartment with my (still) best friend Andrea. We got this giant (real) Christmas tree. It wouldn't even fit in the door of our apartment. It sat outside on our porch until my dad could come over and saw off like two feet of it! It was huge! (I'm not sure what we were thinking!) We way overestimated our space! It was so much fun to have our own tree in our own place though!

10. (my question) What is your favorite holiday song? (sticking with the holiday theme here!)

I get irritated by holiday music in stores this time of year. You hear the same songs over and over. And yet, there are so many good songs that you never hear! My favorite song is Silver Bells. I haven't heard it one time this season and that makes me sad!

I also really like White Christmas as sung by Bing Crosby. (actually - I like anything as sung by Bing!) I like the old classics, sung by Bing, and Frank, and Deano! :)

I'm tagging to do this meme:

1. Lila
2. Mary Ann
3. Jana
4. You!! :)


Bear with me!

Posted by Tammy

Bear with me as I make some changes to my blog!! :)

Happy Birthday to Mike!!

Posted by Tammy

Yesterday, 12/15, was Mike's 40th Birthday!! Whoo-hoo!! We celebrated by having dinner out at Carrabba's - our restaurant of choice for celebrations! Yummy!

I went a bit crazy and found 40 presents for him - he started opening them the night before his birthday and finished last night. There was a LOT of little stuff and a few bigger things mixed in. Let me tell you - it was tough to find 40 things for someone who "doesn't really like presents"! (I think he liked his presents though!) And Christmas is just around the corner... I've been a shopping fool!

Happy Birthday Mike!

And I just decided on a present to myself today.

I am joining in
Circe's Circle led by Jamie of Starshyne Productions! I have been considering this for some time - and I just decided to take the leap and join in! I'm very excited about this 12 week group! Jamie is fantasticly creative, and I know that this group will inspire and will hopefully help me kick-start my creativity and confidence!



Posted by Tammy

Suzie reminded me - I forgot to mention the bread I made on Thanksgiving day!! I finally tried out the breadmaker!

I started this out mid-morning because it takes three hours from start to finish in the machine for this particular loaf of bread. By the time it started baking, we were getting hungry, so the smells coming from the machine were quite tempting!! YUM!

I have made bread a few times before, but never in a breadmaker. I had my mom's "bread bucket" and used it a few times. (I actually just passed it back to my sister Rhonda. Hopefully she'll put it to better use than I did!) I decided to try what looked like a simple recipe for my first go.

1 cup water
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
2 1/2 cups bread flour
1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast

Place in the breadmaker according to your machine's directions and bake as directed! Easy as that!

I was pleased with my first attempt! It tasted really yummy! The only problem with it was that it was quite crumbly and a bit dry. I think I realized - I used all purpose flour instead of bread flour. I'm hoping that will make the difference for next time. I wasn't really paying attention! I'll try again! Next time, I'm going to make the dough in the machine and bake rolls in the oven - Suzie's thyme roll recipe has been tempting me for some time now!

It is snowing like crazy here today. I'm wishing I was home making soup and baking cookies - maybe tonight! :) Stay warm!


Our Thanksgiving

Posted by Tammy

For our first Thanksgiving as a married couple, Mike and I stayed home on the day of! We cleaned the house like maniacs, and I cooked up a storm! We went to his family gathering on Friday, and his dad and step-mom visited us on Saturday, so it was a busy weekend!

Our menu for Thursday was rather "odd" for a Thanksgiving meal, but Mike doesn't like turkey, so I made stuff I knew he would like! I made a pot-roast with veggies in the crock-pot, creamy brussel sprouts, and rosemary bread!!

First the pot-roast:

When I asked for help in the meat department on Wednesday, the guy was incredulous that I wasn't buying turkey! Buy red meat the day before Thanksgiving! It is WAY marked down! No one is buying it! He told me it didn't really matter what cut of meat I chose if I was going to slow cook it, and he was right - it was absolutely fall apart tender after 7 hours in the crock pot!

I took my friend Andrea's advice and cooked it with a can of coke. This is supposed to make it even more tender I guess. The only thing I would do different next time is maybe use only half a can plus some water - the flavor was just a bit sweet from the coke! (not bad - just a bit sweet!)

I placed in about 4 small chopped red potatoes, 1 onion, chopped in large pieces, 4 carrots chopped in coins, and towards the end 16 oz. of mushrooms. For spices - I used 3 bay leaves, garlic, salt and pepper. That was it! I let it cook on medium heat for about 7 hours - until I could tell that the meat was totally tender. I pulled the veggies out about mid-way through because they were too soft! Next time, I'll wait and add the veggies mid-way through instead of at the beginning. About an hour before we were going to eat, I added the mushrooms (they don't take much time to cook.) YUMMY! I also did make some gravy from the liquid, but it was pretty sweet from the coke, and the veggies didn't really need gravy, so we didn't use very much of it!

Now - for the brussel sprouts. Wow. I have to say, this is one of the best dishes I have ever made!! I found the recipe online at the Dutch Girl Cooking blog (which I found via one of my favorite food blogs - Pioneer Woman). It was super yummy - if not super healthy! Mike and I both love brussel sprouts, and these were the best ever! Her recipe is very easy to follow, so I'll let you do that (plus she has step-by-step pictures!) The only thing I did wrong was I didn't see that I was supposed to cut the sprouts in half, so ours were whole. I would definitely cut them - they were a bit difficult to manouver on the plate in whole form! I WILL be making this one again (perhaps even this week as I have everything leftover to do so!) My only modification was I used half gruyere and half havarti cheese. For some reason, gouda was ungodly expensive!

I neglected to get pictures of our other cooking ventures for the weekend! I'll do better next time! For our Thanksgiving dinner with Mike's dad and step-family, I made creamed corn! I used a recipe I found online (of course!) I would have liked to make it with fresh corn, but in November, that wasn't possible, so I used organic frozen corn - and it turned out great anyway! The recipe I used is this one - I didn't make any modifications except to make the recipe a bit larger since there were quite a few people to serve! (Oh - I did add a bit of nutmeg - I had used it in the brussel sprouts and really liked the flavor, so I thought it would be good in the corn, and it was!)

On Saturday, Mike's dad and step-mom came up to our house to visit. It is easier to visit with them one-on-one than in the big group such as the day before. More enjoyable in my opinion! They requested Mike's pulled pork recipe for lunch. So, he pulled that together while I made potato salads to go with it. I will share his recipe here at some point, but I don't have it to share at the moment! (It is a TON of spices making up the rub followed by hours of baking at a low heat! Yummy!) I made two versions of potato salad. I like mine made with green olives/olive juice, but some people don't so I did another version made with my homemade bread and butter pickles. Both turned out great!!

I had fun cooking up a storm all weekend! Now, I have to get on the ball and make Christmas cookies to mail out for a swap, which I am behind on! (Thankfully my partner is OK with this!! I promise they will be on the way soon Terrie!) I have a busy weekend ahead again too! Wow! And Mike's birthday is on December 15 - he is turning 40!! Busy month for us! How is your December starting out?


Beef Mushroom Pockets

Posted by Tammy

So apparently cooking is my creativity lately! I am drawn to the kitchen! (Mike is happy about this development!) A few weeks ago, my best friend Andrea sent me an email recipe exchange - her recipe that she included was one that she had invented, and boy, did it sound yummy! I finally tried it out over the weekend!

Beef Mushroom Pockets

3 tubes refrigerated crescent rolls
1 lb. ground beef, browned/drained
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 tsp minced garlic
3 tbsp. butter
12 0z. sliced mushrooms
1 bunch fresh spinach, chopped
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 can cream mushroom soup
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Brown hamburger (I always add in onion, s&p, garlic when cooking hamburger). Drain and set aside. Melt butter in a pan and add green onion, garlic, mushrooms, spinach, salt and pepper. Cook until spinach is wilted. Add ground beef, soup, and cheese and mix well.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

On a baking sheet, lay out the crescent rolls keeping two together forming a rectangle. Spoon some of the mixture into the middle of the roll and fold the sides around to form a pocket. (Press all the seams together to seal, but don't worry if there are a few holes!) Bake for about 15 minutes or until rolls look golden brown! YUMMY! (Andrea did hers a bit differently - she used two rolls on the bottom - placed a lot of filling in, and sealed the top with two more rolls. I made more smaller pockets, she made fewer, larger pockets. If you make the larger version - bake for about 20 minutes.)


New Possibility...

Posted by Tammy

For me... I would love some input from any of you who work from home. My bosses have put an offer on the table for me to work from home starting early next year. Rather than coming in to the office, I would set up at home. I don't need to be in the office for the work I do. I am not involved in the day-to-day end of things anymore. My job is all web-based, web design, and mostly independent.

I would need to come in probably at least once a week for meetings, etc. and I would have to be available to cover things at the office if needed... But otherwise, I'd be independent at home.

I think it sounds like a good deal... Mike is a bit jealous! What do you think? Have you done this before? I'd love to hear what any of you think who have worked independently at home!!


It's only a letter!

Posted by Tammy

Janet at the Lavendar Loft did a fun meme-y thingy a bit ago and I asked her if I could play along!

If you decide you want to play along, leave a comment for me. Ask me for a letter (and leave me a way to contact you!) Then all you have to do is list 10 things you love that start with that letter on your blog!!

My letter from Janet is M (appropriately since I am in the process of changing my name and eliminating a bunch of Ms from my last name!)

M type things that I love:

1. Mike - I have to start with the obvious here -my new husband! :) Handy for me that his name starts with M! :)

M&Ms - I love these candies - especially the new "designer" ones - raspberry almond = YUM!

3. Movies - I'm a huge movie fan. I don't go to the theatre as much as I used to, but I just love movies. I'm not a critic - I like most shows! (and most genres with the exception of horror!)

4. Making things - Although I haven't been creating art lately, I do love to make things. This includes cooking, art, crafts, etc. Cooking has been at the top of my list lately - with the cool weather, I want to make cookies, bread, soups - fall type foods!

5. Moving - Well - OK - not really the act of moving... but wanting to move. Moving to Oregon is high on my list at the moment!! We are in a bit of a holding pattern with the job market the way it is... but we're still hoping to move to the ocean next year!!

6. Murping... This is what we call the noise Miss Girl makes. She has taken to "murping" when we come into her room (she is isolated much of the time - it works better for her and for the other cats!) We go in and play with her, and she comes out and visits when we are home. She Murps happily when we open her door. She is a much happier cat now than ever before! Murps = happy Miss G.

7. Music - Mike might disagree with me on this one - he loves music WAY more than me, but I really do love it! (We don't meet on very many genres or artists either!) My favorites include Alison Krauss, Melissa Etheridge, Dixie Chicks, Pink, and loads more! My favorite radio station is KBCO. Every year, I stand in the cold to get a copy of their Studio-C CD!

8. Mollie - the name. I've always loved this name. If I were ever to have a little girl, I'd use this name! (I'm not going to have kids, so maybe a cat will be named Mollie down the road!)

9. Mom - my mom, Carol. Nice that Mom starts with M, so I could fit this one in here! I don't talk about my family a whole lot. Mom and I play Scrabble via email all the time - it's a fun, enjoyable way that we keep in touch!

10. My Maiden Name - weird saying maiden... Mimms. I really love my maiden name though. I debated about actually taking Mike's name or not when we got married. I decided I wanted to though. For so many years of my life, I've had so many Ms in my name. (Tammy Mimms - 10 letters, five of them are Ms!) It's a bit sad to leave Mimms behind, but fun and exciting to move on to my new name too!


Gnocchi Soup

Posted by Tammy

We have decided not to continue the Fabulous Foodies blog. So... instead of posting my food thoughts there, I'll post them here!

When the weather turns cooler - I get more in the mood to cook! Mike and I heard an ad on TV mentioning a gnocchi soup. I decided that I needed to try and make my own version at home!

I found a recipe online, but I didn't like the total package. I took just the basic skeleton idea and then I ran with it and changed it up to make it my own!

Here is what I did:

Tammy's Gnocchi Sausage Soup

16 oz. gnocchi (I just used the brand I could find in my regular store. I prefer the kind I can get in our local kitchen store.)
1 lb. hot Italian sausage
8 oz. sliced mushrooms
1 cup (or so) sliced carrots
1 cup-ish frozen peas
1/2 onion, diced
minced garlic - as much as you like
basil, rosemary, thyme, oregano (I used dried in this case - it would, of course, be better with fresh herbs!)
black pepper
4-6 cups Vegetable stock (I used better than boullion to create my stock.)
grated parmesan cheese

Start by cooking your sausage until it is brown. Add in the mushrooms and onions about mid-way through cooking.

While this is cooking - start heating your stock and carrots. Once this is boiling, add in the meat and mushrooms - add any water you may need to have a nice pot-full (leaving enough room to add the peas and pasta later!) Let this cook for about 30 minutes. Add your herbs at any point you like.

Once your carrots have softened, add your peas. This will cool your soup down, so bring it back to a boil. Once it boils again, add the gnocchi. This takes only about 5-6 minutes to cook, so don't add the pasta until you're almost ready to eat!

Once your pasta is cooked - serve this up with a bit of grated cheese on top! Fantastic, if I do say so myself!!


Wedding photos

Posted by Tammy

Mike's vows were Dr. Seuss-ical. I will admit - we didn't write them, but found them online. Mike had intended to write vows for us, but had some trouble! I did some research and found ones I liked (even though other people wrote them!) So we went with them since Mike had writer's block!

Mike's: (Rebecca read the officiant role for us!)
Officiant: Will you answer me right now These questions, as your wedding vow?

Groom: Yes, I will answer right now Your questions as my wedding vow.

Officiant: Will you take her as your wife? Will you love her all your life?

Groom: Yes, I take her as my wife, Yes, I'll love her all my life.

Officiant: Will you have, and also hold, Just as you have at this time told?

Groom: Yes, I will have, and I will hold, just as I have at this time told, Yes, I will love her all my life As I now take her as my wife.

Officiant: Will you love through good and bad? Whether you're happy or sad?

Groom: Yes, I'll love through good and bad, Whether we're happy or sad, Yes, I will have and I will hold, Just as I have already told, Yes, I will love her all my life,Yes, I will take her as my wife!

Officiant: Will you love her if you're rich? Or if you're poor, and in a ditch?

Groom: Yes, I'll love her if we're rich, And I will love her in a ditch, I'll love her through good times and bad, Whether we are happy or sad, Yes, I will have, and I will hold(I could have sworn this has been told!) I promise to love all my life This woman, as my lawful wife!

Officiant: Will you love her when you're fit,And also when you're feeling sick?

Groom: Yes, I'll love her when we're fit, And when we're hurt, and when we're sick, And I will love her when we're rich And I will love her in a ditch And I will love through good and bad, And I will love when glad or sad, And I will have, and I will hold Ten years from now a thousandfold, Yes, I will love for my whole life This lovely woman as my wife!

Officiant: Will you love with all your heart? Will you love till death you part?

Groom: Yes, I'll love with all my heart From now until death do us part, And I will love her when we're rich, And when we're broke and in a ditch, And when we're fit, and when we're sick, (Oh, CAN'T we get this finished quick?) And I will love through good and bad, And I will love when glad or sad, And I will have, and I will hold, And if I might now be so bold, I'll love her my entire life, Yes, I WILL take her as my wife!

Officiant: Then if you'll take her as your wife, And if you'll love her all your life, And if you'll have, and if you'll hold, From now until the stars grow cold, And if you'll love through good and bad, And whether you're happy or sad, And love in sickness, and in health, And when you're poor, and when in wealth, And if you'll love with all your heart, From now until death do you part, Yes, if you'll love her through and through, Please answer with these words:

Officiant and Groom: I DO!

Officiant: You're married now! So kiss the bride, But please, do keep it dignified.

My words were somewhat more simple to Mike. Heartfelt and true!

Because of you, I laugh, I smile, I dare to dream again. I look forward with great joy to spending the rest of my life with you, caring for you, nurturing you, being there for you in all life has for us, and I vow to be true and faithful for as long as we both shall live.

We also "jumped the broom". A very old tradition of "sweeping" away your single life and moving into your married life together. We asked each person to tie a ribbon to the broom as their blessing or intention for us. We'll find a place to hang this in our house with all the colored ribbons on it!

Special Comment

Posted by Tammy

Keith Olbermann is wonderful. This Special Comment is so phenomenal in my opinion that I needed to share it.

I just got married. We celebrated with our friends. Other couples in this country are not allowed to do so because they are of the same gender. I personally think that this is wrong and very sad. (this is MY opinion... on MY blog... I'm not asking you to change your mind. I am simply stating my opinion. And I am sharing a wonderfully worded video from Mr. Olbermann.)

We celebrated (again MY opinion) the election of Barack Obama last Tuesday. At the same time, there were defeats that I think set us back. Thank you Keith. Your eloquence touched me on this one!


I have a new last name!

Posted by Tammy

It's official! Mike and I tied the knot on Saturday! Actually, we jumped the broom if you want to get technical! :) Either way, we are officially married! We brought the paperwork to the courthouse today, and my name is now Tammy Dale Durham. (For now, my blog name is going to stay Mimmsical Creations even though Mimms isn't my last name anymore!) I have lots of paperwork to file to get it officially changed everywhere, but it is in the works!

I don't have many photos yet - we didn't get very many digitals. I turned in the film though, so should have them tomorrow night! I can't wait!

Everything went pretty smoothly. We had a hotel snafu on Friday morning. Our hotel had no hot water... problem!! They made excuses, but it was clear they had known about this issue, and rented us the rooms anyway... so when we also learned that our room didn't lock unless we were in it, we packed it up and found a room in a much nicer hotel. (And got a refund for the other one - I will not be staying in Quality Inns anytime soon!! Blech!) Thankfully this wasn't the day of the ceremony - that would have been really bad!

We got into our new hotel with plenty of time left in the day for me to arrange my flowers for the next day and we spent some time playing dominoes and exploring yummy restaurants! :)

The weather was quite nice, if too hot for my taste. Day of the event it was going on 90 degrees with humidity! Too hot! I hope I don't look all wilted in the photos! My dress was HOT! We had our close friends with us and our ceremony was very casual. Mike and I did all the talking and it was interactive - we didn't have a minister or officiant. Our friend Rebecca helped us out with some of our vows. I'll share them here - Mike's were Dr. Seuss inspired! :) We exchanged rings, kisses, and we had our friends each tie a ribbon to our broom with their blessing. They helped us jump the broom from our single lives into our married lives.

We finished celebrating with a yummy dinner at a Lebanese restaurant that we love.

All in all, it was a wonderful time. We had a great time, and think that our friends did too. It was simple, casual, and memorable. All the things we wanted it to be. Our families were mostly understanding about us not inviting them (thanks family) and keeping it to just a few friends. It worked for us. (In a way - we kind of eloped - with a bit of advance planning!)


We rally!

Posted by Tammy

Mike and I have gotten political this week! (Not that we weren't before, but...)

Mike went to Greeley (a nearby town) to attend a Joe Biden rally on Tuesday. There were about 4,000 people there. He got to hear Mark Udall's wife, Betsy Markey, and others speak before Joe Biden came out. His speech was great! (We watched a livestream of it later in the day so I could hear it!)

We then decided to go today to attend an Obama rally here in our town of Fort Collins!! He added a stop in our town at the last minute. And, I can tell you, it was a smart move for him!! He spoke this morning in Denver (about 60 minutes south of us) and drew a crowd of over 100,000 supporters!!! Wow!!... Well, not to be outdone - our much smaller town drew a crowd of about 50,000 people!

Mike and I had NO idea that the crowd would be so huge in the "fort". We arrived about an hour and 15 minutes before the gates were to open. The line was literally about a mile from the gates already (and Mike just read that by the time they opened the gates it was over 2.5 miles long)! Unfortunately, we didn't give ourselves enough time. Obama started speaking at 3:30. This is where we were then:

The secret service opened up the security at this point, so we moved faster, but we only got to hear about 5-10 minutes of his speech. We couldn't really pinpoint where Obama was in the sea of people, but I just pointed my camera and shot a few pictures. Somehow, I managed to catch him!! (Small and tiny, but he's there!)

Now, my feet hurt, and I'm enjoying a martini! :) No job news for Mike yet. We're hoping to hear in the next couple of days!! I may be a bit absent until after our wedding, but I will have loads of photos after to share with you!! It's coming up soon!! Almost ready!


Good news!

Posted by Tammy

Mike has a job interview... in Oregon!! YAYAYAYAY!!

The interview is via telephone on Tuesday. The job is in Portland - not our first choice of places to live/work, but it's about 22 hours closer to the ocean than where we are now! So... that works!!

Send Mike some good energy on Tuesday afternoon if you can! I'll keep you posted! Yay! :)

Roses from Mike

Posted by Tammy

Mike surprised me with a dozen red roses yesterday afternoon! They are so pretty!! A wonderful, sweet surprise!


Misty has gone pink

Posted by Tammy

One of my blog friends - Misty at Rainy Day in May - has gone pink for October! For the whole month of October, she is doing everything up in pink to honor and support breast cancer awareness.

She is having giveaways and all sorts of fun stuff going on! Please go check it out! (Her giveaways rock - the Beau-Coup gift certificate I won is from her!) The cause to fight against breast cancer and to honor and remember all of those women who have battled the disease is a great one! Go take a look at Misty's blog and join in! :)


All Sorts of Fun Stuff!

Posted by Tammy

Whew - I have a lot of fun things to report!! :) All good!

Good thing #1 - I participated in the Fall Random Re-Gift Swap over at Just Be Connected. My partner was Angie. We discovered that we both love the musical Wicked and she followed that theme through with my goodies!! (I sent her goodies too, but not as themed as what she sent me!)

She sent some fun colored M&Ms, some handmade notecards (so cute!), an adorable cat pin cushion, and "wicked" green gloves! The coolest thing was the copy of the New York performance script from the musical Wicked! Wow!! What fun! I will enjoy this for sure!! Thanks Angie!

Good thing #2 - I won a contest! Wow! What a fun surprise! I entered a contest at Misty's blog - Rainy Day in May - and I won! Whoo-hoo!! My prize is a $25 gift certificate to the coolest site - Beau-Coup - fine favors. Yay! I will have so much fun spending this prize! Thanks Misty and Beau-Coup!

REALLY Good thing #3 - My shoes have been found!!!

I know you all were waiting with baited breath to know if I found my red shoes. (yeah, right!) But, I FOUND them!! My friend Andrea and I went shoe shopping on Friday to celebrate my birthday. We literally shopped til we dropped! My mission was red shoes for my wedding! And I found them (and had a couple of other options too!) They are perfect - flats, shiny, the right red to match, etc.!! Yay! Andrea found some pretty amazing shoes for herself too. I also found necklace and earrings for my wedding day! I bought a new nose ring - in blue - for my wedding day (something borrowed, something blue... ) It was a very fun day all in all! :) And a success! (My headband is also in the picture! I found it elsewhere, but it matches everything VERY well!)


Are you registered to vote?

Posted by Tammy

The presidential election is a mere 36 days away. There has been quite a lot of misinformation out there about voting regulations. Go to www.vote411.org. You can find out if you're registered (for sure!) and also where to go on election day - your polling place. (I'm glad I checked this one - it is different this year!) The Colorado deadline to be registered in time to vote in this election is Monday, October 6. (It may be a bit different in your state, but suffice it to say you only have a few days!)

Misinformation and stories related to voter registration:




No matter who you choose to vote for - just be sure to vote! It is an important right that we all should exercise!


The Next Chapter

Posted by Tammy

I am joining in a book-blogging group starting in November. (I will join a bit late as soon as I get home from my wedding!)

It is hosted by Jamie and the blog is here. We will be reading Soul Coaching by Denise Linn. I'm very excited to join in on this. I've read a couple books by Linn and enjoyed them!


Wedding details

Posted by Tammy

Wedding planning - even for a tiny wedding - takes a lot of time! :) It's fun though. Things are coming together! I am in process of ordering my flowers today! I am going to create the bouquets myself, so I needed to order loose flowers! I am working with a local florist to get them all picked out!

I am going to make bouquets of dark red roses with white calla lilies! Simple, hand-tied bouquets is what I have pictured! I have done the flowers for three weddings, and I know I'll do as well for my own as I did for the others!! I'll also make boutonnieres for the guys of smaller, spray roses and perhaps mini-callas.

We picked up Mike's suit and his new ring on Saturday!! His ring is great!! It is three strands of gold - one white, one rose, and one yellow that are braided together. He wants to wear it already - so he is wearing it on his right hand. I had to leave my ring behind (boo!) on Saturday so they can make a wedding band to match! I'm already used to wearing it and I miss it!!

Mike looks so handsome in his suit! He still needs to buy new dress shoes (as you can see in the photo!), and a tie!

The only thing that I still need (yes, STILL!) is red shoes! I have had no luck in my search for the perfect red shoe! I have ordered three pairs and sent all three back. I think the problem is that I do NOT wear heels. I fall down in heels. So... I have to find flats, and I'm not willing to spend $400 on them! So... Andrea and I are going shopping next Friday. It is a shoe-finding mission! My birthday is Thursday, so I'm taking Friday off and we're going to find the perfect shoes! Wish us luck!


New food post

Posted by Tammy

Go on over to the Friendship of the Fabulous Foodies blog. I posted a new recipe today! Super easy, super yummy soup!


My Quilt

Posted by Tammy

Here are some photos of the quilt my mom made for us (king size for our bed!) It's not quite cool enough to start using it yet, but very soon! It is gorgeous, Thanks Mom!! It is double-sided. One side is all greens/yellows. The other side is all mixed up. All of the fabrics are batiks. I like the bright side best! :)

I have intended to get more photos of my shower up, but just haven't gotten it done! I will - soon! For now, here are quilt photos! And a couple of the gifts I mentioned in my last shower post (before I veered off political... all done with that!)

This is the bracelet from my sister. (several of you mentioned you'd like to see it!) I have worn it a number of times - I really like it! Thanks Connie!

And this is my dishes set from my co-workers. They are SO pretty!!


Political rant

Posted by Tammy

I don't very often get political here on my blog. In fact, I have stayed away from posting much about my views and beliefs intentionally. I don't want to stir up bad feelings or whatever. But now, I am good and stirred up myself. I want to rant, and as this is my blog, I will post it here. If you are offended, or shocked, I'm sorry. You can add your comment and let me know. Or you can post your opinion on your own forum as well. This is MY opinion only. I am not forcing you to change the way you think. But, I do ask - read what I think with an open mind. That's all.

I am absolutely incensed about the way things have gone this week - the choice of Sarah Palin for VP of the Republican ticket. I think McCain may have hoped that by choosing a woman, he would sway voters who supported Hillary Clinton. But Hillary and Sarah only share one thing in common - their gender.

I am a registered Democrat - always have been. (sorry family!) I have been an Obama supporter from day one. However, I have been trying to be open and listen to the other candidates and know what they are presenting. We watched all of the speeches during last week's Democratic convention, and we have also watched this week's Republican convention. (Although - our electricity went out right as Giulianni was speaking on Wednesday night and we had to listen to Sarah Palin's speech online the next day!)

The difference in the speakers was stark. I found myself cringing this week. It seems that every single person who spoke THIS week at the RNC had something very negative to say. There were slams and lies. I know I am biased simply because my beliefs run to the Democratic - I tried to keep an open mind though. It seemed that the Democrat speakers were not doing the negative - if they had something negative to say it was about the policies NOT the person. There was a lot of slamming the person from the Republicans and belittling accomplishments, etc. Not OK.

What has made me the most upset though is the lies. Honestly, they are easy to disprove, so I'm not sure why the RNC speakers thought it was OK to put them in the speeches and try to sway audiences with lies.

An AP article lays out some of the mistruths that were in Palin's speech alone. Here are a couple - read the article to see them all.

PALIN: "I have protected the taxpayers by vetoing wasteful spending ... and championed reform to end the abuses of earmark spending by Congress. I told the Congress 'thanks but no thanks' for that Bridge to Nowhere."

THE FACTS: As mayor of Wasilla, Palin hired a lobbyist and traveled to Washington annually to support earmarks for the town totaling $27 million. In her two years as governor, Alaska has requested nearly $750 million in special federal spending, by far the largest per-capita request in the nation. While Palin notes she rejected plans to build a $398 million bridge from Ketchikan to an island with 50 residents and an airport, that opposition came only after the plan was ridiculed nationally as a "bridge to nowhere."

PALIN: "There is much to like and admire about our opponent. But listening to him speak, it's easy to forget that this is a man who has authored two memoirs but not a single major law or reform _ not even in the state senate."

THE FACTS: Compared to McCain and his two decades in the Senate, Obama does have a more meager record. But he has worked with Republicans to pass legislation that expanded efforts to intercept illegal shipments of weapons of mass destruction and to help destroy conventional weapons stockpiles. The legislation became law last year. To demean that accomplishment would be to also demean the work of Republican Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana, a respected foreign policy voice in the Senate. In Illinois, he was the leader on two big, contentious measures in Illinois: studying racial profiling by police and requiring recordings of interrogations in potential death penalty cases. He also successfully co-sponsored major ethics reform legislation.

Mike Huckabee also grossly exaggerated the truth:

FORMER ARKANSAS GOV. MIKE HUCKABEE: Palin "got more votes running for mayor of Wasilla, Alaska than Joe Biden got running for president of the United States."

THE FACTS: A whopper. Palin got 616 votes in the 1996 mayor's election, and got 909 in her 1999 re-election race, for a total of 1,525. Biden dropped out of the race after the Iowa caucuses, but he still got 76,165 votes in 23 states and the District of Columbia where he was on the ballot during the 2008 presidential primaries.

OK... being nasty about your opponent is one thing. I don't like it, but it is politics and it does happen. But out and out lying is a whole other story! I am afraid what McCain/Palin are hoping is for the voters/American public to take what they are saying at face value and do no homework.

PLEASE - don't just take what these candidates are saying and run with it. I urge you to do some homework. Make sure they are telling you the truth (and this goes for the Obama/Biden camp too!) Research what they say and make sure it fits with your beliefs before making your choice. And make sure what they are saying is the truth.

There are a number of articles/sites that have inspired/made me hopping mad/scared me this week. Yes, they are anti-McCain/Palin. Yes, they are MY beliefs!
So, if you don't agree, don't click through. But if you want to read and see what's got me going, take a look! I have never been so involved, inspired, hopeful for change than I am this election year. I truly think Obama/Biden are a great ticket, and I hope that Obama is our next president. I am getting involved, and I am letting my opinions be known!

http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/taxes.asp (Snopes.com is a very fact-based, non-partisan site that debunks myths. Any emails that come around to you that are forwarded - check them out on Snopes first before passing them on to others!)










The Shower has come and gone!

Posted by Tammy

And it was a blast!! Andrea did an awesome job of planning this party! It was just amazing! Being the center of attention all afternoon was a bit difficult, but seeing everyone was great! I didn't get to visit with people as much as I would have liked (of course). There were 34 people there (including me!) A few family, a few in-laws to be, and lots of friends!

I have a few photos to share now, and I'll have more later this week. I took just a few with my camera, so I'm waiting for film developing on some disposables that we asked the guests to use! We'll see what they saw!

We had hors' douevres and cake. Andrea also served wine (red and white) and iced tea. Her mother-in-law Donna contributed the most fabulous deviled eggs! (thanks Donna!) They all disappeared. The cake was simple white cake/frosting, but it's my favorite, and it was yummy too! (Mike got a piece or two of that leftover!)

Andrea had games planned - all of which were really fun. She started out with a mad-lib about Mike and I. I will publish it here later this week for you all to read. Quite laughable. She also had a quiz about how well the guests knew me. I think I will post the questions here. Do any of you know me? There were 14 questions. My mom and one of my co-workers (Susan) tied with 11 of the 14 correct. Not bad! (Mike got all but one right when I asked him later.)

The gifts were amazing. I got totally spoiled! My in-laws-to-be all went together and bought us a lot of things off the registry we had at Target! A rice cooker, a food processor, a wonderful blanket, bookshelves, pans, and the list goes on. My amazing co-workers went together and bought us the entire set of dishes I wanted from our local kitchen store The Cupboard. I will get photos of them as I unpack and wash them. Such an amazing gift! The pattern is stunning!! I got lots of kitchen ware (so we will be replacing Mike's 40 year old stuff now!!) My mom surprised me by having my super-duper quilt finished!! She had told me it wasn't finished yet!! (It wasn't really a gift, but we had it displayed so everyone could see her handiwork!)

My favorite gift came from my sister, Connie. She wrote me a sweet letter to go with it. (Thanks Connie! It means so much to me!) She put a lot of thought into a personal gift of a charm bracelet. She wrote out what each charm meant to her. Perfect and so meaningful. I'm wearing it today!

Andrea gave me a recipe box, and had asked each person who was invited to send a recipe (whether they could come or not!) So I have a wonderful new box with tons of new recipes to try out! Yay!! All my new cookware will be put to use with these new recipes! (My food processor already got a work-out making pesto yesterday!)

(The photo below is me, releasing the balloons after the party. We took this because I have a photo of Andrea from 10 years ago at her wedding shower doing the same thing!!)


What's going on here?

Posted by Tammy

A lot is going on here, actually!

It's still summer and still hot... but it has been raining every afternoon so that it cools off! Open windows at night - ah, bliss!

Wedding plans are rolling along. I go to the seamstress tomorrow for alterations on my dress!! I hopefully won't need much (definitely no big hemming!) so it won't break the bank! It needs to be bustled since we'll be outside. The train would be ruined! I found THE perfect wrap to wear over my bare shoulders (so I don't feel quite so exposed!) It was from David's Bridal and was only $20! Yay! It's the perfect deep red shade that I wanted. Now the search for red shoes. I enlisted the help of my favorite Red Shoe blogger, Deb! I hadn't had any luck finding what I wanted (and yes, I AM going to wear red shoes under my ivory gown!) She gave me all sorts of ideas! I took off running from there, and I found two pairs that I ordered (both were only $10 each on sale!) And there is a third pair that I'm going to order - not for the wedding, but I LOVE them! Thanks Deb!! I appreciate your help!

My shower, which I am looking forward to, is coming up in less than two weeks. Andrea has all sorts of fun stuff planned that she won't let me in on! I wish all of you, my blog friends, could be there! If you are in the Fort Collins area on the 23rd, let me know!! You're invited!

Mike and I are making solid plans to move to Oregon. He doesn't have a new job and prospects aren't good right now. So... instead of waiting for the job, we're going to plan the move anyway. He is saving a lot of money right now, so in a few months, he will have enough put away that he can live without an income for about 6 months. I will have my income since my job is portable! So, we're going to look at moving in the spring of 2009. We have to stay put until after the wedding and also because of the election. We have to have residency so our votes count! Moving in December/January won't be fun, so we'll aim for spring! Now that we have decided, I think this is a really good thing! He can find temporary work for sure, and once we're in the area we want to be, he'll have a much better chance at finding jobs. It's difficult since many of the jobs he has applied for were for local commuting area only. They won't even give him a shot since we're in Colorado and not Oregon.

So... we're going to find the town we like (I think Corvallis) and find a house, and move. Then he will start job-hunting there. I have my job to take along, and hopefully, it will be just the change we need! Corvallis is about 1.5 hours from the coast - so we can go every weekend! (which I know we'll want to do at least at first!) It is also kind of in between Eugene and Salem, so the job possibilities are bigger! It's going to be an adventure for sure, but I'm ready. I'm ready to move out of Colorado and to be closer to the ocean! Any tips for us as we plan our big adventurous move?! I've never done this before. I will be slimming down my posessions over the next few months for sure!

That's the news from here! What's going on with you all?!


Lacking Motivation

Posted by Tammy

Summer. I don't like it. It's too hot, and my motivation, what little I have, goes down the tubes. I'm ready for fall! Or a move to cooler climes.

I think I have seasonal affective disorder, but instead of being like most people where winter affects you, it's summer for me. Honestly, I just can't handle being hot - I get cranky and irritable (just ask Mike!) Andrea (my best friend) and I were just discussing this the other day. She is much the same way as me. We just don't want to do anything in the summer - want to stay indoors, out of the hot sun. It's depressing!

On a more positive note - I did scoop up a bit of motivation on Sunday. My art room needed cleaning (for months!) and I finally motivated to do it! My reason - I want to be able to do yoga before work in the mornings. There was so much crap on the floor that I didn't have room! So, I cleaned, threw junk away, am sending a big bag of "stuff" to my sister Vicki, etc. I have bags to go to Goodwill, and used books to turn in to the bookstore! Yay! AND - best of all, I have room to do yoga again! And I did do it yesterday morning. I could hardly move this morning because my unused muscles are so sore! But, I'll keep trying! It felt good! (Although I was too hot - go figure. A new fan is in order!)

I hope you all are well! Wedding plans are moving along. My shower is coming up in less than a month! The invitations are going out this week! Fun!! :)


Tattling on Mike... and updates

Posted by Tammy

Wow - it has been a couple weeks since I last posted. Time flies! Things have been busy!

First off - my wedding dress drama has been solved! I purchased the more "traditional" dress rather than the red Indian dress. I love my ivory dress - I feel pretty in it! That is a good thing for your wedding day! :)

Next - I HAVE to tattle on Mike. I caught him trying to be sneaky last night. As I mentioned in my last post, I am trying to not let him see my dress before our wedding day. I didn't bring it home with me when I purchased it - it's stored somewhere else! Well, he reads my blog now and then, and he decided he would "borrow" one of YOUR names (my blog readers!) and email me using that name to try and get me to send him the picture of me in my dress! Turkey!

Only thing is - he did this while I was home, and I saw him attempting to do it! I can't decide if he was really trying or if he wanted me to catch him at it - which I did! I'm glad now that I didn't bring the dress home - he said he wouldn't go looking, but now... I don't know! I foiled his master plan though! It was very funny to see him spluttering trying to explain what he was up to!

Let's see... other than wedding plans - what is up? Work has been extremely busy lately. I got a promotion! I'm no longer the business manager - I am fully web now - webmaster/web designer! It is a good change for me!

Mike is still looking for work other than his current (awful) job. There is a possibility in Corvallis, OR - send out some positive vibes for that if you would. It would be great!

My parents are home (in Colorado) for a couple of months. I haven't seen them yet, but will soon. Mom is going to help me do some shopping for wedding stuff soon too! That will be fun!

I hope all of your summers are going well! Don't give up on stopping by - I will post now and then! I am posting over at Friendship of the Fabulous Foodies more regularly, and my work blog too if you're interested - http://claypaws.typepad.com/.


Wedding Dress Drama

Posted by Tammy

So... I posted a bit ago about my wedding dress plans - red, Indian, etc... Well... yesterday my sample dress arrived from India. This is a mock version of the dress I was intending to purchase made in my measurements, etc.

Um... yeah... don't so much like it! Andrea told me I look like an Amish schoolteacher. Not exactly what I had in mind for my wedding day! So... we went on a quick trip to a wedding shop nearby and I tried on some more traditional (white) dresses...

I was prepared to not like them either since that is never what I have wanted for my wedding. Well, color me surprised! I LOVED one of them. I wish I could put a photo but I'm keeping it secret from Mike. If you want to see it - email me and I'll send you the photo!

It is strapless, but I'm fixing that issue (it's an issue for me!) by adding a red scarf around my arms/shoulders. I'm also going to add some other red accents. It's a corset back so I'll have the ribbon closure in red as well!

I haven't bought the dress yet, but it is on hold for me. I am going to make my final decision tomorrow... I'm pretty sure my decision will involve a white dress though. (Actually, it is ivory.)

Gah! Who knew I'd wind up buying a traditional wedding dress? I certainly wouldn't have guessed.


Adventures in Dining

Posted by Tammy

On Friday night, Mike and I drove to Denver to go to a Gong Bath. (You can learn about the Gong Bath by visiting my post about the first experience I had with it. Go here. It was even more positive this time!)

Before the Gong Bath, we went to a wonderful restaurant for dinner. It's called the House of Kabob and serves Lebanese food. Wow - it was truly phenomenal!! I've had this food once before in Fort Worth - actually, we'll have our reception dinner there after our wedding in November!

We shared two appetizers and one entree (and had leftovers!) The entree was beef shawarma, and honestly, it was some of the best food I've ever had!! Garlicky, spicy, so tender - YUMMY! I can't wait to go back again. I'm trying to invent reasons we need to go to Denver!

Monday brought a whole other dining adventure. I had my annual review lunch with my bosses for work! We went to a restaurant in Old Town Fort Collins that I had never been to, but had heard good things about. (I'm not going to name names in this story!)

My bosses each ordered the special which included salads. As our food arrived, and we started eating, my boss Debby started flicking her salad onto the table - in a distressed manner. She was pointing at something on the table and saying "What is that?" over and over. Laurel and I looked and my brain tried to make whatever it was a mushroom... but it most certainly was NOT a mushroom. It WAS a FROG!! A dead frog in Debby's salad. Oh man... that is perhaps one of the grossest things ever! Debby was pretty calm, but all of our appetites were killed instantly! The manager handled things very well - he saw the frog and started sweeping away all of our plates. No charge of course. I told him thanks for how he handled things, but boy, I don't think I'll be able to go back there - I will be grossed out every time! It was a memorable review lunch - and it had nothing to do with my actual review (which was good!)

Have you ever had any dining experiences like that?! I'm awfully glad (for my sake) that it wasn't MY salad! I think I would have created a much larger scene than Debby! (Like screaming or barfing!) Blech!


My Quilt

Posted by Tammy

My mom is making me a quilt (well, it's for both Mike and I really!) I think I've mentioned it before. She is very close to having it done!!

The materials I picked were quilter's batiks!! Very wild colors, but oh-so-fun! Mom has had fun making this one - so many people have commented on it as she works! Here are pictures she sent of what she had put together so far. They will be home (to Colorado) in mid-July. Maybe she'll have it done by then!

This is the front:

And this is the back: