Thursday, January 31, 2013

Truck Day Cookies

After a long cold winter, it's time to think about spring.  The Browns season ended more than a month ago, [thank goodness] but Cleveland Indians fans are focused on a fresh start.  Truck Day, the day the equipment truck leaves Cleveland for its cross-country drive to Goodyear, Arizona, is the first of many signs of spring.  My countdown clock tells me there are 60 days until Opening Day but I am focused on more immediate excitement.   And truck day gets the ball rolling.  No pun intended.

When we were kids, Auntie made cookies with a fellow baseball fan to celebrate the day.  Several years ago I rekindled the tradition because I love baseball and I love frosted sugar cookies almost as much.

Earlier this week, I made a batch of cookies so that my fellow baseball fans (Auntie and my sister, Al) would receive the cookies at the right time.  As luck would have it, today, January 31, marks the truck's first day on the road, and the boxes were delivered right on time.

Are you a baseball fan?  Do you want an excuse to make cookies?  Do you love frosting?  Make some Truck Day cookies!

1) The Pillsbury Doughboy is your friend.   Grab some dough and frosting.

Also grab some decorator's icing.   If you're in a hurry [or they are OUT of red decorating icing] grab some food-safe markers!

2) Slice and bake the cookies.  Let cool

3) Frost!   Eat some frosting with a spoon, straight out of the jar, to be sure it is safe for consumption.  

3) Decorate!  I am no artist.  When we were kids my sister was in charge of this part.  She lives more than 1000 miles away so I am on my own.   I am usually a perfectionist but these were all mailed to the Great White North so I figured they would not look Martha Stewart worthy upon arrival no matter how carefully I decorated.  So I did not worry too much about the appearance of the embellishment.   But if you were having, say, a party, you might want to be a little more precise.

You can see I simply used a red marker to create baseball 'stitches' and blue to write the players numbers.   Red, white and blue are the Indians colors.  If I were, for example, an Oakland A's fan I would grab the yellow and green.

4) If you are kind and generous, box and ship your goodies to your fellow baseball friends.  They will love you forever.  If you are greedy or just love frosting, keep them for yourself.   Enjoy, and remember that come April, everyone is tied for first.


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

American Icons

Via instant message on Tuesday morning:

Me: Did you see the menu for the Inaugural luncheon yesterday?

Al: No


Al:  WHAT?!  The bison is an American icon.   That would be like eating roasted bald eagle.  How awful.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Doing My Best

Here we are in mid-January and all I have done is shared a recap of the previous year.   For some reason I feel like I have not enough hours to do what needs to get done, let alone what I want to get done.  It seems my sister in law shares this sentiment.  Just today her blog entry started out:

The holidays have come and gone and I’ve been woefully neglectful of my writing – I’m starting to believe that the feeling of never getting enough accomplished  is a cold, hard fact about being an adult.  There will always be a few dirty cups in my sink.  I’m learning to get over it.

I think my problem is I have not learned to get over it!

Since December 29, we have been back in Florida but not alone!  A ton of extended family was here until January 2nd, and continued to trickle out until January 8.  Our parents are here off and on in the winter.  So people are here- which is lovely!  And they are so friendly and thoughtful.  Inviting us for dinner and impromptu activities is fun.  But when I do these things, I sacrifice my boring day to day stuff.  We also have had some cat health issues [more on that soon] which tend to take away spare time after work.  What I'm trying to say is, I am beginning to lose it.

Case in point: I ordered 3 different pairs of running shorts on Saturday evening.  They were delivered on Monday morning.  They sat in the living room, untouched, until yesterday evening.  The boxes are currently sitting in the bedroom, still untouched.  It is driving me CRAZY, and yet, I have literally not had time to try them on.

Another example?  I removed all Christmas lights from the porch on Friday, January 11. That is LATE for me!  But I did it.  Do you know what I forgot to do?  Take the candles out of the windows.  So on Monday I took out the downstairs candles.  Do you know what I forgot to do?  Take out the upstairs candles!  Last night we had 3 candles flickering upstairs.  I am ok with it, I guess, because candles don't scream Christmas the way reindeer might, and because they are partially obstructed by trees.  (See, maybe I am learning to live with the dirty cups)

Still not convinced?  Every week, when the Sunday paper arrives, I take out the coupons and CVS insert.  I am a huge nerd and go through the CVS sale items, making a list of items I can combine with coupons.  It's a game.  I try to save money and also get ExtraBucks.  This week is a good one for me.  So Sunday morning I was all set. Made a list.  Went for a run.  I could have gone to CVS at lunch time.  Did I go?  No, because I was at the Magic Kingdom with family (not complaining!  It was fun!)  Monday we had cat issues, and yesterday my mom took us to dinner and we caught up on Once Upon A Time together.  My beautiful list sits waiting for me.  Maybe tonight?

Just this week, my BFF Hannah has shared what I consider to be a genius idea.  Catching up on 2012.  (Oh, another thing I am trying to still do this week?  CALL HANNAH!!  Seriously)  I did not do a terrible job last year, but I did not hit a home run either.  What bothers me most, I think, is that I did not post a thing about our LA trip.  No one really cares, but since this blog serves as an online journal at times, I best write something, don't you think?   I don't want 2013 to spiral out of control, so my plan is this:

  • catch up on big stuff in the end of 2012 in the most efficient way possible
  • try to stay on top of blog posts this year

I don't make New Year's resolutions - I have never been the type to wait around to make a change- but this seems like a good time to try to get myself together on this here blog.   And when I put it in cyberspace I will definitely try to stay accountable!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Year In Review

I have started a bit of a tradition with this post, and it's a nice way to remember what the heck we did the past 365 days!  But some of the questions were driving me crazy so I eliminated them.  May I present a shorter (better?) list for 2012.

1. What did you do in 2012 that you'd never done before?
*I had forgotten about some of these until I looked at the blog archives!  Including the mundane because why not?!

Went to California- Twice!  Napa Valley, and Sonoma for wine tasting, and San Francisco in March 
Los Angeles (including DISNEYLAND!) in October [side note did I really not blog about this?  No I did not.  I have lots of photos too..... and they are not posted to my photo sight.  SLACKER!)
Took a comprehensive backstage tour of the Walt Disney Resort
Attended the Great American Pie Festival and ate lots of pie
Swam with Dolphins 
Hosted my sister twice - so fun!
Watched a baseball game in a dome 

Signed up for a 1/2 marathon [hopefully FINISHING a 1/2 marathon will be on this here list next year]
Dressed up in 20's garb
Adopted a cat!  (well, technically my family did this in 1994 but Michael and I together did it, so it counts, right?)
2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don't make resolutions - I tend to make a change whenever the spirit moves me.  So I guess "yes" because I did not make them...?  and "no I won't make any now"
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yes! Cousin Anthony's wife, Nikole, had Aubri on January 9
4. Did anyone close to you die?
Yes. Dad's older sister, Charlotte Decker passed away in May
5. What countries did you visit?
Zero!  I was stateside all year.  I did go to California twice after having NEVER been before!  San Francisco and Los Angeles.  This summer included flights to Chicago, Cincinnati, and Lexington, Kentucky.  Also- I was in St. Louis this November, and of course, I was in DC for the Nutcracker in early December, and the Cleveland area for Christmas.
6. What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2012?
As always, for the Indians to win the World Series!  Maybe the Tribe will pull through for me?  And I suppose more time for myself.  I work a lot of hours, and while I LOVE my flexible schedule and have no commute, I still have long days.  When you live in a vacation destination, friends and family are often around, which is lovely.  Seriously- it is fun!  But with that comes the fact that many evenings instead of unwinding with a book or a TV show or even organizing the pantry, I am out meeting a loved one who is here for a few days.  Maybe my lack of pop culture knowledge can be blamed on my visitors?! 

7. What dates from 2012 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

May 8th - my birthday celebration (see below)
December 3rd - we adopted a cat!
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Maybe not the biggest, but one that I am proud of regardless: Being nominated to chair my high school's alumni council in the coming year.
9. What was your biggest failure?
Probably multi-tasking.   Keeping my home in "Martha Stewart" shape which is always sort of an unattainable goal for those working as many hours as I do.  Writing on the blog regularly.  Booooo for being busy after work so frequently and not having time to write.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
As in 2011, no stitches, broken bones, etc. but I did take a nasty fall while running in March, from which I still have a nasty scar on my elbow.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
We won't know if it was the best thing until a few things unfold in 2013, but tentatively, a restaurant franchise!  But we're thinking it will be AWESOME!    More on this in the coming year.  Otherwise, running shoes.  If I cannot run, I cannot function

12. Where did most of your money go?
To our AmEx bill!  Most likely to travel and restaurants and the Disney corporation  And as always, to the Osceola County tax collector.

13. What did you get really excited about?
Swimming with dolphins!  Going to Disneyland for the first time was pretty awesome too.   I promise I am not 7 years old.
14. What song will always remind you of 2011?
Call Me Maybe.  Carly Rae Jepsen sang a catchy little tune, and then the US Olympic team (and everyone else on the planet) had to make a parody.  Some Nights and We Were Young by Fun. are also strong contenders.

15. Compared to this time last year, are you:

- happier or sadder? About the same
- thinner or fatter? Thinner!  Not by much, but YAY
- richer or poorer? Poorer (see also: buying franchise in #1)
16. What do you wish you'd done more of?  Swam. Read a few more books
17. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Self-appointed busy work.  Comparing myself to others.
18. How did you spend Christmas?
We were in Ohio, as usual, with our families. Cleveland Orchestra concert, Christmas Eve Mass, ML's lasagna with both nuclear families.  Christmas day included lots of gifts and the Lasky bash, but Erica had the flu and her presence was greatly missed.  It was so sad.
19. What was your favorite TV program?
I am so lame I barely watch TV.  Once Upon A Time keeps me watching, though!
20. What was the best book you read?
A Kiss Before Dying by Ira Levin was definitely the most exciting.  Written in the 1950s, it's often described as the first modern psychological suspense story.

Truthfully, I am sad about the small number of books I read this past year, but thanks to Kindle Daily Deals I have a lot of material lined up for 2013.
21. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Ah another question where I can show my hopelessly lame musical self.  I do not recall having one.  Perhaps I should read Entertainment Weekly more closely and buy some new music!
22. What was your favorite film of this year?
Did I see any movies this year?  I saw Men In Black III in a "Dine-In" theater where you have a little tray table and waiters bring you over-priced food which you cannot see because it's dark [obviously, this is a movie theater] but also because it is a 3-D movie that requires you to wear glasses that mess with your depth perception.  I wouldn't say it was my favorite movie ever, though I do absolutely love Will Smith.
23. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 29 and Michael and I SWAM WITH DOLPHINS oh my gosh.  (I cannot stress this enough, I recommend taking the DAY OFF FROM WORK if you can swing it)  We also ate an Oreo ice cream cake and I opened a few gifts.
24. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
 I am a glass is half-full person and plead the 5th.
25. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2012?
Something tells me only those with serious style - aka fashion bloggers- can answer this seriously.  You recall that I work from home right?  I don't even own work clothes.  My fashion concept in 2012?  Running shorts and sports bras at 6 am.  It's not necessarily PRETTY but it's what I have. 

Though I must say I did branch out with some sequined tops for holiday parties, so I feel like that should count.
26. What kept you sane?
Many many cups of tea and many miles of running.
27. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Same as always: Matt Damon and Morgan Freeman. I mean, who else is there?
28. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012.
Live if short; don't get too caught up in little things.  But also,
Life goes on.  No matter what sort of life you're leading, things will work out.