Saturday, December 29, 2007


THANK YOU, Santa Armando!


I hope everybody is having a great weekend.

My sister and her family came to visit today. We went out for lunch and celebrated our Christmas together. We had a good time.

After they left, I worked a while on a book I am putting together for my parents with basic computer instructions. I don't want them to have problems when I am away in Chile. As I have been preparing their book, I am realizing how many things I don't really think about and just do out of habit. I had to go back and do the steps for several things, just so I wrote down which mouse button to click, etc.

Tonight we are going to sneak into bed early and watch television until we fall asleep. We are catching up on our sleep. Night Night!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Last night at work

Tonight was our last night at work. We are off Monday for New Year's which would've been our last night.

We will leave for Chile on January 14th and return on March 14th, 2008. I was listening tonight to a song called Summer Days and getting excited about being in summer weather soon! What a change from the cold we are having here right now. It is going to seem weird packing summer clothes in winter!

I have decided to wait until tomorrow to put the Spanish word of the day up on Viaje Español.

I am tired and couldn’t sleep well last night. Hopefully I can get in bed right away and sleep. Armando and I both have been having trouble sleeping lately. One of us usually wakes up with the smallest noise and then we both are awake and cannot sleep. We hope we can get our bodies trained to normal sleeping hours now that we won’t be working all night and early morning hours.

Night Night & Sweet Dreams!


I will post again soon. ;)

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Creative Zen Stone MP3 Player

We got Mom an mp3 player for Christmas. I thought it was a good deal for $39.99. So I will write a little review in case others are trying to find an affordable mp3 player.

It is simple and really cute and portable. It has 1 GB of storage on it.

My Mom does not like technologically complex items. She prefers the Keep It Simple method when it comes to electronics. So this is a perfect mp3 player for her.

It has just a few buttons.

1. Play and pause button which also turns the mp3 player on and off when pressed for a longer time.

2. Forward button

3. Back button

4. Volume up

5. Volume down

We got her the mp3 player in red but they also have it in yellow, blue, pink, white, and black.


You can use the mp3 player at home with speakers plugged into the headphone jack or on the road with special cables.

If you are looking for a simple mp3 player this is nice. If you want a more complex mp3 player, then check out the sansa or zune lines. The price will be higher though for those brands. Of course there is also the ipod but I don’t have any experience with it I’ve used Sansa and Zune mp3 players before and I enjoyed them both.

I am such a silly girl. My parents both got their Christmas presents early. I cannot hold gifts very well when I think a person will enjoy them. Luckily, Armando offered for us to give them early and I was ALL for it. :D

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Christmas Gifts Wrapped

I wrapped all the Christmas gifts today for our family. Our Christmas tree with built in lights died. We threw it away because a Christmas tree just looks strange without lights, Doesn't it? So the gifts are sitting in the living room looking rather odd without their tree.

Today has been a relaxing day. We gave my Dad his Christmas gifts early. A DVD-RW drive for his computer and power supply. Armando installed them. He was happy. He has been doing well with our weekend computer lessons. The last lesson I gave him was how to use Picasa picture program and he sent some of his pictures to be printed at Wal-Mart. I was so proud of him. Way to Go Daddy!

I got good news at my doctor's appointment this week. The doctor said that I can go to Chile as long as things continue to do well. I was a bit concerned she may say no, since it was a few months trip but she didn't. I have an appointment again on January 3rd to see how things are progressing. I will take plenty of nutritional drinks and carnation instant breakfast so I keep my nutrition well and I will hopefully continue healing.

I opened Viaje Español Store today. It was fun designing the shirts, bags and hats.

Armando and I are about to go to the store for some early a.m. shopping. It will be nice to beat the crowds, besides, we are usually awake at this hour anyway. Work has our sleep schedule very odd. We can't seem to be sleepy at normal bedtime hours.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Same 'ol Same 'ol

Just the normal same ‘ol same ‘ol has been going on around here. I slept so well this morning. I think I drifted into a deep sleep the moment my head hit the pillow. I awoke this morning with Chochi meowing a pitiful little “I’m hungry and thirsty meows” and then climbing up on my chest to further drive her point home! (She knows how to get her way. ) I am going to miss our cats when we visit Chile for that few months.

I’ve been downloading podcasts to listen to at work tonight. There is so much variety in the world of podcasts. Sometimes it is hard to decide which podcasts to pick. Armando upgraded to the latest Zune player and he gave me his Zune! I am thrilled with it. Mp3 players are something I enjoy but probably would never buy for myself so it is rather nice that Armando gives me his.

I’ve been trying to work on lessons for Viaje Español when I have time. I want to add more lessons teaching the basics and useful things besides just the words of the day. So, I’ve been marking my notebook with lesson plans and ideas for future podcasts. I definitely want Armando and I to do some Conversational Spanish in the future. I also need to submit my podcast to more directories and finish reading the podcast book we got.

I am looking into the idea of doing Medical Transcription. (Thanks Brenda for helping me learn more about it.) I’ve always found medical stuff interesting. I could remember drug names like Ketamine and Versed easily when I was sick as a child. I thought it was funny as a thirteen year old to joke with the anesthesiologist about what drugs he should use to sedate me.

Change of subject.

It is not long at all until Christmas!

I have a doctor’s appointment tomorrow. (Oh, the dread.) Here’s hoping I get a good report and I will be allowed to purchase my plane ticket for Chile without any objections. Please, Please!

Well, I need to start gathering our things for work together.

P.S. You can listen to a song I like to the right. ;)

Have a good evening!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

O Tannenbaum!



I've been enjoying this Christmas tree for many nights as we deliver across the street for work. Armando was a sweet darling and brought the tripod tonight and took this picture for me, so I could share it with you. Bless his heart, it was cold out there tonight! The tree is in Hanceville, Alabama. I went to college in this town.


The tree had me singing O Christmas tree in German. I remember the first part of the song only! I learned it in school when we lived in Frankfurt, Germany for three years.

O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum,
wie treu sind deine Blätter!
Du grünst nicht nur
  zur Sommerzeit,
Nein auch im Winter, wenn es schneit.
O Tannenbaum, o Tannin,
wie treu sind deine Blätter!


We lived in Germany when I was a baby too, but I don't remember that. I do however remember the kinder eggs with little prizes inside. I LOVED those. I would buy one kinder egg for "a mark" while my sister, much wiser than me, would buy a whole bag of nectarines for "a mark". I ended up eating my kinder egg and sometimes she would share it with me but I always finished the egg in a hurry. I liked making the little toy inside too. My sister felt sorry for me and usually shared her bag of nectarines with me. :) We liked the fruit and ice cream trucks that came around the neighborhoods in Germany. All the children ran when they heard the music playing.

Armando and I work this job for another 7 days. We plan to go to Chile for two months. I am going to bring my notebook to Chile so I will be posting pictures and blogging. When we come back, Armando will be looking for a job in his field. Let's hope I heal quickly!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Christmas cookies, etc.

Today, My Mom and I turned on the Christmas music and baked cookies for my Aunts and Uncles, a family friend and our mechanic. We made sugar cookies and decorated them, peanut butter cookies, chocolate chip and double chocolate chip cookies.

One set of cookies ready to be delivered tonight.


For supper, I experimented and made something similar to hamburger steak. I made hamburger patties and seasoned them with Italian seasoning. I sauteed onions and when the hamburgers were done, I added mozzarella cheese on top and let it melt. It was a nice change from regular hamburger steak. I made pan fried potatoes.

Pan fried potatoes recipe

Peel and cut potatoes up into thin circular slices.

Boil them in salted water until tender but not falling apart.

Drain the water.

Add oil in a pan, transfer the potatoes over and fry, turning regularly,until golden brown. Best if you use a pan with lid and keep the lid on in between stirs.

You can add butter to them when you take them off the stove or without it is good too.


It is very cold here and getting colder as the night goes on. It is 23.3 F right now. Brrr!

I didn’t feel very well Friday and Saturday but today I have felt better.

Tonight, My Aunt gave me a few things that reminded me of my Grandmother. She made chocolate oatmeal cookies and sent us some crème drops. My Grandmother always made chocolate oatmeal cookies for me and my sister. We always requested her to make those and biscuits with tomato soup. It was our favorite!

My Grandmother’s favorite candy was crème drops.


Armando took some beautiful pictures at Lake Guntersville today. Check them out here.

Last night I had an awful dream/nightmare. It seemed so realistic! I dreamed that I was in a doctor's office and the doctor was telling me that I needed brain surgery. I was in shock and asked him if there were any other options? He said no. I remember going to the Operating Room feeling very nervous. (I've been through many surgeries so that would be nothing new to me, but this was freaking me out.) I was having a hard time coping with what could go wrong and happen to me before I woke up. Then I remember coming out of surgery ok but then being concerned over my shaved head.

I don't know what brought that nightmare on. I remember reading an article the other day in Discover magazine about a new technique being used to put electrodes on the brain to stimulate people who have had a brain injury. Could it be that somehow got me dreaming about brains, or rather, my own brain? No idea. It was weird.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Fresh start

I gave our cat Chochi a bath and I got wet too. Chochi had took a visit down to the goat pasture (in one word, YUCK) and a bath was very in need. She is all clean and fluffy now and since her bath is over with, she is happy. Bless her heart, she was so upset with me for putting her through that.

We had a live video stream of our crayfish up earlier. I apologize if it blacked out for a while. I noticed it had when I woke up and Armando fixed it. It will be off air for a while because Armando and I both are about to format our computers. The Dell CD's arrived rather quickly.

I hope my computer is faster after the format. If it isn't, I will think that maybe this notebook is not able to handle Vista as an OS (even though it was sold with it on) and I may give serious thought to reverting to XP.

I hope your Saturday has been a good one. I will be back soon.

P.S. I apologize for not getting the Spanish word of the day on Viaje Español or the podcast yet.

Crayfish Show


This is real-time video streaming from our living room.

Meet our crayfish!

Note: Sometimes she moves into the background but she'll be back.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Dell support Drama

Some people that work at Dell are not well suited for their job. One man kept me on unending hold and then got hateful with me before deciding that the thing he got hateful with me about and told me couldn't be done, then could magically be done! Then he transferred me to somebody else.

Thank Goodness after talking about another thirty minutes, the CD's are supposed to mailed to me. The second person wanted to take over my computer remotely and check it out etc. He was nice though. That was good but why can't a person decide how they want to handle their computer problems if they have knowledge enough to do so and why can't Dell learn to be less stubborn and let people help themselves!?

Oh the drama to get recovery or operating system CD's these days! Just give me the CD's folks.

Sorry, I just needed to get my frustration out.

Now for a little humor.



Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Healing Drink

The doctor's visit went fine today. I have a pressure sore/wound on my right ribcage region. This can happen to people in wheelchairs, especially in bony parts of the body without much fat for padding.

The doctor gave me some drink mixes to drink once or twice daily. She said the orange is good when mixed with pineapple juice but the grape tastes like watered down koolaid.

We shall see... (tomorrow) I am not brave enough to try it tonight.

Let's hope this new healing drink has a good flavor.


We got in from work and Armando had to go back to the city we just arrived home from. (Poor thing)

My Dad’s driver had broken down so he went to pick him up.

I have a doctor’s appointment tomorrow at 10 a.m. I dread it, but I need to go.

I did not sleep well last night. I hope I can sleep a few hours this morning.

I am reading two books right now.

The Morning of the Magicians

Reading this book is really a journey. It is a thought provoking book.

My Antonia

I am not far into this book yet but I do like what I have read so far.

I just finished reading:

On Writing by Stephen King

I laughed a lot when I read this book. The book was very open and honest. He discussed many parts of his life including childhood, family, drug and alcohol abuse, his accident and recovery. Most importantly, he gave great advice on writing!


P.S. Here are a few funny pictures of our cats from this past weekend and one from on the way to work.


This is Chochi sleeping on top of her cat food bin. This picture makes me laugh.



This is Cookie asleep in a basket at the end of our bed. She is getting TOO big for that basket. I need to find her a bigger one. She has grown a lot recently.

(Our cats love baskets.)


I must scoot and get into bed.

Night Night or rather, Good Morning!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Q & A session

Today we had a surprise visit from my friends Solomon and Lupi.

Their little boy is so funny and talks constantly.

He talked about hurricanes, tornados and the color of his new bedroom. (They are building a house.)

He told me that he was only speaking English. He then said he could be an English robot. I joked with him as he spoke like a robot and then asked, “Can’t you be a Spanish robot too?” Of course he could and did the Spanish robot for me also.

He mentioned their new bathroom and I asked him, “Does water spray out of your ears when you take a shower?” He came back with a quick answer, “No, I wear headphones!” (laugh)

He said many more things including that six weeks is not that long and he expounded on that by counting to six.


Then he placed his hands up and said, See? That is not a long time.

It was fun to hear a child's perspective on things.

Saturday, December 08, 2007



This evening we went outside a while and took advantage of the beautiful weather.

Here is a picture of Pollyanna on my lap this evening. Like Chochi, she was a rescue cat and bottle fed. I cannot believe she used to sit on my shoulder when she was a tiny kitten and now look at her!


Armando and I had an enjoyable evening at Cullman.

We mailed the wheelchair back (to be returned) through UPS. Then, we went to the office store and I got a nice black and white journal.

We stopped by the bookstore and browsed a while. We got “The Elements of Style” and a Podcast book. We both want to write some for enjoyment and have been learning more about it and The Elements of Style is supposed to be helpful. The podcast book explained many things that I haven’t been quite sure about. I am new at podcasting so I needed all the help I can get!

When we arrived home, I cleaned house a little while and sorted through magazines. I like magazines too much. I don’t know why... I like to browse the magazines and look at rooms decorated with color combinations that I find appealing. I also like to tear out recipes and projects. I guess magazines are my little bit of dreamland and they inspire me . Maybe I will never do the projects in the magazines but I would like to think that I will get to some of them!

After cleaning house, Armando made us soup. Soup is so delicious in the winter! We watched Citizen Cane tonight and ate pizza. I love old movies and that is a good movie. We only watched half of it though. We plan to watch the other half another night because it is getting late.

Now I will get ready for bed. Chochi is curled up on my lap already asleep. Our other cat Cookie is in her favorite place, laying on the back of Armando's computer chair sleeping.

Until Tomorrow… :)

Friday, December 07, 2007

Street in Huntsville, Alabama


I like this street in Huntsville, Alabama. The picture was taken after midnight tonight on the way home from work.

This street is right on the corner by Sammy T's music Hall. There is a coffee shop on the corner too. It can be quite a busy little street filled with people early mornings when there is an event at Sammy T's.


We got home from work before two a.m. Yesss! That is a good thing.

We are off work tomorrow but have some errands to run in Cullman. I have to return the wheelchair that didn't work at the UPS store. Then, we are going to the Pet Store to find some fish.

We have to move our blue lobster back into the smaller aquarium. You learn as you go and we have learned that she is not working out so well in the current aquarium. She has re-arranged the rocks, released plants and piled up rocks. We will keep her but in another aquarium without our plantings and driftwood and angel fish. The blue lobster is fun to watch! She just needs the right environment. Armando picked out some rocks and stuff the other day at the pet store so we will move her to the aquarium tomorrow with some new fish.

Good Night & Sweet Dreams.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Coffee and Go

I've been feeling lazy lately. Is it the cold weather? I don't know. I slept too late today so it's make coffee, grab coffee and go to work.


Have a good day!

Thanks for the sweet comments on my picture.

Pastel Sky and Trees


The pastel sky and trees.


I took this picture at the end of our driveway.

I like our neighbor's barn and the trees.

You can see to the right our grassy field where we sometimes have a vegetable garden.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Peanut Butter Cookies

I love baking cookies, candies, cakes and pies.

Last night I tried a new recipe for peanut butter cookies.

It only took three ingredients. It was so easy to make and they were good.

Here is the recipe:

Easy Peanut Butter Cookies

*Makes approximately 2 dozen cookies.

1 cup sugar

1 large egg

1 cup peanut butter (crunchy or smooth)

Combine sugar and egg in mixing bowl, stirring till smooth. Add peanut butter and mix in thoroughly.

Roll into walnut-sized balls.

Place the balls on ungreased cookie sheets at least 2" apart.

Flatten with the tines of a fork. Turn 90 degrees and use fork again to create cross hatches.

Bake 10 minutes or until golden brown at 350 degrees F. Cool in pan before removing.


Monday, December 03, 2007

Vote for Cooper Green Hospital!

Cooper Green Hospital in Birmingham, Alabama has entered a rap video into this contest.

Vote for them daily through December 31st so they can win a much needed MRI machine!


Armando and I went to see Beowulf at the theater this evening. The movie was enjoyable. It was in 3D. Armando treated me to nachos with jalapeno peppers. YUM! It was raining when we came out of the movie and Armando let me wear his cap so I didn’t get totally soaked on the way to the car. He is such a sweetheart.

When we got home I made some coffee. Later, I stuck a frozen pizza in the oven.

The weekend passed so quickly. It is hard to believe it is over with already.

Night Night

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Happy Birthday Mom!

Today is my Mom’s birthday. Let me tell you a little about my Mom. She is the most unselfish person I have ever known. She always looks after others. She has always been there for me and my sister.

I remember as a child that when school started, My Mom always got sad, because her girls didn’t get to spend the day with her like in the summer. Most parents were happy for a break away from their children by that time, but not my Mom. I also remember that I did not like going to school and being away from my Mom. At one point, I faked stomach aches to get to come home and be with Mom. That stopped abruptly when I stupidly said to my Mom after being picked up by Mom and Dad after a stomach ache “episode”, What are we going to do when we get home Mommy? Dad sternly said, you are going to bed and will stay there all day. Mysteriously, the stomach aches never came again. (hehe)

She patiently taught me days before the first day of school, the route to walk to school, just a short piece away from our home. On my first day of school, I came inside the big front doors of the school and had an anxiety attack and walked right out the front doors and all the way back home crying. She, always the patient and loving Mom, walked with me back to school and helped me find my class and explained to my teacher what had happened.

When we lived in Louisiana, My Mom was known as the neighborhood Mom. We always had a house full of children. Only my Mom would call ALL the women of the neighborhood to see our dog have puppies. She was so excited! It was hilarious to see a house full of women trying to gather in the small area where the dog was having puppies and hearing them offer sympathetic little soothing encouragements for the dogs "puppybirth" pains.

My Mom always let me be creative when I dressed as a child. She would just look at my outfits and grin and say, you have your own style. She didn’t say, OH MY GOD! Look at what she intends to wear today. She just let me be, my own crazy unique self.

When I was sick, my Mom, being as we were southerners, knew exactly what to fix as my comfort food. She made me a big bowl of grits with melted cheese. Ahhhhh! I still love cheese grits.

I got sick at 13 years old and had an extended several years almost non-stop hospital residency, she was the one who comforted me and stayed with me daily at my bedside and offered loving support. (My sister and Dad were usually close by as well.)

Now that I am an adult, she is a constant and loving support in my life. She is positive and very much a Mom and a friend to me. She is a life-saver when it comes to chores in the house which I cannot do. She helps me one day a week to do the things that are difficult for me to do.

Happy Birthday Mommy!


I love you

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Crochet fish Cat Toy

Per B's (Put Another Blog On The Fire) request, I crocheted another cat fish toy. I hope you like it. :)

I "tested" the toy on my cats before making it for Kat's (Katsoup) new kitten.

Sorry it took me a while to do this and show you.



You can find the pattern for the fish here

Note: I modified the colors and just divided the total of 15 rows by three and changed colors every 5 rows.


A movie and tears

Tonight I watched the movie Reign over me. I laughed and found some parts funny but I cried much more.

The movie reached down deep and touched my heart. It is worth watching but have a  box of Kleenex nearby. It will make you stop and think about your life and the people that you cherish.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Good Morning

We arrived home from work at around 4 a.m.

(Big load of car parts to be delivered, etc.)

The normal Alabama and Mississippi run but most

every store we had to stop at tonight.

It was a long night and morning for us.


I came home and recorded an ending (with Armando’s help)

for the podcast and posted today’s Spanish word of the day.


It’s so cold this morning. Brrr!

I am looking forward to getting into bed underneath the covers.


It would be nice if people could get by on less sleep. Say, 4 hours or 2 or 3. ;)


Just a quick post to say Hi


Monday, November 26, 2007

Learning and More Learning

This weekend has been filled with a lot of learning!

At first I was using an audio program called wavepad to try and mix audio files. I was learning on it but I had just got everything mixed the way I wanted it and was close to saving it when one of the cats jumped onto my lap and distracted me and I was trying to place my headphones up and either I or the cat hit a key on the keyboard and just totally made the file weird and I could not repair it because I had no idea what had been pushed.

Luckily, about that time, Armando found a really wonderful program called Sony Soundforge Audio Studio 9.0. We had seen it while out shopping Saturday. He saw that it has a free trial so you can test it first before buying.

I started using it and Armando did too. We liked it. It is a great program if you need to clip and mix several voices, files and music together or if you want to make a podcast. It was easy to learn and very intuitive.

I opened a podcast at and learned how to use it. (I put a button to the right if you want to hear.)

Armando and I made a little picture file for the podcast website. (See below)


I made word of the day files for all of this week and audio samples for the Viaje Español website and Armando helped me. I have posted the one for Monday now.

Ok, I guess I have rambled enough. I am pretty tired but satisfied.

One more thing, before I am off to bed. Our cat Chochino is a GIRL! We rescued her when she was a little baby in bad shape (after being abandoned) and all the time since she was little we thought she was a boy. So now we are calling her Cho-Chi.

We were thinking Cho-cha but we like Cho-chi better.

Night Night and I hope you had a great weekend. :)

Sunday, November 25, 2007

New microphone

Armando and I had an enjoyable evening out in Huntsville. We went to Best Buy and Office Depot and then to Nothing But Noodles for supper. I had Thai Beef Curry and Armando had Shrimp Scampi. It was delicious!

We both splurged and bought ourselves computer microphones. Sadly, Armando's Microsoft Bluetooth headphones did not sound well, the quality was awful and very disappointing. He tested it with his friend on Skype and he ended up going back to his old headset which lately has not been working well either.

I plugged up my new headset and microphone, a Plantronics Audio 650 and I kept doing the initial setup test and it did not hear my voice and I thought, OH NO! Not again. I have a bad history with microphones not working for me. I called Armando over feeling a bit silly because I could not figure out how to make it work. He suggested updating a driver and we did and I rebooted and it worked. I was so happy! I haven't ever owned a computer microphone that worked and made my voice sound clear.


So, I guess that is why I am up at 3:30 a.m. after testing audio programs out and learning how to use them and working on audio sessions for my Spanish learning blog. Armando will do parts of the recordings and I will do parts so there will be a native speaker and of course, me, an American learning Spanish.

But, I have to admit, this is all very new for me. I am really critical of my own voice when I hear it played back. Maybe that will go away when I get more comfortable with doing audio lessons.

Starting Monday I will have a Word of the Day/ Palabra del dia with audio lessons and text lessons on my Spanish blog.

Click here to visit Viaje Español

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!


I hope everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving!

Note added later:

It is a good time of the year to reflect.

I wanted to take a moment and thank all of my blogging friends who comment and always bring a smile to my face. You are such a supportive group and you mean a lot to me!

I have so much to be thankful for and life has truly been wonderful for me this year. I married the man of my dreams. We made it through the immigration process. We are healthy and have everything we need.

We had a very nice Thanksgiving. Mom and I cooked and my Dad's side of the family came over. Armando brought flowers home this morning when he came home from work. They are beautiful.

Armando and I worked on the projector tonight and tested the speakers. We have not watched movies on the projector in a while. Armando had to go and buy a new cable. We are still having an issue with the projector. Maybe one of the cords has stopped working. We have only black and white movies and they should be color. We will try to troubleshoot it more later.

Right now, I just want to go to bed early and rest.

Have a good night and sweet dreams!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Recipe/ Small chat before work

Yesterday I made barbecue ribs on our grill. It is the first time I have ever grilled anything and I like grilling!

I made a potato casserole that was very easy. The recipe follows:

(We had my Aunt, Uncle and cousin over and they liked the casserole.)

Potato Casserole


1 can cream of chicken, mushroom or cream of celery soup (I used cream of chicken)
1 8 oz sour cream
1/2 c. chopped onion
1 stick melted butter
32 oz. pkg. frozen hash browns or 2 lbs.
Salt & pepper
2 c. shredded cheddar cheese

clip_image001[1]Cooking Directions:

Melt butter in 9"x13" pan. Add ingredients and mix. Microwave for appoximately 20-30 minutes. Sprinkle cheese on top after taking out of microwave.
Microwave 20 to 30 minutes, stirring several times during the cooking time.


Bake at 350 degrees for 50 to 60 minutes

Sprinkle cheese on top after the casserole comes out of the oven or microwave.

Today we did not have to leave at 4 p.m. for work so we have a little time to relax. My Father had to go to Birmingham for something else and to pick up our work truck and he kindly offered to pick up our load and bring it back to us! My Father is our current boss.

I just finished adding some podcasts from NPR to Armando’s Zune mp3 player. I have misplaced the cord for my sansa mp3 player so I have not been able to take it lately because it needs a charge. I think we will find it soon. I think I’ve accidently left it in a truck or something.

Mp3 players are so nice when you are on the road as much as we are. You can listen to news, podcasts, books on tape and of course, music. I really don’t know what Armando and I would do without our GPS system and mp3 players at work. The GPS keeps us from being lost and the mp3 player keeps us entertained.

I will scoot now and get our drinks and work things together.

Have a fun evening!


(A frog family I keep on my computer desk.)

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Fish tales

Last night we went to a pet store and got a few fish. We got blue gouramis, corydoras and a blue crayfish that I liked a lot.

I just finished adding fish profiles for the gouramis and the corydoras on our aquarium journal. Armando added the crayfish profile last night.

If you like fish and aquariums, you can check out our aquarium journal, it is listed at the links on the right of my blog.

I am feeling better today with the help of pain medication after a few days of nerve pain in my back. Mom and I went shopping and out for lunch today. We had a delicious steak with mushrooms, onion and cheese on top. It was fun having a Saturday out with Mom. We haven’t done that in a while. Tonight it just feels good to relax.

Here is a picture that Armando took recently of our 55 gallon aquarium. He took it in the early morning.


Have a nice and relaxing weekend and enjoy yourself!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Wheelchairs, arrrgh!

My new wheelchair arrived and some of the options I chose were not the best. My thinking was that the solid casters would be so nice, because I wouldn’t have to worry about airing them up so often. But, I did not realize that they would also make my main tires solid as well. My first thought after seeing it was ok, so that might be good because I don’t have to air any tires up.

This morning after arriving from work, I got into the wheelchair for a test. It worked flawless in our living room and turned so easily. Then later when going to the other room where there is a slight bump in the threshold, I realized that I could not go over the bump without a lot of effort and planning way before I got there and going very fast. That is not very practical to have to be doing that every time I go over a bump. So, that is one problem area. Another is the seat size. My cushion does not fit well. This new wheelchair is very narrow at 16 inches by 16 inches. I really need 17x18. Another problem, the armrests are too far back and short. I need longer ones.

I have to return this wheelchair and pick another one. This is not working out well.

I will pick another brand and have to spend several hundred dollars more and wait another few weeks for it to arrive while still riding around on my current wheelchair with the front caster problem.

I guess you learn from your mistakes but, arrrgh!

I was a bit frustrated and told Armando, Why do they make wheelchairs like that, with things that don’t work? He joked and said, Maybe… I don’t know, for someone that lives in a very flat house. I laughed and said, But it is not flat out in the world we live in.

Well, it is late or rather... early. I should head to bed. First I must take Cho-Cho to his bed. He is curled up and is asleep on my lap. He is becoming such a big cat. Cookie is also.


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Morning's Light

Morning’s soft and radiant light

Carries with it a luminous glow

And offers brilliant brightness

Layered with colorful hues

Pinks, oranges, yellows and blues

One of nature’s prettiest paintings

An eye-catching display in full view

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Hi again!

Sorry for the break in posts. Here is a quick update on what has happened around here.

As some of you know, Armando and I live in our little apartment, three rooms attached to my parent’s home. We have our own entrance but share a kitchen. Actually, this apartment was built wheelchair accessible for me before I met Armando but it works nicely for us right now as we face our new life together. It is our landing space before we get settled more permanently into our own home. These rooms originally were planned to have a kitchen but cost-wise and accessibility wise, the plan did not quite work out to make a kitchen in here too. So, that is why you often here of my parents in my conversations because they are in essence, our close neighbors!

My Dad’s two goats had four baby goats. We were all out in the pasture and Dad and Armando were building a warm goat house for the Moms and babes when we witnessed the birth of two of the babies. It was amazing to see it. I will share a picture of two of the babies at the end of this entry.

It has turned much colder outside and I’ve been wearing my boots. Boots are one of my favorite shoes to wear.

My wheelchair front tire (or caster) has broken causing a little apprehension about it breaking to the point of not being able to enjoy accessibility. It will be about 10 days or more before a new wheelchair arrives. Can you believe it was cheaper to buy a new wheelchair than replace all wheels on my current one? Silly.

Sunday Armando and I went out for sushi at our favorite restaurant. We had not done that in a long time. I tried sake for the first time. It had an “interesting” flavor. I sat there a few moments trying to figure out what it tasted like, if it was like anything I had tasted before. Nope! We also went to the bookstore and I bought a little book journal and My Antonia to read.

I was like a kid at Christmas because I got several book gifts this week. I love reading.

Armando bought me “The Morning of The Magicians”.


My sister sent me these books for my Birthday.


Junque Du Jour,

I will crochet another fish and post a picture here soon.

My sister is coming to visit on Friday and my little nephew Ryan. He is two years old. I am looking forward to the visit. My sister and I don’t get to spend much time together anymore except by telephone and email. So I plan to make a meal and we can catch up on each others lives.

I have to say bye for now and go make a quick supper before work.

Here are two of the new baby goats asleep.


Until soon!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Tennessee Aquarium

Armando made this presentation with the videos I took at the Tennessee Aquarium at Chattanooga.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Salmon with Cheese and Tomato Recipe

  • 2 packages of fresh salmon (enough for people being served)
  • 1 8 oz package of shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2-3 tomatoes, peeled and sliced thin
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Salt
  • Oregano
  1. Peel the skin from salmon and rinse the salmon.
  2. Cut salmon into pieces. Place it in a baking pan.
  3. Salt the salmon to taste.
  4. Peel and thinly slice tomatoes.
  5. Place the tomatoes directly on top of the salmon.
  6. Sprinkle oregano on top of the tomatoes.
  7. Cover the top of the tomatoes and salmon with shredded mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle parmesan cheese on top.
  8. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the salmon is cooked thoroughly.

This is one of my favorite recipes. I made it today so I thought I would share it with you. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Beautiful Butterflies

Today Armando and I took a day trip to Chattanooga, Tennessee. It was perfect weather and we had fun!

We visited the Tennessee Aquarium. You can see a few pictures below that I took in the butterfly garden. Afterwards, we went by Candyland, a nearby candy store and we dipped bags full of candy and I felt like a kid again.

We definitely want to visit again and see (just to name a few things)the Nature Center, the world's largest pedestrian bridge and the Museum of Art. Chattanooga has great architecture and a nice atmosphere.




Sunday, October 14, 2007


A bonus gift on my Birthday last month was this beautiful blue sky.



A picture of the new Whitesburg Bridge in Huntsville, Alabama.

The old bridge was demolished. You can see a picture here of the old bridge.



It has been a few days since I have posted here. Sorry about that. It's been a bit busy for me lately.

Yesterday was just one of those days where all you can say is "Yikes!" The plan was to go early to see my Grandmother who lives several hours away. My Mom and I left and on the way, we went through the car wash. It is one of those drive through carwashes but two people spray the car down first before you go through the rinse. Well, something happened and our car just stalled. I guess the track stopped or something. I don't know, but there we were, stuck beneath the endless "waterfall" and moving nowhere. Mom sounded her horn and the guy ran forward and did something with the machine and let us drive out.

About an hour into our trip, we are going up a mountain and get a flat tire. Sheesh! We couldn't stop on the mountain, so had to drive on with the car vibrating and hoping a lot that our tire did not blow out before we got to the nearest area to pull off the road. It didn't blow out, but we definitely ruined the tire. Nothing to be done about that.

Sadly, Mom's spare tire was without sufficient air and we had to call my Dad and take a leisurely 2 1/2 break in the car awaiting his arrival and then for him to run to the nearest town to get the stuff we needed.

Below this entry is a photo from our little break beside the road. (Yes, I took a picture to show you) What else can you do for 2 1/2 hours? :P (Note to self: Put something fun to do in my purse in case disaster strikes again.)

Armando is selling his HP computer on Ebay. He is selling it reasonably if you are interested you can go HERE


Wednesday, October 10, 2007


I decided last night that I was tired of feeling tired or ahem… lazy. Since we work early a.m. and odd hours, it can be really difficult at times to get your sleep patterns right and to feel well. Sometimes you come in from work tired and sleepy and other times you come in from work wired and awake. I’ve been feeling without energy and tired lately.

So, I decided today I was getting up at a decent hour no matter what I initially felt like. I also decided I was going to start exercising. Being a T2/T3 paraplegic rather limits the fun of workout options but I lifted weights and wheeled down our long gravel driveway with the steep incline. Oh My God, I am so out of shape! Today is the start of more energy, I hope.

I am off to the kitchen with Armando to make baked salmon with mozzarella cheese, tomatoes and oregano.

Have a great day!

Monday, October 08, 2007


I am back. You knew I couldn’t stay away from blogging that long. Didn’t you?

Armando remarked and it was funny but true, that I am now going to be using a smaller computer and I required a bigger desk for it!

We made it through a day of rearranging and working our booties off. We accomplished several things that I am happy about (now that it is over).

#1 We set up my Dad a computer area in their spare bedroom and decided he needed my flat screen monitor instead of the big 19 inch monitor.

#2 In creating the computer area for my Dad, we also started on conquering that room which was called my parents “junk room” and believe me, it lived up to that name. Now it has a bed, small office area with computer and fax and printer.

#2 I have a computer desk that has more storage.

#3 We gave away and tossed many things that we didn’t need.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Shop 'til you drop

My Mom and I went shopping today. It was fun but I am tired. I bought four new dresses, a sweater and a shirt. All for $56.00! They were having a super sale and my sweater was only $2.50! Since three of the dresses are more for summer, they were marked down. It is excellent timing because this winter, Armando and I are escaping to Chile to spend a few months in summer weather. It is the first time I have ever got to escape the cold weather and go somewhere warmer and I am tickled pink!

I know I really didn’t need those clothes but … What girl doesn’t like new clothes? J

As a side note, I may (or maybe not depending on how motivated I am)… be away a few days from posting on my blog. I am about to give my Father (after we format it) my faithful desktop and make the switch totally to my Vista Dell notebook. I am a wee bit nervous about that ‘cos so far, Vista and I get along so-so, since USUALLY easy as pie windows tasks turn into a hunt and search nightmare with vista. But, I am also happy to give Dad lessons and get him enjoying computers and the internet.

Since we have decided to prolong building me a custom desk, I am switching desks. I am going back to a desk I had used previously that has more storage space. If you could see what a disaster my current computer area looks like, you would understand why I may be away a few days trying to assemble my things into some kind of order and as we make Dad a comfortable computer area. Speaking of my computer area currently, let’s just say, I have magazines and books and dvd’s and all my yarn and crafting stuff scattered all haphazardly into what I “wish” to soon be a cozy, organized, Inspiring, fun to be in, computer area.

See you back here as soon as I can. ;)

Friday, October 05, 2007

Morning in the afternoon

With a cup of coffee in hand at this noonday hour I sit and read blogs. Although it might seem an unusual “morning hour” it is my usual awakening moment after working early a.m. shifts.

Part of today’s agenda is taking Cookie to the veterinarian to have her stitches removed.

It is amazing how much Cookie has grown since we first found her sitting lonely on top of a stack of batteries at a auto shop which we do deliveries to most every night. The owner of the shop happened to be there that night and told us she had been there for quite some time. Of course, we had to take her home. She was beautiful and sweet and did not deserve to be a street kitten huddled so lonely and away from people which she so loves. She does not like to be alone even to this day. If a door is between you, she finds ways to jump up and paw the door to get your attention and she meows or she opens the door. She has learned how to open our bedroom door which is a pocket door that slides back into the wall.

You can see a video of Cookie when she was little here so you can see how much she has grown and also see Armando’s new blog.

Have a good day!

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Cookie and Toys

I made Cookie two toys this evening. She is so funny. She grabs the toys and carries them in her mouth.

Here is a picture of Cookie tonight with her new toys. Armando had to give me a lesson on tripods to take the picture. (laugh)

Cookie and Pollyanna are both doing well recovering from their surgeries. Their stitches come out next week.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Hurricane on the Bayou

We went Sunday to see Hurricane on the Bayou at an Imax theater in Birmingham. The imagery on this movie was absolutely beautiful. The bayou swamps looked like a natural paradise. The Spanish moss hanging from the trees is something I always remember about Louisiana from when I lived there as a child.

I was moved by this movie and had tears a few times. New Orleans is such a fun place and is famous for the fusion of Cajun and French, the abundance of great music and blues, as well as for its street performers and the best coffee and beignets on the earth! Not to mention the Mardi Gras. Louisiana also has the natural wetlands that are simply gorgeous.

It’s understandable why people love New Orleans and feel compelled to find innovative solutions to try and rebuild and save it. What concerns me is history repeating itself. It would have to take a lot of money and some serious design to make New Orleans safe for people to live in. It is a city built in a bad place, below sea level. Frankly, my mind begins to boggle when trying to figure out a good solution for a “fix” and it scares me to imagine another disaster like Hurricane Katrina.

Click here to see the Hurricane Bayou website.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

In the Cat Kingdom

Two of our cats are recovering from surgery now. Poor little gals. Tummies all shaved and with incisions. But, it was necessary. It is time to make our cat kingdom a wee bit smaller and one of the little ladies had turned into a baby making factory.

We gave away the last set of kittens Pollyanna had. I love cats. It is hard to give them away. I get attached quickly so we had to give them away before I became more attached. I had already named two of them, Peaches and Cream and Little Lucy.

Well, we kept little Cho Cho from the abandoned kittens we raised because, who could give away a Cho- Cho? Definitely not us.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Photo website

Big Huge Labs

This is a fun website with several fun ways to customize your photographs for free.


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Happiness is...

when your husband gets his permanent resident card.

Congratulations Armando!!!

Sunday, September 09, 2007


I completed this crochet Chihuaha yesterday.It does have a tail but you can't quite see it in this picture.

It was my first time crocheting a little stuffed animal. It was also my first time modifying a crochet pattern. It was quite an experience but guess what, I'd do it again! It was fun.

The pattern is a Japanese amigurumi pattern that was translated into English. You can find the pattern here but as mentioned, you will need to modify the pattern and figure out how to add more stitches to make everything bigger. I used buttons for the eyes.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Souad Massi Honeysuckle (mesk elil) CD

I am currently enjoying this CD.

Souad Massi's voice is absolutely beautiful whether she is singing in French, Arabic or English.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Heat Wave & Spanish Blog


I have opened a Spanish learning blog. You can check it out by looking here:

Press play to hear
Beyonce "irreemplazable"

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Today's Treats

Hershey's Special Dark and Alison Krauss 100 Miles or More CD.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Recently Completed Crochet Thingamajiggies

Babydoll Slippers

Pattern is here

Comments: Not difficult, quick to make and very comfy!

Crochet Flower

Pattern is here

Comments: Fun project but be careful with making the petals in tiers which I found tricky at first.

Knitting Help Needed Please

I am fairly new to knitting. I made this scarf and now I am at the stage where it needs to be shaped /blocked. I don’t really know how to do that.

Can anyone help me with learning the process or Does anybody know a good reference for this?


Thursday, August 02, 2007

Lone Tree

Picture I took of a solitary tree.

Sweet Savings

A new fashion line by Sarah Jessica Parker.

Everything is under $20. YAY!