Friday, December 23, 2011

Worst Night EVER*

*includes all nights that don't include a human life form separate from your own who has bodily fluids exploding out one end or the other... (I almost titled this 'My Worst Night EVER' but doing that wouldn't have allowed me to create that disclaimer. Which I really wanted to do.)

Last night I met up with some out-of-town friends who I haven't seen in a few years. That wasn't the 'worst night EVER' part of the night. That was actually a really, really nice visit and it was great to see them. I stayed visiting with them until midnight (much later than I had planned, but it was a really enjoyable visit!), and then made the 45-minute trek home. The drive wasn't the 'worst night EVER' part either. The roads were pretty empty and it was smooth sailing all the way home.

I got home a little before one o'clock. The three animals currently living in my home all found me within minutes of my return.

It was quick work getting myself ready for bed.

It was not quite-as-quick work getting the animals ready for bed. I got them outside, walked out onto the grass with one of them, encouraging him to go to the bathroom so he wouldn't wake me up in an hour (which, as it turned out, wouldn't have been an issue - that's a teaser...).

I came up with a genius (literally, in my opinion) idea... And it worked.

Success, and I was ready for bed.

I got in to bed, opened up the window just a little bit (I love fresh, cold air while I'm sleeping) and curled up ready to crash.

My back started itching.

A lot.

For the next hour I'd settle in, and then have an itching fit where I'd be rubbing my back on the bed trying to scratch it.


Multiple times.

During that hour, the visiting cat started meowing at my door. She knew I was inside my room and she wouldn't go away. I ignored her for a while but didn't want her to wake anyone else up so I let her in.

I curled up again and she started circling me on the bed. Purring.

I wasn't sure if this was some cat ritual that meant she was planning on eating me or something, but at that moment I didn't really care. I was too itchy to care.

After the hour of resting, twitching, and rubbing my back on my bed I got up and filled up the bathtub with really warm water. I climbed in and fell asleep.

For about an hour and a half.

It wasn't comfortable sleep, but it was sleep. I woke up because the water had gotten cold. I turned on the water as hot as it would go just to warm up, climbed out, and got ready for bed again - slathering lotion all over so I wouldn't stay dried out from the water I had just soaked in.

I climbed in to bed.

And couldn't fall asleep.

I was itchy again.

I remembered this back-scratcher that my mom had gotten all of us for Christmas last year or the year before. I kept it by my bed but hadn't used it a ton.

Now I will say -

Best. Invention. Ever.

That thing saved my life.

And my sanity.

I scratched that thing up and down my back for a long time. I rolled onto my stomach and started dozing with the scratcher sticking out of the top of my shirt. I wanted it close by in case I had another itching emergency.

At one point I rolled onto my side and the top of the scratcher was resting against my head.

I still wasn't ready to release it to as far away as the floor.

I finally moved it but kept it rightbymybed. Just in case.

Around this time I started feeling hungry. I had gone out to dinner but hadn't eaten a lot because my stomach was still a bit unsettled. And I hadn't planned on being awake for this many hours after dinner.

I started feeling really hungry.

I remembered that a friend had given me some Reese's Christmas trees.

I remembered those Reese's Christmas trees were in my shoulder bag... which was rightbymybed.

I reached over, shuffled things around until I found one, opened it up and started eating it.

While still lying down.

That was the lowest point of the night.

Around 4ish, I ended up finally being able to fall asleep.

I woke up at 8.

I was supposed to be at work by 7.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

This Happens at Least Once a Day

Watching my friend's cat for a couple weeks. She's a pretty cute little thing and gives me a good purring/cuddle session at least once a day. I got this one today after coming home from work early.

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Monday, December 19, 2011

So Good!

Yesterday I made layered vegetable enchiladas for dinner. I first made them while I was at my sister's in Denver, but we froze those for later use so I didn't actually confirm that they were edible. I was hopeful, so I went ahead and made them anyway.

Verdict: really, really good!

Thanks, Bess, for introducing me to the recipe.

And here it is:
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 8 ounce bag of spinach leaves
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 15-ounce can refried beans
  • 1 15-ounce can low-sodium black beans, drained
  • 10 corn (or whole wheat) tortillas, quartered
  • 19 ounces canned enchilada sauce
  • 1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
  • green onions, sliced, for garnishing
  • Vegetable oil
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.

Heat approximately 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until they become translucent, about 3-5 minutes. Add the spinach leaves and continue cooking and stirring until they start to wilt. Add the corn and continue cooking until heated through. Set this spinach-corn mixture aside.

Spread one-third of the enchilada sauce over the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch baking dish and top with one-third of the tortillas. Layer with the refried beans, the black beans and half of the remaining enchilada sauce. Top with one-third of the cheese.

Next, layer with half of the remaining tortillas, all of the spinach-corn mixture and half of the remaining cheese. Top with the remaining tortillas, the remaining enchilada sauce and the remaining cheese.

Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes, until the sauce starts bubbling and the cheese has melted. Garnish with the green onions before serving.

(recipe from Sunset magazine)

So, over the last year or so I've learned that when a recipe calls for vegetables, it normally doesn't matter if you don't use the quantity it calls for. That being said, I'm not sure how much spinach I used, but it was a TON. I just kept dumping it in there. And I used a full onion. I also used more corn than it calls for.

The recipe above is for a 9x13 pan and the one I used was bigger. I also doubled the beans for the bean layer and used two cans of each type instead of just one. I used more tortillas (didn't count how many, but just made each layer pretty covered), but only one can of enchilada sauce. I also used more cheese since it was a bigger pan. But again, quantity isn't that important.

The one change I would make to it when (not if) (: I make it again is that I will add cilantro to one of the layers. I may dump it in with the veggies after they're cooked, or I may mix it in with the beans (speaking of which, I mixed the beans together before putting them in the casserole dish, but I don't think that's necessary). Either way, cilantro (if you like cilantro) would be an excellent addition.


Monday, December 12, 2011

Max is Weird

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Friday, December 9, 2011

Just a Thought

Today a co-worker told me that I was one of the - if not the - nicest people she knows.

I'm not saying this to brag at all, but it got me thinking.

A lot of people have told me I'm nice. I'm glad. I try to be nice.

I don't think there's ever an excuse/reason to be mean.

I've said that before, and I believe it.

But that's what I've started thinking about.

I don't know that I'm as nice to my family as I am to these people that I work with, or go to church with, etc. I make friends with them, and I'm sometimes nicer to them than I am to my family.

Not that I'm mean to my family, but I don't think I'm always as nice to them as I am to others.

I need to work on that.

Friday, December 2, 2011

The Magic That is Photoshop

I have a news reader widget on my phone. I originally added it in order to fool myself into thinking I was staying up with current events.

Strangely enough - I've actually looked at it. A lot. I have it set to list articles from CNN, FoxNews, NYTimes, etc. And sometimes I see some pretty interesting things.

Like the crazy wind storms that have been going on in Utah while I'm not there (yep, I'm still in Denver).

Last night I saw this article that talked about scientists being able to identify changes in photographs. I linked to this article from the original article I saw, and then I linked to this. If nothing else, check out that last link. It may blow your mind. It kinda blew mine (be sure to use the toggle feature. are you excited to see it now? it has a toggle feature.). (:

I think it's pretty cool that rather than just saying that a photo has been touched up, or assuming it has been, they can actually show you the changes.

Here's a teaser from that last link - just in case you haven't clicked on it yet.

after re-touching

before re-touching

after re-touching

before re-touching

But seriously, click on the link. It's more effective if you're toggling between the pictures.

The thing that kills me though - they're still attractive people even when they're not photoshopped. Sure they have more wrinkles and lines, and maybe some scars. That happens to... humans. But it's not enough that they're attractive. They have to look perfect.