Friday, August 6, 2010

Pest Control

It all started last Saturday.........

There is thing that lives in our garage. I call it a black hole. But really, it's a 1979 Honda motorcycle. I shouldn't be negative about it,-- it provided transportation to get ice cream on our 1st date ever.

Why do I hate it? Because it doesn't run. It just sits there. And takes up space. And we have moved it 3 TIMES!!!!!!

But, it's become Ryan's hobby. It's like clockwork. Every 3 months, he gets this inspiration on a Saturday morning after a few too many cups of coffee and says, "I'm going to work on rennovating the bike today".


So he spends the day working on it with the garage open, I clean the house and bake, bring him iced tea, and he take multiple trips to the hardware store. We're such an American married couple...

So Sunday morning rolls around. And we are leaving the house for church....

And we see little black "pellets" all over the ground.....

Now we know this hasn't been ongoing. We run a tight ship and our garage was clean the prior day.

So after mass that morning, we set out on a mission: "Operation Kill Mickey":
  • 8 mouse traps
  • Laced them with peanut butter
  • Strategically placed rat/mouse poisoning in areas throughout the garage
  • And closed off all doors to assure defeat
Monday came and I had school things in the morning - Ryan was off to work. I got home, and I was quietly working on some homework -- when I hear a furocious *snap*!!!

I immediately call Ryan's work phone. Not his cell phone, his work phone - for this is an emergent situation. He get's on the phone, and I say, in a trembling voice "I heard a loud snap. What do I do? I think we got something!!! I don't have to touch it, do I?!?"

He paused.....and said, "You don't have to touch anything. Just wait for me to get home. I'll take care of it" (in such a manly, "I'll fix it" kind of voice...)

He gets home, and goes straight to the find that the critter had eaten all the peanut butter off every trap, knocked over the dishes of poisoning, and even managed to move one of the traps.

What kind of monster is this? It must be big and evil. It must be a genius with a will to kill. It surely must have opposable thumbs.....

We don't even mess with this beast. Within 5 seconds my thumbs are dialing the number for Truly Nolen Pest Control.

And within 20 minutes his car pulls up. The man gets out, all sweaty (like he's been killing pests all day....) rigged out with the thickest southern accent.

Mr. Pest Control kind of laughs when he enters the garage, and says: "That ain't no mouse you're dealing with my friends. That there's Pack Rat Poop"

Ewww! Slimey rats?!!

He and Ryan spend a good 2 1/2 hours analyzing the problem and setting up a "Plan of Attack"

So we get our glue boards set up, any house-structural issues fixed - and we are ready for "Pack Rat Attack"

Now, it's Tuesday and I'm off to clinicals for the day. I come home at 8:30 pm after a long day to find the garage absolutely torn to pieces.

Every box has moved. Even the washing machine and dryer are moved.

OH. My. Word.

I enter the house, and Ryan is on the couch: red-faced, sweating, and out of breath.

What happened to you, Ryan?
What was this terrible, evil, blood-thirsty beast in our garage?!!??!!??
Did it hurt you?

He says, "I've been chasing the damn thing around for the past 45 minutes. That damn thing is tactical, tricky, and smart."

What is this beast..............................?

It was a "wittle bunny wabbit!"

So now, I feel compelled to refer to my husband Ryan as Elmer Fudd.

We did get rid of the beastly little bunny. And canceled our "Pest Control".

Oh, what a strange week this has been!

But after my ATI test this morning - we are off to Star Pass for a getaway to celebrate our Anniversary!!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Joker of Cakes

It all began last week -- the day I wanted to eat my words. I said to Ryan, "For your birthday I will make you any cake you want! The options are limitless!"

I should've known better. Ryan is always up for challenge. My original thoughts that his request would be something benign like chocolate cake, vanilla or marble cake, maybe ever carrot cake.

He got a big grin on his face, and said "I would like  an Ice cream cake."

Simple enough, right? Oh no. This was different than the ice cream cake I've always known.

I could just see the excitement building in his eyes. And he then goes on....:

 "Not just any ice cream cake. I want the cake part to be white. No, I take that back - I want it to be marble. Not yellow and chocolate. White and chocolate. Then I went the ice cream to be............cookies & cream. Oo! And then garnished with hot fudge."

I took the challenge head-on. I thought, "Hey I can do this!"

Then he goes on, "Oh, and the frosting? I want it to be orange. That way you have to figure out how to mix the colors."  (Jokingly, obviously. Anyone can figure out their primary colors to make orange....)

So I consulted my Betty Crocker cookbook, I consulted, I consulted my trusty Mom. And formed a "Plan of Attack". For, let's just clarify - I don't do well with desserts. I'm more of a bread-baking, meat-marinating, side-dish cookin' kind-of-gal.

The instructions seemed.....fricking impossible challenging. But, I tried. And here is how it played out:

  • So 1st step came baking the cake. I did a 9 x 13 inch Marble Cake. It filled the house with glorious smells, and looked wonderful! Hurray! I'm a pro.
  • Let cool overnight. (all is well, still. I woke up in the morning, and the cake was cool. Still a pro)
  • Cut 9 x 13 cake in half. (Score!)
  • Remove cakes from pan.
  • ..........................
  • This is easier said than done, in my world of baking. They weren't neccessarily stuck, they just didn't want to come out.
  • So I flipped it upside down on my board.
  • Nothing.
  • So I shook it a little.
  • Still nothing.
  • I proceeded to flip it over, shake it, beat it with my hands, pound the hell out of the cake.
  • Still nothing.
  • So, I got out multiple knives, spatulas, etc and decided to pry it out.
  • Cake came out, but.......had some crumbles. (No biggy! Frosting=glue)
  • Now time to make the frosting. I made a "White Mountain Frosting" so it had the peaks and was very soft and wonderful. I even used a candy thermometer (My 1st time ever) It turned out wonderful.
  • Now, it was time to make it orange.............
  • I read the package instructions.....I figured out I didn't have normal food coloring. It was neon.
  • I read "8 drops pink, 3 drops green"
  • So I proceeded.
  • However, orange was not the color I was seeing. So I added more pink and more green.
  • It just kept getting darker and more vibrant of this god-awful pinkish, orangish, flesh-ish color.
  • So I looked at the directions again.
  • Oops! I was using purple and green, not pink and green.
  • So I started adding pink.
  • It only got worse - Ryan's Frosting is Human-Flesh Colored. Nice.
  • Well, the damage had been done. And there's no way I was starting over again.
  • I proceeded to frost the cake a nice "fleshy" color.
  • Then it was time to do the ice cream layer. I scooped on the ice-cream, and it layed out quite nice.
  • Now it was time for Layer # 2 of the cake.
  • This was difficult, and took me a long time.
  • By the time I got the cake on top of the ice-cream; must icecream had melted.
  • So I popped it in the freezer. Came back to check in an hour and....
  • Ice cream refroze and expanded everywhere!!! Ice cream was eating my ugly fleshy cake.
  • I cut off the excess, and made it look managable pretty. All will be...manageable
Now lets take you to Wednesday night, time to light the candles and for me to solely sing Happy Birthday to Ryan. (poor guy....)

We decided to just do one candle (kind of like people choose to do when they get old and gray and have so many candles it may be a fire hazard.......) I didn't want the ice cream to melt.

And here is the finished product (brace yourselves, folks)

I let Ryan do the honors of cutting into the cake. I was expecting to see 3 gorgeous layers - perfectly froze out.

And we come to find........

No ice cream?!!?!

Yep, apparently when it melted out, I cut it off - and the other remainder of ice cream melted into the cake layers.

It was like a magic trick. I made a layer of cake disappear!

In the end, it tasted really good. The cake was nice and moist and did have an ice-cream flavor to it! And the fleshy frosting tasted wonderful.

Let's just say.....Ace of Cakes won't be recruiting me anytime soon. And I don't think Ryan will ever request soemthing "outside the norm" for a birthday cake again!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Ode to my Favorite

I finished my last clinical of nursing school! I survived! Next time I will be on a hospital floor, I will be an RN. Crazy (kinda scary, too!)

And..I. Am. Exhausted. So tired!

But, this week has been an interesting one - many good stories to come involving baking mishaps, issues with critters, etc....

So please stay tuned. It's a busy week - but I hope to find time to blog on my fun and interesting happenings of the week!

But, Tomorrow (August 4) is the birthday of my best friend in the whole wide world!!!

I have been working diligently on a birthday cake for him this week. A home made ice cream cake. No worries, a post will come on this. It's been....interesting (needless to say...)

He has had a pretty crazy week at work - and I'm having a crazy week with school....

So we will somehow find a method of meeting up for Sushi at our favorite restaurant for dinner tomorrow night  to celebrate- and will try to eat my cake afterwards (we'll see...It should taste good at just looks hideous!) Ha!

Here are a few of my favorite things about this guy!:
  • He's the only person in the entire world I can spend endless hours with...and I never get annoyed with him.
  • He's the only person who will always take me up on a game of Scrabble. We squeeze in a game once/week (we're getting pretty good, I must say)
  • He know's exactly the *little* things that make me very happy!
    • Example: Last week after my long, hellish day of clinicals where I came home in tears.....he just happened to know - and made me my favorite "gourmet" meal - Macoroni & Ketchup, spinach, and pickled beats
  • He's one of the hardest workers I know - and his determination motivates me every day.
  • He always knows what to do to make me laugh.
  • He lets us watch chick flicks more than we have to watch action movies. That's love.
  • One of the first times I met him - he did a back flip. Just out of no-where. Who does that?
  • He always looks at things from a different angle or point-of-view - it's quite refreshing!
He is superb, and I am more than honored to say that he is my husband!

Sometimes he gets kind of crazy when in the kitchen - especially when carving our 1st turkey on thanksgiving this year ;)
He's quite a sweet uncle, too! We adore our nephews! :)

Happy Birthday, Ryan!

***I appologize if this post is completely random, scatterbrained, and non-coherent. I am feeling a littl delirious and quite ready for bed!***

Ten On Tuesday

Happy Tuesday! As you are reading this, I am at my last clinical of nursing school. Yep, that means the last day of purple (ugly) scrubs!! :)

1. What is your current favorite television show?
I don't really watch much tv at all. But I do enjoy watcing The Today's Show or re-runs (on Netflix) of The Office.

2. Apple juice or orange juice?
Apple Juice - it's more refreshing and thirst-quenching.
My Mom made home-made apple juice last fall, and *oh my goodness* -- best thing ever! Mmm :) I wish she could've boxed it up and sent it south to AZ!!!
3. It’s Shark Week on Discover Channel. Do you watch? Why or why not?
Nope. My attention span does not handle shows like that - sorry to all you shark lovers...

4. What are the non-blog websites that you visit regularly? (unfortunately - my school website)
my bank website

5. What is your favorite way to prepare green beans? Asparagus? Potatoes? Carrots?
Green beans: just slightly warmed up on the stove. Fresh from the garden.
Asparagus: with a little balsalmic vinegar, oregano, pepper - on the grill! Still a little crunchy
Potatoes: on the grill with some cumin, pepper, salt (maybe a little ketchup, too!)
Carrots: raw dipped in mustard
6. What is your favorite flower?
Tulips - yellow :)

7. How do you feel about handkerchiefs?
The word "handerchief" makes me think of "snot". So no thank-you. I (nerd-ily) wear a bandana when I clean and sometimes when I go running.

8. If you could only shop at 3 stores for the rest of your life, what would they be? (You probably should include a grocery store.)
The Running Shop

9. If you could only use wine for one purpose for the rest of your life, which would you choose? To cook with or to drink?
Is that really a question? To drink. Of course. I'm a win-o.
10. What’s your bedtime?
Depends on the day. I like to keep it around 10:30-11. And that stays pretty consistent.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Welcome, August!

I know most are sad to see August here - for it is the near of the end of summer. But, I'm not going to lie - I'm pretty darn excited for it! AZ summer suck, and I graduate this month. So, Bienvenido! :)

Current Music:
I have been enjoying classical piano music on my down time - played by ME on my keyboard. *Heavenly* :) Oh, how I missed the piano!!

Current Shame-Inducing Guilty Pleasure:
Jolly Ranchers. Yum.

Current Colors:
White. I'm digging white lately - since we are approaching the last days of being able to wear white pants.

Current Obsessions:
Hm - interviewing techniques, job hunting. I spend so much down time researching "Interview Techniques". I'm currently reading some book about "The Best Answers to the Toughest Interview Questions".
Good Times.

Current Drink:
Orange Juice slushes. I put orange juice in the blender with ice - and it makes me smile.
Also, my post-run favorite is a glass of Silk Soy Milk Light with a little Nutmeg sprinkled on it. (it's kind of like Egg-nog in July...even though I hate Egg Nog.......)

Current Song:
Pomp and Circumstance is the tune I'm whistling these days :)

Current Movie:
I am just watching the 1st movie I've watched all week right now! (July 31 at 9 pm...) The Boy With the Striped Pajamas - it is excellent. Sad, however. I highly recommend it.

Current TV Shows:
The news is really all I've watched in the AM. On a day that I don't have clinicals/school - I like to have the Today's Show on in the background during the morning.

Current Wish-List:
-My RN license. I really hate the fact that in 3 weeks I will have my BSN, but am absolutely useless until I pass NCLEX and have my license. So annoying.
-A hair cut. I was going to do it yesterday - but keep putting it off. I hate getting my hair cut......

Current Needs:
-A job.
-More hours in the day.

Current Triumph:
-Things are going extremely well with Practicum.
-I ran 10 miles yesterday at an 8:15/mile pace. (2 years ago I was running 10 miles at a 9:40/mile pace!)
-My daisies are out of control (in a good way)

Current Bane of my Existence:
Trying to be the best nurse possible, so that the manager of the unit I'm doing practicum on will want to hire me.

Current Goals:
-Get hired.
-Make a smashing birthday cake for my husband this week.
-Start my training for the marathon on the right foot, and spend 10 minutes stretching every night that I run.

Current Indulgence:
Smoked Oyesters.

Current Blessings:
-Ryan. He keeps me sane!!
Current (Fav) Outfit:
My new business suit. It was tough finding one that didn't make me look like a 12 year old in a flight attendant costume..... But I found one with Ryan's help! :)

Current Excitement:
Next Sunday we celebrate our 1st Anniversary! Marriage is awesome :)

Current Mood:
Excited! I graduate in 20 days. We are having a fantastic weekend planned next weekend to celebrate our Anniversary. My parents are visiting next week - Life is good! :)