Thursday, February 26, 2009

My Reality TV for the Week

It’s Thursday already.  Although, for most of the day, I actually thought it was Tuesday. This week has flown.

I just finished watching tonight’s Idol elimination show.  I was happy to see Kris Allen made it in to the Top 12. 

Kris Allen

He’s an Arkansas boy – so I’ll have my eye on him. 

Last week’s episodes were really my first real attempt at watching this season.  The ice storm messed me up for a while, but I’ll be watching from now on. 

Danny Gokey

The only other contestant that I was impressed with was on last week’s show. Danny Gokey.  Really liked him! 

Two great guys who are both in the ministry (Danny is a Church music teacher, and Kris is a worship leader … at Leigh Ann's church to boot!).

Biggest Loser Couples

Last night’s Biggest Loser sent home a big threat in Dane.  He was on a roll.  He left as a record-holder… having lost 100 pounds in the shortest amount of time anyone ever has on the show (8 weeks).  I’m also even further impressed with Tara’s work ethic… that chick is tough!

24 Season 7

And 24 was nothing short of AWESOME.  Did you see Agent Walker slap Jack?  Or point her gun at him?  What WAS she thinking?  Perhaps, she was still a little sore at him for burying her alive??? Ya think?

Survivor Tocantins

I haven’t really gotten into Survivor yet.  It takes me a while to warm up to the contestants on that show. I’ll try and hang in there.


All that’s left is the season finale of The Bachelor.  It appears there are twists and turns in the works. It’s sure to be “the most dramatic rose ceremony ever!”

I hope y’all have a great Friday!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Today is my brother, Jim’s, birthday! 

He’s the big 5-0!!!

Jim is #2 of 11. And the first boy.  He has two sons who have both served in the Iraq war.  Cory, his youngest, is still serving actively in the  Middle East.

Goulet family 1973 - Jim

When I was just a kid, I always thought Jim was the coolest… even though he picked on me (and probably all my other siblings) whenever he felt the need to.

I remember him sitting across the dinner table from me and poking his teeth out at me calling me “Bucky”.  That was when my teeth were too big for my face… and he knew it. 

Ah, brotherly love.

Now, we’re all grown up and Jim is a soft-hearted guy who calls me “sis” when I talk to him on the phone.  That alone makes up for all the early years.

Jim2 Jim1 

Jim and Steve with fish

Kristin and Jim Jim and Dad 070891

Jim and boys 

  Happy 50th Birthday, Jim!!  I love you.

Monday, February 23, 2009

A Healthy Meal

I used the old cast iron tonight!! Surprised, aren’t you? I made tacos… a healthy version.

I start with a bed of romaine lettuce on my plate and top it with a serving of cooked and seasoned lean ground beef. 


Add diced tomatoes, chopped onion, whatever healthy toppings you like.  You’ll want to add a little salsa or sour cream, but (Kale and) I like to mix a concoction of fat free sour cream, my favorite (Albert’s) salsa, and some guacamole and spoon that on top. 

The men in my house love the old store-bought taco shells, but I much prefer to cut a whole wheat pita into wedges and toast them in my toaster oven.

Taco Salad

I served it with some fat free refried beans topped with a little low-fat cheddar cheese and pica de gallo.


That’s some good eatin’ and good for you!!

I’m just trying to figure out the cast iron, so before I started to cook, I added a little oil and wiped them out again with a paper towel.  The refried beans stuck just barely (but they’ll stick in any kind of pan).  The clean up was really easy on both pans.

Tyler asked me “what in the world I was cooking in?” Or did he say, “Are YOU cooking??”

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Country Cookin’

Y’all have just cracked me up with your comments on my last post.  However, I’ve been somewhat convicted today and felt I needed to come clean…

Apparently, some of you think I actually cook cornbread. Nope.  That would be Dave.  To date, he has been cooking his cornbread in a glass pie plate, much to Becky's complete disgust.  We’ll (um, he’ll) use the cast iron next time, Bec!

Some of you also think I fry foods.  Nope.  That would be Dave, too. But, not nearly as much as when I first acquired him.

I don’t have a recipe blog, because, well, I am not known for my culinary skills.  My siblings used to (affectionately) call me “Peg Bundy” if that’s an indicator.

In truth, David was raised here in the Ozarks on foods like pinto beans and cornbread with all the country fixins.   He eats strange things, like crushed up crackers (or cornbread) IN milk.  He likes side meat from a pig. Ick!

I grew up on meat, potatoes, and a veggie, and usually some kind of bread.  My mom would usually have a routine… Sundays we had pot roast, Mondays – spaghetti, Tuesdays – maybe Chinese Pie, etc.   There was very little frying in my childhood home… and there’s even less in my current one.

I eat 4-6 small meals a day, so big meals are not typical here, either.  Usually I take all my food to work and when I get home I’ll  fix a small supper and have a mini meal later in the evening.  Meat, always lean, is usually cooked in the oven, on the stove top, or on the grill (thanks lately to Tyler’s grilling skills).

So, based on all those confessions… I’m hoping to use my new-found cast iron cookware some… but I’m not looking for it to get worn out either!

As for those yummy looking biscuits that David made? Look in the refrigerator section at Walmart – they’re Pillsbury in the blue can. 

Although, I DO make a mean homemade biscuit!!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Old Cast Iron

Yesterday, Jodi and I went to Kay’s (our hairdresser).  She is feeling pretty good at the moment, but will be going back for another chemo treatment on Monday (her second).  We ALWAYS enjoy our visits with her and Rick (or “Coach” to us). 

Afterward, we had Jodi and Gary over for a spaghetti supper … we haven’t done that in a LONG time.  We usually just meet up to go out to eat, so it was a nice change. 

Jodi spent most of her time here, though, seasoning my cast iron cookware.

 Cast iron set 2009

Just before the ice storm, I got down in our cabinets and found all the cast iron we had.  David’s grandma has given us several pieces over the years.  They haven’t been used in like NEVER (since we’ve had them), so I got a hankering’ to get them ready to use.  She showed me how her momma used to do it and I finished a few more today.

Cast iron griddle 2009

Dave cooked biscuits on the little round griddle skillet we have this morning.

Today, I worked out on the treadmill and did a little laundry.  Pretty much a lazy day… while Dave’s been working at the farm.  I do believe he is still trying to get rid of all those limbs the ice storm brought us, while I’ve been in the warmth with a good fire in the wood stove all day!  He must think I’m a princess!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Cheese Scene

Not much to blog about these days.  Since my typical day pretty much consists of going to work, going to workout, checking on Charlsie, and a little reality TV.


If you’re an “Amazing Race” fan, you probably got a belly laugh over what I like to call “the cheese scene”.  I haven’t laughed so hard since "Charla" stuck the butter knife down her throat to be able to eat more sausage (I gotta warn you – this is not for those with weak stomachs).  I was impressed with Steve and Linda's cheese-moving strategy, but they lacked the ability to find Phil at the Pit Stop and nearly faced elimination.  As for week one, I really liked Margie and Luke.  Of course, a momma and her boy competing together tugs at my heart strings.  Luke is also deaf, which will add a whole new dimension to the competition.  You can read Phil’s blog about Episode 1 here.


“24” was full of action and twists and turns – which is pretty much WHY I live for “24” in the first place. Well, that and to watch Jack save the world.


My favorite moment of the night was when Chloe showed up to work at FBI Headquarters and defended Jack to the head of FBI.  She’s my kinda girl! 

Aaron Pierce

And, my beloved Secret Service man, Aaron Pierce, was back!!

Biggest Loser Couples

“Biggest Loser” continues with some impressive weight loss totals.  I enjoyed the no-gym workouts, proving you can improvise if needed.  (I prefer my climate controlled gym, though.)  I’d love to be at “the Ranch” for the atmosphere itself.  Someone to work my guts out.  A food environment that is safe.  And having others around to keep me motivated.

But, since I’m not on “the Ranch”… I stay motivated by doing a lot of reading and research.  Talking to people who are fit is also motivating to me as well as seeing pictures of people who are buff!  (I posted a few on my fitness blog tonight)

What motivates you to stay on the health and fitness path?

Friday, February 13, 2009

The Cost of Things


I have terrible vision.  Awful.  I think as far as blindness goes, I’m only about half-blind, but my astigmatism makes it only seem worse.  AND, now that I’m getting on up there in years, my reading vision has been affected.  About 2 years ago, I started complaining of not being able to see up close.  My eye doctor informed me it was from too much smoke in my eyes … from all the candles on my birthday cake.  So, I began the quest for multifocal toric lenses (the multifocal corrects the close up vision; the toric corrects the vision problems from the curvature of the eye). 


Needless to say, it has NOT been an easy or quick process.  There, also, is no perfect solution, so I have to settle for the best I can get without compromising on vision clarity too much.

I decided to order some new glasses and narrowed down “the best I could get” contacts and ordered them.  I only ordered six months worth because they are EXPENSIVE.  Apparently, people who can wear typical disposable lenses pay around $25-$35 a box.  When I ordered these contacts, for some reason I was led to believe they were going to cost me $240 for 2 boxes (one box of 6 per eye).  I got a phone call this week that they were available to pick up.  I went today and was informed the total was $360!!! For 6 months, people.

I almost swallowed my tongue.

That’s over $700 a year for these babies. I guess I’m high maintenance!

* * * * * *

Tyler came home this evening with his girlfriend and asked what we were going to do tonight.  I had already taken a bath and got into some comfy sweats.  But, we decided to go to the Pizza Hut for supper.  Jodi and Gary joined the four of us.  We had a lot of laughs.

One thing we did notice is that Pizza Hut must be feeling the recession.  David ordered a pasta dish (which he’s ordered several times in the past) and Gary, Jodi and I split a large, thin-crust ham & mushroom pizza.  Dave elbowed me to look at his dish… it was about half of the food they normally serve.  Seriously, you could almost see the bottom of the dish through the food!

And maybe it was just these smoke-damage eyes, but we could barely see any cheese on our pizza, plus there was no sauce or topping for about 1 1/2” from the crust.

We did notice, however,  that the prices did NOT go down with the reduction of food.


Thank goodness the conversation (and a few chocolate dunkers) made it all worth it!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Another Quick Week

This week has flown by. Once again. 


The new season of “Survivor” started tonight and Sunday night is the season opener of “The Amazing Race”. 

Amazing Race

TV is finally getting good again.

Kay, our hairdresser, began her treatments last week and is doing okay, but she more than likely wouldn’t tell us if she was just downright miserable.  She’s pretty good at hiding it when she’s not feeling well.

Charlsie is doing really well.  After her last stay in the hospital, she still was having some trouble with her blood pressure and we made her a doctor’s appointment (with a new doctor) and he seems to have gotten it under control for now at least.  Since the blood pressure spikes seem to be what lands her back in the hospital, she is very relieved by the progress.

She went through the ice storm like a trooper.  When we’d go by there or call her while the power was out, she’d say, “I’m doing just fine… under the circumstances.”  I begged her to come stay with us after we got the generator going, but she wouldn’t hear of it.  She has lived life “making due”.  She would impress even Jeff Probst with her resilience.

We get so tickled at her. 

She often gets phone calls from telemarketers and such.  One day while we were there (when the power was out) she got a call from DirecTV (she has an antenna, no dish).  The woman asked Charlsie how she was doing and Charlsie let her know that she was fine but we were in the middle of an ice storm and things were tough.  The woman told her she was from Iowa and after Charlsie hung up the phone she said, “That woman was from Iow-AY!  Why was she calling me all the way from Iow-AY?”

When I was there the other night, the phone rang again and it was an automated message regarding her auto warranty (she doesn’t even own a vehicle).  She begins to inform them that she doesn’t even have a car all the while the recording continues to play.  I don’t think she even realizes it’s a computer.

She just cracks me up!  One of these days I’m going to do a post about her funny sayings.  Everyone needs a Charlsie!!

Have a great Friday!!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Getting Caught Up

I’m still trying to get caught up from the un-vacation we had while the power was out.  Other than that, I haven’t been up to much except for work, grocery shopping, laundry, working out, checking on Charlsie … and watching a few of my TV favorites (24, Biggest Loser, American Idol).  You know – life.  The satellite guy came yesterday and got our satellite back in working order after the ice storm.  We only had our HD channels, our standard channels were not coming in… so we’re back to full TV again.

We lost lots of trees in the ice storm and our yard (and everyone else’s in north Arkansas) was a mess! 



David and I worked on it for two days while the power was out.  It’s mostly free of the big limbs, but there’s lots of little stuff that still need to be picked up, raked up, burned.  He’ll be working on our farm acreage for quite some time.




This is not a sight you’ll see very often.


I also got a few pictures of some of the prettier parts of the ice storm.




This is Charlsie’s gate



I’m about done with winter time. I loved this letter to "Winter" by my friend, Betsy.  Who else is ready for Spring?? (and flip flops!!)


For those of you who are “24” fans… my favorite line from Monday night’s episode: “With all due respect, Madam President, ask around.”  Loved it! (I’m thinking… does this President NOT know how many times Jack has saved other US Presidents, or the world for that matter???)

Sunday, February 8, 2009


While my power was out… I was given a few awards.  I am so grateful to all of you who’ve thought of me and I’m happy to pass them on to some of my favorite people in the blog world.

Lemonade Award


Two of my blog friends, Dorothy from "Counting My Blessings" and Lauren from "Walk With Me On This Journey Called Life", presented me with this Attitude and Gratitude award.  Thank you ladies, for thinking of little ole’ me!!

Here are the rules:

  1. Put the logo on your blog or post
  2. Nominate at least 10 blogs, which show great attitude and/or gratitude!
  3. Be sure to link to your nominees within your post
  4. Let them know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog
  5. Share the love and link to this post and to the person from whom you received your award.
  6. How did you get a great attitude and gratitude?

I am extremely grateful for God’s goodness in my life.  I am FAR from perfect and I feel I’m on a journey each and every day to try to live this life in a way that is pleasing to God.

I’m grateful for my family.  I’ve spent the past 25+ years loving them and appreciating all they are to me.  I cannot imagine what my life would’ve been like without them.

I’m grateful for my church family and for the blessing it is to not only worship with them, but to work for and alongside them.

I’m grateful for good health… and I’m grateful for the lessons I’ve learned during sickness and even the death of loved ones.  I’ve seen the reality of a life spent walking with God come to mean EVERYTHING to someone who has little time left.

I’m grateful for parents who love each other and have been an example to me throughout my life.

I’m thankful for the friends I’ve been given, some new friends and many long-time friends.  I still have strong friendships with some of my high school friends… and Jodi and I have lived within a few minutes of each other and shared everything together for almost 32 years.

Those are just a few of the things I’m grateful for.

Because many of you have already received this award, I will not be able to pass it on to 10 people, but I will pass it on to these people who I believe have an attitude of gratitude during difficult circumstances… they show how to make lemonade out of the lemons that life has tossed at them:

Dawn at "Dawn's Cottage Corner"

Leigh Ann at "Horton Happenings"

Kelly at "Kelly's Korner Blog"

Each of these bloggers has shown me how to respond in the face of adversity.  Their attitude is always that of gratitude and thanksgiving.  You deserve much more than a silly blog award!!

Life is Grand Award

Tim at "Fort Thompson" gave me this “Life is Grand Award” which I must list 5 reasons why my life is grand.  Tim is a new blog friend, and a genuinely nice guy with a great testimony.  Stop by and say “hi” to him.

Life is Grand 1. Life is grand because I know Whom I have believed.

2. Life is grand because I am a mom… to two wonderful boys who are now young adults.  It’s an amazing time of life.

3. Life is grand because David has put up with me for all these years!

4. Life is grand because Kayla has given me a taste of what it would’ve been like to have a daughter.

5.  Life is grand because I have five sisters who I grow to love more every day.  I have five brothers, too, but there’s just something about being sisters.

This one goes to:

My sweet Kayla at "Head over Heels"

Kyla at "Hello Cupcake"

Erica at "Morris Family"

Dorothy at "Counting My Blessings"

Friendship Award

And then Kayla at "Head over Heels" gave me this award.


"These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find friends and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships will be propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly- written text into the body of their award."

I give this award to:

Lauren at "Walk With Me On This Journey Called Life"

Betsy Maddox

Melissa at "Higher Call"

Becky at "Looking Through the Eyes of Luv"

Emilie at "Mimi's Memories"

Nikki at "The Swan Family"

* * * * * * * * * *

Thank you all for being a part of my life through this wild but wonderful blog world!  I hope y’all enjoy these awards as I have!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Day 10 without Power

Today is our tenth day without power.  I have to admit, I haven't minded near as much since we got the generator hooked up.  We've used it very frugally, but it has made life much more bearable.

BUT, this afternoon, our power was restored.  Thank you, thank you, thank you power crew!!  I can't tell you how often I've thought about the sacrifice they are making to help us.  Every time I see some of them on the side of the road, I stop and roll down my window and tell them that we appreciate them and all they're doing to help get us back to normal.

I told David last night that there has been some good come from "doing without"...

  • I'm a night owl.  I have a NEED for white noise when I go to bed.  Being without power, we've been in bed every night at 10PM and without any TV to help lull me to sleep.  And, I've slept well! I still can't get up before 6:50 in the morning, no matter what time I go to sleep.  Darn than internal clock.
  • I have missed my laptop, and I've taken it to Jodi's a couple of days to try to catch up on my blog reading.  But, I have spent the evenings with David and no laptop ... and no matter how you slice that ... that's a good thing.
  • I'll admit I'm a bit addicted to TV also.  And I've had very little time watching it in the last 10 days.  I may (and it's a BIG may) try to watch a little less TV and do a bit more reading (or cleaning house, or sleeping, or fill in the blank here).

Sometimes, we let technology get in the way of spending time with the people we care about.  I've enjoyed getting back to the basics a little while the power's been out.

But since I've got power now, I'm headed to the grocery store.  We've been eating out of coolers for the past 10 days!!