Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Simple & Quick Brunch

I was looking through my recipe collection hoping to find something to make for Sunday brunch, when I came across this recipe; Ham and Cheese Crescent Roll-ups.

Like last week, before I give the recipe and picture what mine looked like, I will be listing any modifications, problems or tips I might have had.

The only problem I had was getting the slice of ham to fit so I could roll up the crescent properly. You will see in the picture how badly I did at making a proper looking crescent roll. I think the next time I make these I may, instead of folding the ham over as the recipe suggests, I will cut the ham into two triangles.

while baking the cheese does sort of leak out but I cant think of any way to prevent that and there was still plenty of cheese left in the crescent roll even with the bits that melted out.

1 can (8oz) Pillsbury refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
8 thin slices cooked ham
4 thin cheese slices, each cut into 4 strips

Heat oven to 350F. Separate dough into 8 triangles. Place 1 piece of ham on each triangle, place 2 strips of cheese down center of ham. Fold in edges of ham to match the shape of the dough triangle.

Roll up each crescent, ending at tip of triangle. Place with tips down on ungreased cookie sheet. (I still sprayed mine with some olive oil pam)

Bake 15-19 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheet. Serve warm.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Weekly Fall Photo

Hey guys,
I took this picture this afternoon. I can't remember when I usually do the fall pic but I noticed how red the one tree was and the other one is losing its leafs pretty quickly so I thought I better get a pic soon before all the leafs were gone off both those trees in the back.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

What if?

I usually try not to play the what if game. Because really, what exactly is the point? It won't change anything and you could what if any situation for a 100 years and not really ever know how life would have been if you chose the other road.

Sometimes though I can't help it. There is one event in my life that I regret. Yes just one, everything else, whether it was good or bad, I learned something, I became stronger, I survived. I try and look at the positive side of pretty much everything, usually I succeed, for the most part. People always say I did something totally selfless etc etc. I just smile, nod and say yep you are right, while inside I disagree completely.

Now that October 15th looms closer with each passing day, I cannot help but play the what if game.

June 1993, I had just turned 18 and graduated from high school. I was also 6 months pregnant. There were family things going on that weren't pleasant and I felt kinda like it was me against the world at that time. My aunt was wonderful and so were my grandparents. But I still felt alone.

I moved into my own apartment shortly after graduation and prepared to have and keep my baby. Not exactly sure how I was going to do that, but I have always been resourceful. None of my family knew about the pregnancy, I intentionally hid it from just about everyone except a couple of close friends.

When I was about 8 months pregnant a friend suggested I look into adoption, this was not something I seriously considered. It was my baby and I wanted to keep him but I told her I would call around and just get info. I called one agency that wanted to fly me to some office in New England. I was like umm yeah no that's okay. The next office I called was located in San Antonio, the town I lived in. They sent a taxi to pick me up and bring me to their office. I stressed that I just wanted info on how adoption worked. They were very friendly and said of course.

When I got there, they stuck me in a tiny room, and put some papers in front of me and told me to fill them out. I said again, I just want some info on how adoption works. The lady said oh we understand but go ahead and fill that stuff out just in case and then left the room. Well I arrived in a taxi cab that worked for their company so I felt trapped, if I refused to sign I figured they would refuse to get me back to my apartment. So I filled out several papers on my health history and family history etc.

When that was done they brought me into one of the case workers offices and handed me a big book. It was filled with pictures of couples looking to adopt along with letters the couples had written to prospective biological moms. They were filled with tales that made you want to cry. While they talked to me about adoption they had me look through this book. They said things like if you back out of an adoption you are responsible for paying back any and all legal fees, medical fees, fees incurred by the adoptive family etc etc.

I was 18, naive, scared, and alone. I thought omg I don't have that kind of money and I filled all the paperwork out earlier, are lawyers going over it now? How much will that cost me? Do I have to pay for an office visit here? Taxi ride? Probably not all logical, but I was overwhelmed. Then having to read all the stories about the people looking to adopt because they couldn't have kids of their own.

They had me pick three couples from the book, who they would have call me so I could ask questions and the people would be come real living breathing people, not just pics on a page. So I reluctantly picked 3 couples and then asked to go home.

Over the course of 3 days I talked to the different couples. I didn't want to give my baby away, but I felt like I didn't have a choice any longer. I couldn't afford to pay anyone anything. I kept thinking lawyer fees?? OMG those guys charge you out the wazoo. I can only imagine how much I am going to have to pay. The adoption agency called me after I had talked to each of the couples and wanted to know what I thought. They were all very nice people, I didn't want to hurt any of them, but I didn't want to give my baby away. I was told to really think about what a baby would mean to them.

Yes sitting back now thinking about 18 yr old me, I can see how I was so, umm not really stupid, uninformed? naive? innocent? inexperienced maybe, yeah. But I felt alone, I didn't feel I could go to anyone and say hey, help me, what do I do here? Maybe I was too shamed? scared or too proud to admit I needed help? I think most of it was just fear, fear that the rest of my family would completely turn their backs on me.

So I picked out one of the couples from the 3 I talked to. They only wanted the baby if it was a boy. If it was a girl they would back out. One sonogram later, where I was desperately hoping it was a girl (but I had known in my heart the whole pregnancy that it was a boy) I saw my baby boy for the first time and I sobbed on the table as I watched him on the screen.

The adoptive parents were there for the birth of my baby on Oct 15th and right away started making demands, shortly after which they were told not to return to the hospital by the Dr's and adoption agency. I had developed high blood pressure while I was pregnant and it would spike after the baby was born. Usually the spikes occurred while the adoptive mother was in the room. So for my health and theirs they were made to stay away.

I had my baby all to myself and I wanted to keep him desperately. A nurse tried to talk to me and tell me that I shouldn't give my baby to those people and that I could raise him on my own. I thought wow, I totally could. I picked up the phone and started to call my aunt. I got the first 3 numbers dialed and hung up. This happened a couple of times before I started thinking about lawyers, fees, taxi cab rides and how hurt these hopeful adoptive parents would be if I backed out.

On October 18th, I went to the adoption agency with my son, who I named Christopher, and sat in a tiny office with papers I was suppose to sign. They left me alone in the room with the baby and my boyfriend. I wanted to call my Aunt and say help. But I couldn't bring myself to do it. I signed the papers and then went into the room where the adoptive parents were waiting.

I had to hand the baby to my boyfriend because I couldn't physically hand Christopher to these people. I don't remember much except crying, I couldn't breathe, and my heart broke irreparably. There are no words I can use to describe the pain. I wanted to snatch him back and say I change my mind.

I spend the next several years just living. I smiled, I laughed, I lived, but I never really felt happiness deep inside. I just went through the motions and tried to put on a brave face, while inside I was empty. I still feel that emptiness to this day, maybe I always will?

But this is where the "what if?" game comes into play. What if I had not given my baby up? What would my life have been like? I would have had to tell my family and I would have found that some of them would have been supportive and helped me. I more than likely wouldn't have married who I married. Maybe I would have met a really nice man. Maybe I would have met another loser. I think I would have been a good mother, I think he would have been my joy.

My Grandma would have met and had a relationship with him. He would have loved her and she him. Same goes for my Grandpa. My Dad would have been a wonderful Grandpa. My aunt would have had fun too. I think I have a lot of guilt there as well, not only did I deny myself the chance to raise Christopher, I took him away from my family too. They never had a chance to see him once when he was born. He may come looking for me when he comes of age. But my Grandma will never get to meet him and he will never get to meet her.

In my what if game, it always comes out happy. There are tough times but we are all happy together. Maybe that would be true. But I have to keep reminding myself that unless I invent a time machine, it doesn't really matter how I think it would have been. We have to deal with reality, there is no other choice. Christopher will be 17 next month and only one more year until he comes of age and the adoption file is opened to him. Then, if he wants, he can come find me. That both excites and frightens me.

This is truly, my only regret in life.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Wha?? It's Friday?? Already??

Does anybody know what time it is?? Oh hehe yeah, the heading kind of gives it away. That is right!! It is FRIDAY and time for my fav blog of the week. Fuzzy Friday!! *waits for confetti and noisemakers.* Hmm okay, maybe work on that for next week. :P

Today I am featuring Cooter. Three years ago I decided Jake needed a companion. From the time I got Jake there has always been at least one other animal and when I moved in with Ed, Jake became an only "child". When we left Jake home alone I felt big time guilt because he was all alone. So I talked it over with Ed and we decided to get a puppy. Ed's friend Darien, had another friend whose dog had just had puppies. We put in our name but had to wait until October when the puppies were old enough to be weened. I wanted a girl dog, but the girls went fast and by the time we went to see them, there were only boys left and only two to choose from.

A yellow lab and a black lab, Ed fell immediately for the yellow lab and me for the black. We got the black. :P We went right to Walmart and got puppy supplies (food, collar, leash, crate, toys). Then we were invited to Tim Hortons for a quick coffee. So the new puppy was put into the crate, where he happily laid down to take a nap. When we came out of Tim Hortons, Darien and his daughter Sarah wanted to see the puppy. I opened the door of the truck and looked into the crate. I heard thump thump thump, Cooter's tail wagging happy to see me, I think that is when he claimed my heart, although there were times I doubted that during training lol. Ed and I went back and forth on names. We considered: Luke, Vadar, Chewbacca, Buddy and some other goofy ones. Then while we were driving back from Tim Hortons, Ed busts out with Cooter, as in the mechanic off the Dukes of Hazzard. It fit and we both loved it.

When Cooter was a puppy, he was adorably cute, but looks are deceiving, he was a hellion. He did not like to be held, cuddled, or pet. He was stubborn but extremely smart. There were times I was ready to give him back to the people we got him from. But never one to give up, I stuck to it and now he is a very loving 3 yr old dog, who loves to cuddle and make me laugh. Jake and Cooter after a rough start are wonderful brothers and the best of friends. Cooter still frustrates me at times but I cannot imagine my life without him.

The picture for today is Cooter with wide eyes watching a carrot, one of his fav treats. Have a great day everyone!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

How to tell winter is coming...

How do you tell winter is on it's way?

Ed went and got those from the storage shed, so that we are all ready for SNOW! :P

I wasn't going to post another blog today but when I went outside with the dogs this afternoon, I took a few pictures I wanted to share. Today, weather wise, is my favorite type of day. It's cold, a bit rainy and the sky is gray. I love a gray sky, most people love the sun, not me, I will gladly take a gray sky over sun anytime.

See? Isn't that beautiful?

And last, I want to try and take a fall picture of the same trees each week, so you can see the changes.

Something Tasty...

Today's recipe is: Country Breakfast Casserole.

I found this recipe at one of those little displays in the grocery store by the spices. It looked pretty tasty and being the collector of recipes that I am, I quickly grabbed it and put it in my purse. Anywho, before I give you the recipe I would like to briefly go over my experience while making this casserole.

1. The recipe calls for 6 slices of bread, I only used 2 and a half or 3.

2. It says to bake for 40 minutes, I did that and the middle was still uncooked, I had to add an additional 12 minutes, then for the most part all but the very middle was done. By that time my husband was whining that he was dying of hunger :P So I served up the finished parts and put the middle portion back in the oven for 5 more minutes.

3. The picture on the recipe card is not what mine came out looking like. I realize that it's rare for that to happen, but for some reason their cheese acted as a barrier to the egg and kept it all nicely layered. My egg took over and went past the cheese and into sausage territory. Not really a problem, I was just hoping it would look all neat and orderly like the picture.

4. My husband LOVED it from the first bite, he was making sounds of great satisfaction the whole time he was eating it. I thought it was okay, I wasn't really sure how I felt about the consistency of the eggs, but I think I would make this again.

Now on to the recipe and picture of my casserole.

1 roll (12-16 oz) sausage, regular or reduced fat
6 Bread slices
6 Eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup water
1/2 cup milk
1 package McCormick Sausage Country Gravy Mix
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons melted butter, optional

1. Crumble sausage into a large skillet; cook over medium heat until brown, stirring
occassionally. Remove sausage and drain on a paper towel. Spread sausage over bottom of a lightly greased 11 X 8 inch baking dish. Cut bread into 1-inch cubes. set aside

2. Whisk together eggs, water, milk and gravy mix. Sprinkle Cheese over sausage, then pour the egg mixture over cheese. Arrange bread cubes evenly over mixture. If desired, drizzle butter over bread. Sprinkle with Paprika

3. Bake at 325F, uncovered, 40 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Makes 8 servings

Friday, September 17, 2010

Fuzzy Friday!!!!

Today I choose just Jake. He is my favorite afterall, but shhh don't tell Cooter. Jake has been my baby since the day I brought him home. I had gone to the local pound with the intention of just seeing what kind of dogs they had, but no intention of coming home that day with one. I was also looking for a specific breed. Well that all went out the window when I saw baby Jake. All the other dogs were barking and jumping around making a fuss. Jake just simply stood up and put his front paws on the fence and looked at me with the sweetest big brown eyes.

I asked the lady to bring him out, she went to get him and then put him down on the pavement, where I sat down to pet him. He looked so sad, I asked what his story was, they had found him on the side of the road scared and wet, she said he was a terrier mix and was 4 months old. I said I will take him, so much for not picking a dog that day. In Texas, when you get a dog from the pound, before you can take them home they bring them to the vet to be neutered and have their shots done. I had to wait a couple of days but then I was told I could pick him up at the vet.

I raced to the vet office and they brought Jake out and placed him in my arms. From that moment on he was my baby. Jake will be 9 this December and he is still the same lovable, sweet, playful dog that he was when I first brought him home.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

New weekly post idea.

Okay so, I have Fuzzy Fridays, where every Friday I post a pic of my fuzzy babies. I also love recipes and would like to have a day dedicated to that. Ideally I would like to work it out so that whatever day I choose to post a recipe, I make the recipe that day so that I can include a pic of the finished product. This may be more challenging than it sounds. With winter fast approaching, I do not drive in the snowy winter months, I am scared to death of it. So I have to really really plan ahead with my grocery shopping trips since I only go when Ed is home and can drive us. Lame, yes I know, but *shrugs* that's just how it is.

Another decision to make is: Munchie Monday, Tasty Tuesday, or Tasty Thursday? Any suggestions? Opinions from my 2 readers lol?

Saturday, September 11, 2010


True Blood and Big Brother are having their last episodes of the season. I am not sure what I will watch now, probably Grey's Anatomy, I might even watch Survivor again, seeing as how Jimmy Johnson (the former coach of the Dallas Cowboys) will be a contestant.

Another ending is summer, yes I know, fall doesn't officially start until September 23rd. Tell that to our recent weather! Lots of rain with temperatures reaching a max of 64F and dipping into the 40's at night. We even had our first frost warning a few days ago. I can see the leafs starting to change colors and I cannot help but get excited. This is one of my favorite times of year.

I will take more pictures as fall progresses.

Those who know me well, know that I love looking at houses that are for sale. I was doing that today and found a house I just absolutely adored. Just for curiosities sake, I clicked the mortgage calculator to see what a monthly payment would look like on a $89,999 house. I was excited to see $498 a month. I thought to myself; wow we could handle that!! Well then I scrolled further down and saw approximated insurance cost and another fee. When they added that all up it was about $750 a month. Talk about a downer! We could probably swing that with both of us working. However, I would rather not go that high.

It was a good lesson to learn, I need to take insurance and other little fees into consideration when I am looking at houses, on top of which, I also have started to pay attention to what school district a house is in. We do want to have a child in the near future and if we are buying a house I would like to stay in it for a long while, so the school district is something we should be concerned with for the future.

With my new found knowledge, I think I will go look at more houses.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Without further ado....

I know you were waiting on pins & needles and here it is!!

Jake will soon be 9 years old and Cooter just turned 3 yrs old this month. When we first brought Cooter home, Jake didn't want much to do with him. It didn't take too long until they were the best of friends. Now they chase each other and wrestle outside, sometimes they even cuddle while taking a nap.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Yes, I'm a bad blogger...

Yes I am aware that I am a horrible blogger. I start off with an incredible enthusiam and say this time I am going to keep it up to date. Yeah that totally doesn't last long. So what the hell happens to my motivation between my first excited "Let me tell you about my life" post and the next post? I like keeping a blog, I always have something I could talk about but I for whatever reason, never make it to here to post.

I will try to be more... religious, no.. reliable, no... responsible, no... consistant!

So I finally finished my book and the editing process. I am in danger of over editing though, as I keep finding little things to change or work on. I need to just put my foot down and say enough! I have written my query letter (a one page letter consisting of a brief blurb about what your novel is about, what genre it fits in, who you are and what credentials you may or may not have.) and am currently working on the finishing touches of my synopsis (a 3-5 page document where you tell the basic plot of the book, this is commonly used by agents to sell your book to publishers.)

I may be prepping too much but I would rather have it ready now, than to get a response from an agent asking for more and me having to scramble to do something up really quick. I would rather take my time, do something that I am proud of, than to make something up last minute. I worked too long and hard on this book to half ass anything.

Tomorrow, I am going to start something new, I stole the idea from a friend, hopefully she doesn't mind. Tongue out.

Every Friday will be a small posting about Jake and Cooter, My dogs. Since neither of my dogs have names that start with the same letter as a day of the week, I have come up with Furry Fridays. So stay tuned for that, I know you will all be sitting on the edge of your seats, running to your computer and frantically clicking reload all day tomorrow until I post, but just be patient, I will try to do it as soon as I wake up and log in. :D

For today I will leave you with a picture of my new friend Hermie. A bobble head gnome I recently purchased at the Bargain Shop in the clearance aisle. Yes I know, I am weird, but hey I am secure in my overall weirdness.