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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Home Sweet Home from Vacation

The Hubby, The Younger One and I took a vacation to Garden City South Carolina over the Memorial Weekend.  Part of our trip revolved around a wedding taking place on Memorial Day.  While I had a wonderful time going to Brookgreen Gardens,



Georgetown SC,




and of course the Beach,



 I made a sad realization while I was away.

I love my bed.  I love it so much that for the past 7 nights I have barely slept a wink and as soon as I got home and got some sort of order in place I immediately went to lay on my bed and give thanks for the wonder of it comfy softness.  How will this realization affect future vacations?  Not every place I desire to go is a day trip away from Atlanta.... I will have to find a solution to the Beds of Rock fear that has materialized during this trip.

For now, however, my bed is calling to me and I intend to enjoy this last night of sleep as I return to cubical world in the morning.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Grand Old Trees

I just love old cemeteries.  I especially like old cemeteries of the Coastal South East.  Today we ran across a lovely example in Georgetown South Carolina.



The Hubby and I stopped to take a few photos - ok in my case over 130 photos.   I used my little digital camera for most of the pictures however, I recently picked up a Cannon EOS Rebel (film) at a yard sale as I want to learn how to take "real" pictures.  

I was in awe of the trees in this cemetery - there were several huge southern oak trees. 

 I have included several photos of this tree at different angles to show just how expansive it is. 
As I walked around it I was really quite surprised it hadn't fallen over - check out the next few pictures to see what I mean. 





This Tree was just lovely 
I could imagine him as an ENT from Lord of the Rings

   

The following pictures are from the roll of film I shot playing with the lens and manually focusing - trying to take "real" pictures  :)




With any luck I should have a few pictures of Brookgreen Gardens in the near future. 

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Blogger Resources ~ Xbox Kinect Bundle Giveaway *FREE Event ~ sign-ups now open*

Blogger Resources ~ Xbox Kinect Bundle Giveaway *FREE Event ~ sign-ups now open* 




The Techy Summer Xbox Kinect Bundle Event is a free blogger event. You will receive one link at no cost as a thank you for participating in this event.
Prize: Xbox 360 4GB Kinect Bundle includes the Xbox 360 console, Kinect Sensor and Kinect Adventures Game (retail value $299)
Open to: Worldwide (note – if the winner is outside of the US are responsible for any duties, taxes,etc that is not covered by basic shipping cost).
The event dates: July 8 at 12:01 am to July 22 11:59pm
Cost: Free (facebook link)
  • Additional links are available for $3 each (see signup form for details)
  • Co-host/Sponsor Slot is open (see signup form for details)
What is required to join? 
  • Post about the event with the button above linking back to this post. Simply copy and paste the information (below) along with the button.
Techy Tribe and Mom to Bed by 8 is proud to present the Techy Summer Xbox Kinect Bundle Event from July 8 to July 22. This is a free blogger event and accepting signups now.
Join the Techy Summer Xbox Kinect Bundle Giveaway event today, grow your readership and offer a gamers must have giveaway!
  • If you do not wish to post the announcement, send the $5 via paypal to goodnightmommyboutique@gmail.com with your email address and Techy Summer Xbox Event in subject line or notes portion of the form.
  • Once you have posted your announcement or sent the paypal payment, fill out this form.
  • You will receive an email from me with 7 days, confirming your participation. If you do not, please email me at teri@momtobedby8.com and I will check into it for you.
  • Then around July 5th you will receive another email from me with the html code for publishing the giveaway.  Note it is required that you publish the giveaway html in full to be included in this event. I will verify links on July 22st around 8am central and if you have not done so, your link on the rafflecopter will be removed. This keeps this event fair for all who joins.
Referral prize: The two bloggers who refer the most people will receive a $10 Amazon e-code for your effort. Just make sure to add on your announcement that they should add your blog name or url in the referred by section on the signup form. This bonus will be paid the on June 2nd after your referral links have been verified.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Sucked into the Kindle Fire Vortex

So I have disappeared into my Kindle for a bit reading - The Wretched of Muirwood by Jeff Wheeler


and then, The Scourge of Muirwood



and finally, The Blight of Muirwood


I got the first one free during a promotion period and paid a few dollars for the other two but I haven't been able to put them down once I get started.

I definitely recommend checking them out.


Goodreads

Monday, May 7, 2012

Pork and Beets Recipe

Last week I signed up for a Buzz Campaign.

Pork Be Inspired



Yep - Pork and Beets is what I made and I am looking for a bit of recipe help.

So I made pork loin last weekend (before I knew of this campaign) and I had a chunk I still needed to use up.  Chunk equaling about a pound or two of meat.  I also had 3 red beets I purchased simply to experiment with since I had never cooked beets.  Mix this with two glasses of Kitchen Sink - Moscato and a boring Sunday afternoon and you get Pork and Beets.

The pork was cooked in my slow cooker with onions, a bottle of hard cider, salt, pepper and roughly two cups of water.  Note - I have an 8qt slow cooker, so it can handle a larger cut.

I already made two dinners with this pork loin,
1) pork and kale which was quite yummy but remains "un-blog-umented" - I will make again in the future, and
2) simply pork with mash potatoes and veggies.

Being I was bored and drinking wine a cooking adventure was bound to happen.  I had read a few recipes on beets, which included various boiling and peeling etc.  which I decided to simplify.  I trimmed the ends and peeled them with my veggie peeler and cut them in to thin strips - not quite julienne but small.  I put them in a pan with the juice and onions from the pork and let them simmer until soft. Then I shredded up the pork and added that to the beets.  Salt and Pepper.  Voila it was complete.  Now the issue I have is that while it is good, I had this confirmed by the Hubby, who after expressing initial skepticism liked it, but we both agree it could use something to give it that extra oomph..



Beets are naturally sweet so I am thinking I need to add something from the spicy/tangy pallet.  I am torn between vinegar based or chili based.  I want to keep this dish healthy and flavorful.

I look forward to receiving your input.

FYI - with the deep red color I am sure it could be tweaked for a Scary Halloween Meal.



Sunday, May 6, 2012

A Day at the Races - NASCAR BABY

Once a year I have the opportunity to attend a NASCAR race.  I choose the Saturday race which is comparable to going to Mardi Gras the week before Fat Tuesday.  It is a bit calmer for the uninitiated.   To be honest I am not a fan and I could not link a driver and his car number if my life depended on it, however, I love the people watching.

It is like the blending of two movies Talladega Nights - The Ballad of Ricky Bobby,






and CARS.








So for those like me who have limited experience with auto racing here is what you need to know.
1)  The basics
     a) Walking Shoes (you will do a lot of walking)
     b) Camera
     c) Lots and lots of Water
     d) Ear Plugs
     e) Sun Screen

2)  Arrive early so you can walk through the vendor section - this is where you get free stuff and some of the best People watching occurs.  Be prepared for various costumes (some planned and some not) and lots of exposed tattoos.

The race part if fun too.  My little Samsung camera did a fine job of recording the excitement of the crowd as the cars go flying by..

video



Soft foam earplugs are a staple and one I would highly recommend cause it is LOUD and much like this scene from Ricky Bobby with Molly Shannon there is a whole lot of shaken going on.




There was a group of us that went to the Saturday race and it was a lot of fun.  The gentleman who sat next to me was very nice and helpful as he explained race protocol between the roaring of the cars.  I definitely recommend it as something to try at least once.

Here are a few random pictures from the race.
Start of the Race




Now it is time for me to get back to the regularly scheduled program, Laundry is waiting.

Have a great weekend.


Friday, May 4, 2012

Before you become a Cubical Zombie - For the Commencement Class of 2012

So here is another item I found on Yahoo a few days ago that I thought I would share.  I have one child who has just finished her college freshmen year and another who will be a HS senior next year.  If think the message is appropriate for them as well.

While I am at it I want to take a moment and say how very proud I am of both of them.  You both amaze me every single day.  I am in awe of your maturity and vision.  My wish is that you follow your bliss and may all your dreams come true.  (Now read Item 7 below.)






The following is - Adapted from "10½ Things No Commencement Speaker Has Ever Said," by Charles Wheelan. To be published May 7 by W.W. Norton & Co.

Class of 2012,

I became sick of commencement speeches at about your age. My first job out of college was writing speeches for the governor of Maine. Every spring, I would offer extraordinary tidbits of wisdom to 22-year-olds—which was quite a feat given that I was 23 at the time. In the decades since, I've spent most of my career teaching economics and public policy. In particular, I've studied happiness and well-being, about which we now know a great deal. And I've found that the saccharine and over-optimistic words of the typical commencement address hold few of the lessons young people really need to hear about what lies ahead. Here, then, is what I wish someone had told the Class of 1988:

1. Your time in fraternity basements was well spent. The same goes for the time you spent playing intramural sports, working on the school newspaper or just hanging with friends. Research tells us that one of the most important causal factors associated with happiness and well-being is your meaningful connections with other human beings. Look around today. Certainly one benchmark of your postgraduation success should be how many of these people are still your close friends in 10 or 20 years.

2. Some of your worst days lie ahead. Graduation is a happy day. But my job is to tell you that if you are going to do anything worthwhile, you will face periods of grinding self-doubt and failure. Be prepared to work through them. I'll spare you my personal details, other than to say that one year after college graduation I had no job, less than $500 in assets, and I was living with an elderly retired couple. The only difference between when I graduated and today is that now no one can afford to retire.

3. Don't make the world worse. I know that I'm supposed to tell you to aspire to great things. But I'm going to lower the bar here: Just don't use your prodigious talents to mess things up. Too many smart people are doing that already. And if you really want to cause social mayhem, it helps to have an Ivy League degree. You are smart and motivated and creative. Everyone will tell you that you can change the world. They are right, but remember that "changing the world" also can include things like skirting financial regulations and selling unhealthy foods to increasingly obese children. I am not asking you to cure cancer. I am just asking you not to spread it.

4. Marry someone smarter than you are. When I was getting a Ph.D., my wife Leah had a steady income. When she wanted to start a software company, I had a job with health benefits. (To clarify, having a "spouse with benefits" is different from having a "friend with benefits.") You will do better in life if you have a second economic oar in the water. I also want to alert you to the fact that commencement is like shooting smart fish in a barrel. The Phi Beta Kappa members will have pink-and-blue ribbons on their gowns. The summa cum laude graduates have their names printed in the program. Seize the opportunity!

5. Help stop the Little League arms race. Kids' sports are becoming ridiculously structured and competitive. What happened to playing baseball because it's fun? We are systematically creating races out of things that ought to be a journey. We know that success isn't about simply running faster than everyone else in some predetermined direction. Yet the message we are sending from birth is that if you don't make the traveling soccer team or get into the "right" school, then you will somehow finish life with fewer points than everyone else. That's not right. You'll never read the following obituary: "Bob Smith died yesterday at the age of 74. He finished life in 186th place."

6. Read obituaries. They are just like biographies, only shorter. They remind us that interesting, successful people rarely lead orderly, linear lives.

7. Your parents don't want what is best for you. They want what is good for you, which isn't always the same thing. There is a natural instinct to protect our children from risk and discomfort, and therefore to urge safe choices. Theodore Roosevelt—soldier, explorer, president—once remarked, "It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed." Great quote, but I am willing to bet that Teddy's mother wanted him to be a doctor or a lawyer.

8. Don't model your life after a circus animal. Performing animals do tricks because their trainers throw them peanuts or small fish for doing so. You should aspire to do better. You will be a friend, a parent, a coach, an employee—and so on. But only in your job will you be explicitly evaluated and rewarded for your performance. Don't let your life decisions be distorted by the fact that your boss is the only one tossing you peanuts. If you leave a work task undone in order to meet a friend for dinner, then you are "shirking" your work. But it's also true that if you cancel dinner to finish your work, then you are shirking your friendship. That's just not how we usually think of it.

9. It's all borrowed time. You shouldn't take anything for granted, not even tomorrow. I offer you the "hit by a bus" rule. Would I regret spending my life this way if I were to get hit by a bus next week or next year? And the important corollary: Does this path lead to a life I will be happy with and proud of in 10 or 20 years if I don't get hit by a bus.

10. Don't try to be great. Being great involves luck and other circumstances beyond your control. The less you think about being great, the more likely it is to happen. And if it doesn't, there is absolutely nothing wrong with being solid.

Good luck and congratulations.

-- Adapted from "10½ Things No Commencement Speaker Has Ever Said," by Charles Wheelan. To be published May 7 by W.W. Norton & Co.