A Long Walk Off A Short Text

May 30, 2012 § 10 Comments

Some time ago, I was perusing the (not often) useful and (always) entertaining headlines of Yahoo.com, when I came across a very timely article.  After much research, the powers that be have discovered that people who text while they walk are prone to injury!  Some people have walked into fountains, traffic, and even into a lake (fell right off a pier!), all due to this phenomenon of texting-while-walking.  In fact, a study on people texting-while-walking “found that participants consistently veered away from walking a straight path by a 60 percent deviation.”  And if you’re drunk-texting-while-walking, the deviation (and misspellings) increase exponentially!  There is quite the potential for dangerous accidents to occur. 

With that new and horrifying knowledge in mind, this texts-while-walking person (me, yes, I do it) took it upon herself to wonder:

What would have happened if Frodo had been texting-while-walking-and-walking-and-walking-and-walking to the fiery chasm of Mount Doom!??     

Then I began to wonder:

What if Neville had been texting-while-walking his heroic way through the battle-filled halls of Hogwarts!??

Another terrifying thought occurred to me:

What if Edward had been texting-while-gliding-like-a-glistening-stone-cold-statue-of-ivory-on-wheels as he lured Bella deep into the towering, ancient forests of Washington!??

To sum it all up: Put down your phones, kids, and PAY ATTENTION. You never know when you’ll miss a step and send yourself (and your brand new iPhone) sprawling into the street in front of an oncoming car whose driver isn’t paying attention because they are texting-while-driving.

But that’s a study for another post…

New Office Love

May 24, 2012 § 2 Comments

Reasons I Love My New Office:

#1.  I HAVE WINDOWS!!!!!!  And a soul again!!!   Spending at least 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, for the past (almost) 3 years in a windowless room sucked the soul right out of me.  My state of mind went something like this:

 

 

 

 

 

 

#2.  Because of my windows, I can have plants in my office!!

#3.  Our own little kitchen with our own personal fridge.  Not shared with 10 other offices. 

#4.  I do not have to park in the parking garage and walk to my office through the hedonistic streets of Wilkes-Barre.  Instead, I park in the back, in a private lot.  Then I step out of my car, take five to eight strides (depending on how high my stilettos are), walk up 4 steps, and open my door.  30 seconds.  Who knew it could take such a short amount of time to get to your office??

#5.  There is definitely room on the side of the building for a grill and some lawn chairs.

#6.  There is a black lamp post on the sidewalk right outside my door, perfectly framed in the square of the window.  It reminds me of the Chronicles of Narnia every time I look at it.

Baby Steps

May 22, 2012 § 4 Comments

It really frustrates me when I don’t have time to blog.  It just seems lately like I have had something going on every single day and by the time I sit down in front of my laptop, all my energy is gone.  But you all know what it’s like to be busybusybusy, so enough whining from me.  Here’s a list (because that’s simple) of what has happened in my life lately!

1. I went to Michigan!!!  You wouldn’t have time to blog either if you were playing with the CUTEST nephew in the world for four straight days.  Cathy and I went out there to visit our sister, Juliana, who lives with her husband Daniel, son Leo, and soon-to-be-arriving, as yet unnamed, daughter.  While out there, we attended Tara and Joe’s wedding with Leo as our date.  Jul was the matron of honor in the wedding, and Daniel was a groomsman, so Cathy and I got to watch Leo all day long.  He can say “Ahhh Wo” for Aunt Rose, and “Ahhh Keeeee” for Aunt Kitty (Cathy’s nickname).  Okay, sorry, but if you understood how cute he was, you’d want to know these details.

2.  My company moved our office this past Saturday.  We did not hire movers because we are a small 6 person company (5 guys and me, it sounds like a sitcom).  Basically, we packed everything up and toted it three blocks north.  There were some lessons learned throughout the whole process, indeed there were.  Things such as: Just because there are only 6 people in your company doesn’t mean you don’t have a lot of stuff.  You do.  You definitely have a lot of stuff.  Another lesson: IT guys are total hoarders.  Also, giant moving trucks, narrow streets, and large crowds of people at the Fine Arts Fiesta DON’T MIX.  And, never underestimate the ingenuity of guys who NEED to get that desk through that too-narrow doorway.  More things to never underestimate: the amount of innuendoes your (all-male) coworkers can make when you (a female) are trying to direct the movement & placement of large objects; the amount of beer your coworkers can consume as they move while still being completely able to assemble desks and wire computers; the amount guys sweat.  Gross.

3.  I got back into my garden!  Friday was a beautiful evening, so I threw on some grubby pants and a t-shirt, and weeded out my strawberry patch.  I have 15 plants, and I think 11 of them are large enough to bear fruit.  Now the sun just needs to keep shining!  I don’t think I will grow anything else this year.  I barely have enough time to devote to my strawberries and I hate that feeling of neglecting your plants.  My mom wants to plant some stuff, so I will help her with that if I itch to do any other gardening.  Speaking of plants, my new office has windows (!!!!!) so I am going to get a few plants for the room.  It’s fun to decorate a new space.  Now I just need to see if I can sneak my Sidney Crosby Fathead in without the guys noticing.  😉

4.  The guys won their softball game last night to go to a 1-2 record for the season.  I suspect this will be their best season yet.

5.  I tried to paint my nails for the wedding in MI and remembered why I hate nail polish. 

6.  I discovered I really like this band: A Silent Film.  If you like alt rock, check them out!

Guest Post: Feeding Frenzy

May 14, 2012 § Leave a comment

If you have never met Rose’s rats, they’re quite fat. You will understand why in my next sentence. We feed them salad, some ham, pellets, peanuts, cheese, American cheese, just about everything a rat can have. They get VERY excited every day for lunch. At 12:30 every afternoon, I feed them their lunch. I go into the room, and they’re all curled up in their hammock, but then when they hear me, they scurry out and look at me expectantly.

I pull out the drawer where the pellets are kept and the wrapper of the pellet bag makes a crackling noise and they go CRAZY!!!!! If you look up Bob is biting the cage bars, Will is going crazy looking out the cage bars, Merv is hanging on to the cage bars and he’s sticking his one little arm out (Rose will have to get a picture of that and post it) and Freddy just scurries to a spot where he can get food.

Now, rats have very poor eyesight, so when you feed them a pellet they get it stuck between the bars. Sometimes if you push the pellet, they get it, but other times the pellet falls… and they mistake your finger for food.  Anyway, it is a frenzy! Also because Merv is a slow eater, we take him out and let him eat on the bed, but sometimes when I open the cage door while Freddy and Merv are on it, Merv sees my hand and gets so excited he jumps, but his back feet stay attached to the last bar of the cage door and he swings to the bottom of the cage door, like a monkey…

Then he falls about two and half feet and lands perfectly fine. I give them their pellets and they scurry away and I go do whatever, then I come back seven minutes later and they’re all done.

The Journey Begins

May 9, 2012 § 2 Comments

Cathy and I are leaving for Michigan at 5:30 today!  It should take just about nine hours to drive there.  I will be tweeting more than posting during the trip, so if you want to see what I’m up to, follow me @rosebabetski!  I will take plenty of pictures as well.  Lots of Leo walking (!!) around the house.  Lots of Joe and Tara’s wedding.  Lots of Jul.  MAYBE some of Daniel.  Ha!  

I can’t wait to attend the wedding.  Tara is from the same country as Sidney Crosby and that makes her AWESOME in my mind!!  Also, she puts up with my sister.  Frequently.

I hope Cathy is able to handle the drive out there.  She is a novice behind the wheel, and driving in a (completely) straight line for (at least) six hours through the (utter) barrenness of Western PA and Ohio can often be tricky.

  Seriously this is what it looks like to drive to Michigan:

Tequila Makes My Pie Taste Good

May 5, 2012 § 4 Comments

It’s because the pie has tequila in it.  Not because you need to be drunk before it tastes good.  Come on, guys.

The other day, I decided to bake a margarita pie.  Browsing the internet had landed me upon a webpage of random cream pies, and I found this recipe.  It was a happy coincidence because I had just been thinking about tequila and margaritas.  Danny’s softball league has started their season and during the humid summer nights, I like to sip a margarita while watching him play.  And keeping score.  And collecting the money.  But that’s a different post.

This recipe called for a pretzel crumb crust, but I don’t really like crumb crusts.  I have stated before that I love thicker pie crusts, so I decided to make my own and see how it went.  Here is the recipe I used for the cream filling:

  • Zest of 1 lime
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
  • One 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated)
  • 2 Tbsp gold tequila
  • 2 Tbsp Triple Sec
  • 1-1/2 cups whipped heavy cream, divided use
  • 6 drops green food coloring (optional)
  • 4 very thin lime slices cut in half, for garnish

A few notes: I didn’t use fresh lime juice, I used the bottled stuff.  (If this were Twitter, I’d hashtag that sentence #lazy.)   Also, don’t be tempted to put in more alcohol than it calls for.  It’s plenty.  And finally, I used like 6 drops of food coloring because Genevieve and I wanted the pie to be really green!  She helped me bake these pies and she did a rgeat job with everything!

Here is the crust recipe I use every time I bake:

  • 2 ½ cups all purpose or pastry flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon sugar (for a fruit pie. Omit sugar for a savory pie.)
  • ¾ cup cold butter, cut into chunks
  • ¼ cup cold water

This recipe is a loose version of a very good pie crust recipe that my mother found on the Pioneer Woman site.  I just adjusted it to my liking because I am random like that.  It makes two regular size crusts.  Notes about this: I always end up using more water than 1/4 cup.  I know you’re not supposed to, because the crust won’t be as flaky, and etc etc etc… but I do anyway because I like thick crust.     

I made the crusts first. 

Step 1: Butter Chunks are added to the flour and salt.  I didn’t put any sugar in this crust.

Step 2:  Used the pastry cutter to achieve my blended butter & flour

Step 3: Mixing in the water and kneading the dough.  I used more water than the recipe called for.  Not a lot more, but some.  I don’t mind if my crust is not flaky.  Again, I like thicker crusts and people always compliment me on my crusts so I just stick with what works!  That’s not bragging, right?  Not if your own dear mother says you bake better pies than her.

Step 4:  Rolling out the pie crusts.  I actually made videos of me rolling out pie crusts but I am embarrassed to post them.  They aren’t very professional.  I don’t mean I got drunk and danced on the table while rolling the crusts (ew?) just that I stammered a lot and looked hesitant and also my MOTHER walked in halfway through and started talking!  None of these things were Genevieve’s fault; she was my video recorder and she did a great job focusing on the crusts and my techniques.  Next time I make pies, I will definitely be able to make better videos and I will post them.  Here is one crust, ready for baking!  I baked them at 375 for 10-12 minutes. 

Step 5:  While the two crusts were baking, Genevieve and I stirred together the lime zest, lime juice, condensed milk, tequila, and Triple Sec. 

Step 6: By the time that was done, the two crusts were baked!  Before I baked them, I didn’t weigh them down with rice or beans or anything, I just put a bunch of little slits on the sides and bottom.  They turned out to be a delicious golden-brown color and with very few air bubbles!

 

Step 7:  Then I whipped the heavy cream until the soft peaks formed.

Step 8:  I set half a cup of the whipped cream to the side, then put the few drops of green food coloring in the lime juice mix and swirled it around to make it a pretty green, margarita color!

Step 9:  Then I folded the 1 cup of whipped cream into the green mix until it was all blended and fluffy. 

Step 10:  I spooned the mixture into the two pie crusts and smoothed it out!  Doesn’t it look delicious?  But wait, it gets better!

Step 11:  I got that 1/2 cup of white whipped cream I had set to the side and smoothed it out over the top to make a pretty white finish!

Step 12:  Gen and I decorated it with some lime slices.  Look, the margarita pie is happy to see you!  Then we popped the two pies into the freezer for an hour, and then into the fridge. 

The pie tasted so good.  It was a lot like a key lime pie, only with that hint of tequila.  Delicious!!!  I highly recommend it.  I know it looks like a lot of time and effort because of all the pictures and steps, but these pies took me all of an hour to make.  That’s not long at all.  Enjoy!!!

Busy Busy May

May 2, 2012 § Leave a comment

I can’t believe it’s May!  Several exciting events are happening in May and I can’t wait for the month to unfold.  First up is the continuation of playoff hockey.  The Blues (second favorite NHL team) lost again to the Kings, which means they’re down 0-2 in the series.  I want them to win and advance to the Conf. finals because I really don’t care about any of the other teams still in it, at all.  Hockey playoffs is the only time of the year when I wish I had a tv that received channels.  I hate missing good games!  The WBS Penguins lost the first game of their second round series against St. John’s last night.  My mother has now decided to forget about Western Canada and focus on vacationing in St. John’s one day.  I will admit, all the pictures she’s found online have been gorgeous.  I guess if you have the weird kind of parents that I do, the ones who want to go on vacation somewhere cold and windy (preferably during hurricane season), and who watch the Weather Channel (while their children are being attacked by wild animals), and who (many years ago) decided (on a whim) to drive out to Niagara Falls through the night with 5 small children in a crowded old station wagon, you take what you can get when it comes to vacations.  And St. John’s, Newfoundland, does have some sweeping vistas. 

Also up in May:

  • My cousin Erica’s baby shower is this Saturday!  She and her husband Bryan are expecting their first little baby in July. 
  • Cathy and I are visiting our sister Juliana, her husband Daniel, and baby Leo out in Michigan next week!  Juliana is due (with a baby girl!) right around the same time as Erica.  I love babies.
  • Our office is moving on the 3rd weekend of May.  This should be interesting.  I’ve never participated in an office move before.  We are only moving 3 blocks away from our current office, but I’m excited to have our own building finally.  No more sharing bathrooms and kitchens with 10 other offices!  I’m glad we are staying near Public Square, though.  I really enjoy being able to walk to the Farmer’s Market in the summer time and also being close to so many different lunch places.  If you work or live in WB, the new sushi place, Akeno, that just opened on S. Main Street is very good.  I’ve had rolls from there several times and they were all delicious.  They have a great lunch special too!
  • My garden will finally be tillable.  I cannot WAIT to get back into my garden.  It’s been so chilly and rainy here lately, I haven’t gone out and done anything yet.  I’m not worried though.  My hardy strawberry plants will pop back up just fine, and I have to decide what else I want to grow this year.  Any suggestions?  

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