Reading is Dangerous

Because I have A) always loved to read and B) we hardly ever left the country to go into town, I had to make do with what was available. And what was available? Harlequin Romances.

Charlotte Lamb was my Charlotte Bronte.  My grandmother had, and probably still HAS, a 1000 romance novels in boxes on her back porch. The women were always innocent and the men were always arrogant. Every last one of them. No really, that’s how I learned what “arrogant” meant.

So then I read this today:

“In fact, some marriage therapists caution that women can become as dangerously unbalanced by these books’ entrancing but distorted messages as men can be by the distorted messages of pornography,” said best-selling author Shaunti Feldhahn, who studies the differences between men and women.”

Dangerously unbalanced? Hmmm, and my grand-mother and mother read THOUSANDS of these books while I was growing up? Interesting.

And then there’s THIS guy –

Well, him I give some grace. There are some books that are just that good.

Fun Summer Fun

Because it’s 118 degrees in Atlanta, I’m always looking for fun things for the MoonPie to do during the summer out of the heat. And because I’m cheap, I’m always looking for FREE things for the MoonPie to do during the summer. So how awesome is it that AMF is providing free bowling for kids? I ask you, who doesn’t LOVE bowling?

Zip, Zero, Zilch for Kids 16 and Under

  • At select AMF centers, two free games of bowling per day for kids 16 and under. (Shoe rental not included, but they’re worth paying for.)
  • Time: open until 8:00PM, 7 days a week.
  • Dates: Monday, May 30 (Memorial Day) through Monday, September 5 (Labor Day).
  • Parents go to to select a participating center (over 200 locations) and complete a simple registration form.
  • Free game coupons emailed every Sunday starting May 29 for the following week – it’s that simple!


  • Share the fun and save!
  • For families of registered kids, a one-time payment of $27.95 buys 2 games per day for 4 people all summer long – it’s the AMF Summer 17 Plus Pass. (Same dates and times as above.)
  • Less than $7 per person for 2 games everyday all summer.
  • Available online at .


  • Kids combo meals all summer for $2.99.
  • Pin decorating contest:
    • Most votes on Facebook in each of 4 age divisions wins a $2500 scholarship prize
    • AMF donates 25 cents per vote up to $10,000 to Susan G. Komen for the Cure®
  • Schedule of learn-to-bowl and fun competitive sessions.

It’s simple, you register .

So you may notice that I have a different look today. Don’t freak, I’ll probably get bored with it in a day, but my old blog doesn’t support any fun widgets, like the cool Swagbucks badge on the right. Swagbucks is a search engine, like Google, only you accumulate points when you use it, unlike Google that just monitors your every search and then sells your personal info to the Chinese. True Story.

You can redeem your points for fun stuff. I’ve been using it for about three days and I have 125 points. At 1200 or so, I get a $30.00 gift card. Click the link and see for yourself. Go ahead, CLICK IT!

Cha-ching! Like money in the bank.

Public Service Announcement

The other day I had to run to WalMart for a couple of things, and while I was there, I just happened to look over at the clothing section. I don’t normally BUY my clothes from there, not because they aren’t good enough for my high-falutin life of laying on the couch and watching Netflix, but because I don’t buy retail.

But then…I thought, maybe there was something special about that white shirt, and I should give it a try. Everyone needs a basic, white shirt, right?

I don’t know what it was, but it just spoke to me.

It turns out that it also lied to me and went back the next day, but a girl can dream.

The Final Two *Updated with spoiler

Finally, Kittens, we’ve reached the end. Only one more night of performing and then a new Idol will be crowned. I can hardly stand myself! Oh, NO! Lauren blew a vocal cord??? That sounds like something she might need for a singing competition. Oh well, I’m sure she’ll be fine. She has TWO of them for crying out loud.

Okay, here comes Corny McEyebrow singing his favorite song of the competition, “Gone.” Please take a moment and watch the band Montgomery Gentry do this song.

Need I say more? Maybe people who don’t know the original will like this. Maybe people are crazy. I think it’s karaoke. C.

Lauren, Lauren, Lauren. Why didn’t you sing the song from last week? The one JIMMY chose for you? Well, she sounds fine, looks confident and best of all – no creepy eyebrow lifts. She wins this one by default. B-

Wait, what? There’s no judges comments? Yes, sweet Lord, you’ve heard my prayers! A+

Check Yes or No is George Strait’s pick for Scotty. Zzzzzzz. Really? This guy is probably going to win American Idol? I mean, he seems like a good kid, has a nice family and all, but I his vocals are WEAK. C.

What did Carrie pick for Lauren? Oh, please be good. Maybe it was Memphis? I think she sounds great. I think we may have an upset on our hands. I think I should rock the tutu again. Yes, I said AGAIN. B.

Ugg, the judges finally get to speak. Randy says this is America’s fault, we’ve chosen these two. Randy likes both and gives them each a round. Jennifer agrees with Randy, although it took her FOREVER to say it, and Stephen gives them both to Lauren ’cause she’s prettier. I like it. It gives people on the fence a reason to just say, “what the heck” and pull the lever for the best looking. Hey, maybe I should run for office!

The last song is being introduced by Jimmy! This is an original song, and if Scotty wins, will be his first single. I Love You this Big is actually a decent song! Especially compared to the crap they usually put out for the final. I think he still sounds weak on the big notes, but his best performance of the night. Randy says In It To Win It for the millionth time this season, JLo says he’s a great story-teller and that it was amazing, and Stephen says he nailed it again. I had such high hopes for Stephen in the beginning. Can we have Joe Perry next year, instead?

Lauren is singing Like My Mother Does. Well, she wins the Corny Title award, lets see how it sounds. Okay, I might have gotten teary eyed. Sure, there was one spot where her voice cracked, but the woman is singing with only ONE VOCAL CORD! I thought it was beautiful and her mom fake-crying was perfect. Wow, Randy is on his feet. JLo says she may have just won with that song, Stephen says she’s the winner in his eyes and then offers his toughest line of the whole year – that Lauren wins it hands down. Wow! There may be hope for him yet.

So I think Lauren should win. But I think Scotty will win. What do YOU think?

*Dial Idol measures the busy signals during the voting time on Idle. They are usually right on who’s going to win. If you’re interested, the link is here.

Old Time Shopping

Sunday, after our carbo-loaded lunch, we stopped at Old Time Pottery. I was in the market for a new rug for our living room. Basically, it needed to be large, cute, and about 35.00 dollars. Kittens, you’ll find this hard to believe, but there was no such rug to be found. I was ready to change my criteria to big, ugly and as close to the thirties and we can get it, but JD hated everything we saw.


But while I was there, I did see some OTHER cute things. Because I almost never shop retail, I’m always amazed at the fun things I find.

Dog beds for 17.99. Aren’t they lovely? Since my dogs are perfectly fine with the old comforter laying under the desk, I passed. But I was tempted.

Look, fun bake-ware in a variety of shapes and sizes! All for 14.99. I buy mine, already with baked-in stains, at yard-sales for 1.99 each. Otherwise, I would have totally grabbed one or two of these.

Isn’t that umbrella cute? According to my husband, it doesn’t go with our backyard theme of “stained and rusty”, otherwise I would have purchased it on the spot! It was around 50 bucks with the stand.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this foray into Retail Land. Our regularly scheduled trip through Cast Off Yard-Sale Trash will resume soon.

Newton’s First Law

I’ve spent the past week proving “An object at rest tends to stay at rest.” Due to my extensive research, I would change the law to read – An object at rest tends to stay at rest and gain five pounds. It’s true. For the first time in a long time, I slowed my roll to the point I was going backwards. Here’s a few of the things I DIDN’T do –

Monday – No Mom’s in Touch prayer meeting.

Tuesday – Skipped prayer since I wasn’t leading and had the option of missing.

Wednesday – My services as a volunteer at Moon’s school are no longer needed.

Thursday – No praying with my woman’s group this week.

Friday – No plans, nowhere to be, AT ALL

Other than working, cause they expect something for that paycheck they send every two weeks, I did nothing. No cleaning house, no yard work, no volunteering outside the home. Life was GOOD. I may have napped excessively.

Saturday, Moon had a lesson show which meant I finally had to shower and find something to wear besides a ripped t-shirt and a pair of JD’s boxers. And an exciting show it was! The flat portion was first, and Moon was KILLING it – heels down, good posture – then DISASTER. Her pony, the ironically named Never Been Better, decided in the middle of a perfectly good canter to fake left, then right, sending Moon flying over the side where she landed on her butt with a big THUMP.

Wailing could be heard as far away as Chattanooga.

Luckily, this was not my first rodeo, and I stayed seated while her instructor dusted her off and put her right back on the horse. You’re not going to believe this, Kittens, but they gave her a last place on equitation. I know! Personally, I think they should give you MORE points for adding a little bit of drama to the day. Amiright?

Oh, well, the crowd gave her a nice applause as she climbed back in the saddle, where she went on to place second in the jumping portion. Stupid pony. I refused to give him an apple afterward, but Moon didn’t seem to hold a grudge, and since she wasn’t hurt, I stopped the glue factory jokes.

Sunday we went to church, my last day teaching Sunday School, since summer is upon us. No more getting up early on Sundays for the 9 o’clock service! Yay, me. I’m a giver.

After church, we went to Abhi’s birthday celebration, where we toasted his good health with an all-you-can-eat buffet of fried chicken, turkey and dressing, mashed potatoes, creamed corn, black-eyed peas, deviled eggs, peach cobbler, cheese cake, coconut cake and banana pudding. That’s not all that was on the buffet, that’s just what I ate. I’m not kidding.

Which is why I this week I’ll be proving  Newton’s Second Law – The greater the mass of an object trying to get off the couch, the greater amount of force needed to get the object of the couch. And they say physics is hard.

Moron Test Kitchen – Bow-tie Pasta

Yes, I’m bringing the MTK out of retirement. How have you managed to cook without it? So Pioneer Woman had a photo of some bow-tie pasta on her site and it looked so good I wanted to try it. BUT I wasn’t really in the mood to get all legalistic with a recipe. Why do they have to have so many steps?  I don’t have time to run to the store for asparagus and something called boursin cheese! So I thought I’d sort of wing it. You know how good I am at winging it! Spoiler alert – no one had to go to the emergency room, so it’s got a happy ending.

So, I read over the recipe that I was NOT following and decided that there was one portion I liked – oven roasted tomatoes.

First I halved some cherry tomatoes and lay them on a cookie sheet. Then I cut up tiny pieces (also know as “Julienne”) of basil and threw that on top. Then I sprinkled sugar and salt over them and drizzled some olive oil. The instructions said something about putting garlic with it but since I didn’t have any, I skipped that. Those pesky instructions said bake at 225 degrees for THREE and a HALF hours. Uh, these are tomatoes, not a whole cow! So I put them in at 250 and said “I’ll see you when I’m hungry.”

Then I watched Oprah. Did you know she’s going off the air? There might have been something about it on the news.

Okay, about TWO hours later I got hungry and started the pasta. It’s basic bow-tie pasta in boiling water, no need for a photo. Use your imagination. Then I took a skillet, threw in some butter, mushrooms, a handful of frozen spinach and sauteed it until it seemed cooked.

But then I started thinking maybe I needed garlic. So I opened a can of:

Notice that the camera focused on the bow-tie pasta in the background and NOT what’s in front of it. A food photography career may be out of the question.  So at this point, you’re probably thinking I dumped the whole can in and called it a day. But, no! I didn’t want a red sauce, I just wanted a bit of garlic. So I just spooned out a few of the juicy tomatoes. I’m pretty sure I saw that on Emeril one day.

Then I dumped the pasta in the skillet and mixed it all together.

You know, that doesn’t look half bad. But I had one more ingredient –

Feta cheese. So my first bite was just okay, but then JD came in and put some cracked pepper over everything, voila! Delish! IF the bite had a mushroom, pasta, tomato, and feta – YUMOLA. If not, still pretty good. Next time I’ll double up on the tomatoes, use real garlic, and put more spinach. But even JD gave it two thumbs up. Moron Test Grade – A!

Now I know why the Moron Test Kitchen has been failing – too restricting. I need to wing it more!

Here’s the original recipe if you’re interested.