Sunday, December 02, 2012

Red Velvet Cake & Frosting

The BEST Red Velvet Cake Recipe. Easy. Moist. Homemade
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
This is the best red velvet cake I’ve ever had! Super moist with the perfect, classic red velvet taste. Everybody that I make this for loves it!! Hopefully you will too!
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 Tablespoon of unsweetened, cocoa powder
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1-2 oz. red food coloring
  • 1 teaspoon of white distilled vinegar
  • ½ cup of prepared plain hot coffee (don’t skip this ingredient)
  1. Preheat oven to 325.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cocoa powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the sugar and vegetable oil.
  4. Mix in the eggs, buttermilk, vanilla and red food coloring until combined.
  5. Stir in the coffee and white vinegar.
  6. Combine the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients a little at time, mixing after each addition, just until combined.
  7. Generously grease and flour two round cake pans with crisco and flour.
  8. Pour the batter evenly into each pan.
  9. Bake in the middle rack for 30-40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Do not over bake as cake will continue to cook as it cools.
  10. Let cool on a cooling rack until the pan are warm to the touch.
  11. Slide a knife or offset spatula around the inside of the pans to loosen the cake from the pan.
  12. Remove the cakes from the pan and let them cool.
  13. Frost the cake with cream cheese frosting when the cakes have cooled completely.

Easy, Creamy, Fluffy Homemade Cream Cheese Frosting
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: Frost 3 layer cake
  • 2 (8 oz) packs cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ cup milk, made need more
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  1. Add softened cream cheese into large bowl.
  2. Pour in milk, butter and vanilla extract.
  3. Mix until well combined.
  4. Pour in half of the powdered sugar.
  5. Mix until combined.
  6. Add the remaining powdered sugar.
  7. Mix until smooth and fluffy.
  8. Use a spatula to scrape down the side of the bowl if needed.

This recipe came from Divas Can Cook which is
Old School Cooking For The Modern Woman.
Make sure you go check out the website for more great recipes.

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Southern Red Velvet Buttermilk Poundcake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Hands on time: 25 minutes  Total time: 2 hours and 25 minutes  Serves: 16


    1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened to room temperature
    3 cups granulated sugar
    6 eggs
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    1 (1-ounce) bottle or 2 tablespoons red food coloring
    3 cups cake flour
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1 tablespoon cocoa
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1 tablespoon cider vinegar
    1 cup buttermilk
    Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe below)

    For Cream Cheese Frosting:

    1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, slightly soft
    8 ounces cream cheese
    1 (1-pound) box confectioners’ sugar
    1 teaspoon vanilla


Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan; set aside.
In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla and food coloring. In another large bowl, combine the flour, salt and cocoa. Dissolve the baking soda in the vinegar and add to the buttermilk. Alternate stirring in the flour and buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for about 1 hour, 20 minutes or until cake is done and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool in pan about 10 minutes. Remove cake from pan to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

For Cream Cheese Frosting:

In a mixer using a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and cream cheese. Add the sugar and vanilla and cream until light and fluffy.


Per serving: 569 calories (percent of calories from fat, 38), 6 grams protein, 83 grams carbohydrates, trace fiber, 24 grams fat (15 grams saturated), 142 milligrams cholesterol, 373 milligrams sodium.

Lemon Buttercream Frosting

Perfect topping for a Southern Buttermilk Pound Cake.....

Lemon Buttercream
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp finely grated lemon zest (my addition)
In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and water. Bring to the boil over a medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Continue to boil without stirring, occasionally washing down the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush until the syrup reaches the soft-ball stage, 238 (I take it off the heat at 235) degrees F on a candy thermometer. Immediately remove from the heat.
In a large mixer bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the eggs briefly. Slowly add the hot syrup in a thin stream, pouring it down the sides of the bowl; be careful to avoid hitting the beaters or the syrup may splatter. When all the syrup has been added, raise the speed to medium-high and beat until the mixture is very fluffy and cooled to body temperature. This can take 15-20 minutes.
Reduce the mixer speed to medium-low and gradually add the softened butter 2 to 3 tablespoons at a time, beating well between additions. As you’re adding the last few tablespoons of butter, the frosting will appear to break, then suddenly come together like whipped butter.
Beat in the lemon juice and zest (if using), and the frosting is ready to use.

Lemony Christmas Shortbread Cookies

2/3 cup (150g) unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon (55g) icing sugar, sifted
¼ cup (60ml) lemon juice
finely grated zest of 2 lemons
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ¾ cups + 1 tablespoon (255g) all purpose flour, sifted
2 tablespoons corn starch, sifted
2/3 cup (94g) icing sugar, extra, sifted

Place the butter and icing sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat for 8 minutes or until pale and creamy. Add the lemon juice, zest and vanilla and beat until combined. Add the flour and corn starch and beat just until a smooth dough forms. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and divide in half. Place each half onto a large piece of baking paper form into a 20cm (8in) long log. Wrap well in the paper and refrigerate for 1 ½ hours or until firm.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Line two large baking sheets with baking paper.
Unwrap one of the dough logs and slice it into 1cm-thick rounds. Place onto the prepared baking sheets 5cm (2in) apart and bake for 15-18 minutes or until light golden. Remove from the oven and cool in the sheets for 5 minutes.
 Sprinkle the warm shortbreads with the extra icing sugar and allow to cool completely on wire racks. Should make about two dozen.

Lemony Christmas Shortbread Cookies

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Clay's "Angel"versary.......5 Years

It's been 5 years today. Time doesn't change a thing. I still love him and miss him and it still hurts just as much as it did the moment I found out he was gone.

Charles Clayton Howe
12/11/83- 08/26/07

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


My entire life I've had some DOOZIE of dreams. I have wondered a lot about who and what I dream about the most often. And how often I have recurring dreams, so here's my chance to find out. After last nights dream I decided to start a blog specifically dedicated to nothing but my dreams. It'll be a laugh if nothing else.

Friday, August 03, 2012

Time To Celebrate...

Well, after MONTHS of looking, and HUNDREDS(possible into the thousands) of applications looking for a job...I finally am joining the ranks of the perm-full time employed again!!!!

Thanks to a friend of a friend of the family, I will begin work on August 13th at the same company as my sweet husband. I'm a bit of a private person about certain details, but I can say that:

*The interview went brilliantly.
*I'll be in the Planning Department.
*The location is perfect.
*The people I met seemed to be not only professional, but very nice and I can't wait to get in the office and get to know them all a bit better. I just hope my ...Southern Charm...doesn't scare the heck out of them.
*I start on the 13th. First for a two-day induction, then to shadow for a few days, then a few weeks under close supervision and then on to the job on my own.
*I'm REALLY looking forward to working again.

I'm sure you will be hearing more about my progress at work on here soon.......and (hopefully)around the holidays, about My Mister and me getting our own place again- (We'll be looking for a home closer to work so he doesn't have to drive almost two hours a day commuting us back and forth.- Maybe even close enough so I can WALK to and from work every day!!)

Anyway, I just wanted to share the news with you all, since you are the ones who have so sweetly listened to me whine and gripe and complain and CRY about how crap it was to not be working full-time and contributing like I'm used to!!! And you have all encouraged me and told me that something will come up and things will work out for the best- and it came true!!!...So thank you all- for everything!!!

It's nice to be able to write about something positive for a change!!!


Monday, July 02, 2012

Quite A Condrum......

Having To Redefine....

That's what I'm doing. Having to re-define myself. No so much me- but my career.
Bit of backstory.......When I was 19, I married, had a baby, and was in a bad situation. Not because of the baby, but because all my life I had watched my parents and did as I was told, and thought that when you was married- you was married for life. And when someone beat on you, you MUST have done something wrong to make them that mad....especially when that was what you was told over and over by the person you was being abused by. You end up being broken and believing all the crap.
Over the next 4 years I ended up having two more babies before I finally realized that no matter how I THOUGHT marriage should be forever, it was going to be a very short forever if he ever laid a hand on my kids the way he did me. Then came the night he beat the crap out of me- threw me out of the house(literally) and locked the door ...never mind it was in the middle of the night and an electrical storm and I was breastfeeding the baby. I snapped. I threatened to call the law on him...and he made the ultimate mistake. He held a knife to our baby's throat and said if I did I wouldn't ever see the baby alive again. So I watched, and waited, walking window to window in the rain and wind and lightening, following his every move until he finally let me back in...about 7 hours later. He was still drugged up- and drunk, so I took the baby and fed him and bathed him and put him to sleep, never saying anything to my husband but waiting for him to fall asleep. I knew I had to wait to make my move...I couldnt take the baby out in the storm and we lived miles from the nearest neighbor and didn't have a phone..... and I was afraid of what the idiot would do if I tried to leave anyway.
When the idiot finally fell asleep- or passed out, I stood over him, looking at the knife he had held to my son's throat and quite literally had to talk myself out of doing to him what he had threatened to do to the baby. Luckily I was coherent enough to realize that going to prison for murder wouldnt help my children or let me see them grow up. But it scared me that he could drive me to actually consider doing it- seriously.
But I waited, and I made plans, and finally was able to make my escape with nothing but my children and the clothes on our back. I was still scared to death of him, but I had a plan.
With the help of my parents, I bought a mobile home and put it on the back of their property, in view of the main house so if he came round, they would be able to see what was happening and call the police.And daddy owned guns....LOTS of guns.
 And I went back to school.
And majored in Criminal Justice. I made LOTS of friends in the Sector...... And got a job in Law Enforcement. First in Security, and then into the Police Force, and then finally going back into Private Security and Consulting.I learned how to protect myself and my loved ones...both thru self-defense, and by learning to use weapons. Big Ones.
It's what I've done since I was 23 years old.... off and on(mostly on)for the past 25+ years. It's defined me- who I am and what I did...I protected myself and my kids and the people I love from the bad guys. (Sometimes from the good guys too but that's a WHOLE different story for another time!!)
And then I moved here. To England. And none of my credentials are any good here. If I go back into Law Enforcement, I have to go thru the whole process all over again here in the UK. And I honestly don't have the drive, nor the need, to do it all again. Before- it was for protection.....I have a husband now who I don't have to worry about hurting me or my kids(who are all grown up now and know how to protect themselves, btw).
And to quote Danny Glover..."I'm getting too old for this shit." Not that I can't, because I could, but it's a two or three year process. And it's expensive as HELL to get re-certified over here to be as qualified as I was over there in the States..... And since I already have all the training, I just can't justify the time or cost to go thru it all again.
So now I have to decide which way I want to go with my life. What direction do I take now? The only other things I'm really qualified to do is decorate for holidays- and the Brits certainly are NOT into that from what I've seen so far- OR cook- I'm certified in Culinary Arts, but it's been so long since I worked in a restaurant I have forgotten everything I learned about it and I effing HATE cooking when I'm not in the mood......I DO like to bake- but mostly Specialty Cakes and the Brits are really more into Savory Treats than Sweets..... and clean. I can clean like a demon. I've done a bit of Reception work too, but it was more in a front line Security capacity rather than an actual "straight" receptionist line so there was no "Excel and Word" work for me.

So where do I go from here?
It's a HELL of a Conundrum......

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Fathers Day....

                                                          My Hero-My Dad

Charles E. Miller.......05/31/30 - 09/24/05
I miss you, Daddy.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Easy Alternative

Step #1: Start with a nine-inch plate. Take a ruler and measure across your plate to make sure it is not too large.
Step #2: Fill one-half of the plate with non-starchy vegetables, either cooked or raw. Fill one-fourth of the plate with a serving of protein. Fill the last fourth of the plate with a carbohydrate-rich food (1 carb serving is 15 grams).
Step #3: Add 1 cup (8 fl oz) of low-fat milk or 1 container (6-8 oz) of light yogurt to your meal (1 carb serving is 15 grams).
Step #4: Select one serving of fruit to go along with your meal (1 carb serving is 15 grams).
Step #5: Complete your meal with one or two servings of healthy fats. This could be a tablespoon of salad dressing, 1 or 2 teaspoons of olive oil used to saut vegetables or a teaspoon of mayonnaise for a sandwich.This simple plate method works well when you dine out, eat at a party, or aren't able to read labels to count carbs, but be sure to discuss the plate method with your doctor first.
Step #1: Start with a nine-inch plate. Take a ruler and measure across your plate to make sure it is not too large.
Step #2: Fill one-half of the plate with non-starchy vegetables, either cooked or raw. Fill one-fourth of the plate with a serving of protein. Fill the last fourth of the plate with a carbohydrate-rich food (1 carb serving is 15 grams).
Step #3: Add 1 cup (8 fl oz) of low-fat milk or 1 container (6-8 oz) of light yogurt to your meal (1 carb serving is 15 grams).
Step #4: Select one serving of fruit to go along with your meal (1 carb serving is 15 grams).
Step #5: Complete your meal with one or two servings of healthy fats. This could be a tablespoon of salad dressing, 1 or 2 teaspoons of olive oil used to saut vegetables or a teaspoon of mayonnaise for a sandwich.

This simple plate method works well when you dine out, eat at a party, or aren't able to read labels to count carbs, but be sure to discuss the plate method with your doctor first.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

No Excuses NOW!!!

All the times I've said (and hear OTHER people say)..."I'll do it when I get around to it..." and then promptly forgot  about it?????

Well, no excuse now. Here's our Round Tuit...So let's get ON with it......


Monday, May 28, 2012

Real Life Seeping Into My Dreams.....

This morning, after my sweet husband had toddled off to work, I fell back asleep and had the loveliest dream.

 I drempt Paul and I had a lovely spacious apartment, and had a little dog and a kitten.(This part was due to the fact I have been looking at flats(apartments) in the paper lately when I'm also looking for jobs). The complex where we lived had 5 swimming pools.... three in-ground, and two underground.(This part I think was because of all the kids we heard in their paddling pools over this weekend and I was SOOOO jealous of them!!!) I decided to explore the pools so I put on my running capris and a sports bra top- and went by the complex office to get a copy of the complex map.( I've also been walking and running and have recently been reprogramming my fitness regime to see if I can up my weight loss.) They were locked up tight, so I couldnt get a map for myself, but they had one posted on the window, so I took note of the pool locations and off I went to find them.  I went outside and found the first one just fine. A couple of my friends, Stephanie King and Kimberly Moffet, were in it but it was only three feet deep and they were going to look at the other ones. I went in one direction and they headed off in the other and we said we would call each other and let each other know about the other pools we found. Now these pools were on a terraced area- One was at the back of the building where our apartment was...Thats where I found Steph and Kimbers.
The next one I found was a little ways down the path- but lo and behold- it was only a kiddie pool and had less than 6 inches of water in it. So I walked to the end of it- and almost walked into a hole in the ground. I backed up and looked into the hole and saw a pool in the underground, but had to find a way down to it. (I think this part was due to the amount of MINECRAFT I've been playing lately...) So I went into a hallway and lo and behold, there was a steep stairway- almost like a gangway on a submarine to the lower level....I slid down it- back to the actual steps with only my feet and hands on the actual rails(let me tell you- my athletic ability is simply AMAZING in MY dreams) and when I got to the bottom- I was at the base of the lower deck pool. It was absolutely stunning, all curves and deep blue water with a white sand beach and sand on the bottom of the pool.....more like a natural lagoon except it was underground)- and not a soul in sight. (I've been having daydreams about going to a deserted island with clear blue water and white sand beaches a LOT lately- and I am NOT much of a beach person, per se.)

But for some reason that pool just didn't interest me anymore. I landed on my feet and after a quick glance at the lovely sight of it- I was running down the trail outside the building. I felt light and free. I felt so on top of the world I just kept running, and kept running(I saw a quote from Forrest Gump the other day so this is prob where that part came in- I LOVE that movie!!)...Past rows and rows of houses that looked amazingly like the houses on Crescent and McDaniels Avenue in Greenville, South Carolina.
Big leafy trees and the sweet smell of azealas and magnolia and jasmine blossoms in the air and a gentle breeze blowing making it perfect for a walk or run in the park. (A touch of homesickness seeping into my dreams?)

And then as I came to the end of my run, there was a trail up a mountainside and I could see a beautiful  black polished granite building at  the top of it, so I decided to walk up there and check it out before going back to the apartment(flat).
When I got to the top- it was a lovely restaurant, all glass and chrome and black leather. The view was spectacular- and when I walked around the side of the building, there was the most amazing pool I had ever seen.( I chalk this up to the Pinterest stuff I've been pinning lately.) It was on the side of the mountain- just below the sight of the restaurant, and it had a cascading waterfall that filled the main pool about 25 feet below but it was amazingly quiet! The cascading water sounded more like a fountain  water feature you would find in the back garden(yard) of a nice house.(Again- MIL talking about getting her water feature up and running yesterday when we was doing out BBQ in the back garden) Just about 10 feet above the main pool and off to the side inset into the rock was a jacuzzi spa overlooking the main pool.(The Jaccuzi spa is due to the photos of Whirlpool baths I have been looking at with my MIL since she decided to re-do the bath in our house- No- she wasnt looking at them for the bath- we was just thinking in a PERFECT world that's what we would want in our bath)
Well, There was no one in this amazing pool either, so I did what any relatively sane female in my family would do.

I went skinny dipping.
And just as I laid back to enjoy the sun and the water and the solitude...I woke up.


(I know that was only 4 pools I told you about, but I never found the last one....and I never heard back from Step and Kimbers either, so I figure they found it and it was so nice they completely forgot to call me because they were having such an amazing time!!!)

Friday, May 25, 2012

Just Sayin'.......

Just Sayin'.......

Thursday, May 10, 2012

OMG.....I Got One!!!

I have a job interview tomorrow afternoon. An honest to God, face to face job interview!!!
Oh PLEASE say a prayer or send some good Mojo my way.
I SOOOOOOOOO want and need this job!!!!

Friday, April 27, 2012

21 Day Sugar Detox ......Day 5

Well, The 21 Day Sugar Detox is going SWIMMINGLY well!!!! I started it Monday- and have weighed myself every morning as soon as I get up and come downstairs. I started out at 15 stone 13 lbs...and today am at 15 stone 4 lbs. A loss of 9 pounds so far.

I was worried last night because we went out to an Indian Restaurant to celebrate my Father-in-laws 60th Birthday and I had never eaten Proper Indian food before. ...when I got there, I was pleased to find a clay baked chicken dish served with rice, curry sauce and salad on the side. amongst all the cream sauces and hot spicy tomato sauces. So I ordered the chicken dish, and when it came I'm delighted to say it was very nice. I ate not a spoonful of the rice, and only had a teaspoon of the curry sauce on the chicken. I ate all the salad, PLUS my husbands tomato slice and cucumber slice he didnt want to eat. Then when we were served the Birthday cake, I had a tiny slice- and I fed half of it to my husband and I only took two bites of it and left the rest on my plate. And the cake that was leftover and brought home- I havent even had the slightest craving for it or been tempted to go get "just a bite".

I am SOOO loving this Detox. It's suggested that when you do this detox, you slowly introduce the "avoid" foods back into your diet after the detox. I think I will, but I think every couple of months I might do the detox again until I reach my goal weight of 10 stone.(140 lbs), and I want to be at my goal weight by Christmas.

Have a GREAT weekend Y'all!!!!!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Versitile Blogger Award!!!-I've Been Nominated!!! :-D

Today I have some exciting news for you all now, especially those who are my loyal and dedicated followers! (all 50 of you!!)........and my regular readers who arent following me. (All approx 200 of you!!!)

I have been nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award by Lloyd Williams @!!!!!
:-D...TY Lloyd!!!!
I'm told it is a great honour to have been nominated, and especially to have been nominated by someone who has been nominated for this award too.  Lloyds blog has a big reach and has some very good posts  and it is well worth having a check out!

These are the rules for the Versatile Blogger Award:
* Nominate 15 fellow bloggers who are relatively new to blogging. 
*Let them know that you have nominated them. 
*Share 7 random facts about yourself.  
* Thank the Bloggers that have nominated you. 
*Add the Versatile Blogger Award picture to your blog post.

Now- 7 Random Facts About me....
First of all, I'm not sure I can even THINK of 7 INTERESTING facts about me that you, as my regular and loyal readers, don't know already. But I'll try and scrape something new out of my memory stick....I mean brain.

One- I'm one of those odd people who are stuck smack in between being a tomboy and a girly girl, being shy and outgoing, and being a geek and a ditzy blonde. Figure THAT one out!

Two-My favorite Vegetable is either okra, potato, or tomato...(I do NOT consider a Tomato a FRUIT.)

Three-My Favorite Fruit is either pineapple, banana or coconut.

Four-I smoke when I get really really stressed. Thankfully that doesn't happen terribly often and goes away after a couple of ciggis. Am I still considered a non-smoker?

Five-I've been bitten by a dog several times in my adult life. Never as a child.

Six-If I could choose to become a vampire, I'm still undecided as to whether or not I would do it. I love the IDEA of immortality, but to live forever and see everyone you love leave you one by one is something I can't quite reconcile myself to.

Seven-If I could change one thing about my life- it would be to go back and change my education and career choices.

Hmmmm...That wasn't so hard after all.

Again, Thank you Lloyd Williams for the nomination.

These are the few peeps I've nominated.....

I had a few more I could have nominated- but didnt because their blogs are of a more personal nature and I wanted to get their permission first. Tom, Michael, yours are two of them. Lemme know if you dont mind and yours will go on the list as well. ;-)


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Southern Redneck Goddess- I'm Still Here- In ALL My Glory..

Well,altho I thought she was gone, me, in all my Southern Redneck Goddess glory, finally showed up and came out swinging yesterday at the damn dentist.

Well, I told yall that they(the dentist) told me last month that I needed to get all my teeth on the bottom pulled or I was gonna lose bone in my gums and wouldnt be able to support a denture, right?
Well, last week she told me she wanted to leave two in- the sort of vampire teeth...canines I believe...
I told her no- if they was gonna pull them I wanted to do them all at once- I didnt want to leave two and have to go thru the same expense again in a year which was all the time she gave me for the others two to stay before they had to be pulled too.
Well, Yesterday, I went in- and all of the sudden, without consulting me or giving me a choice- AFTER me paying for the extractions and dentures to be done, she decides that they arent going to do the extractions OR the dentures.Neither was needed.
And OUT the Goddess popped.
I said" Wait a minute...What was all that emergency crap you told me last month? So all that was a LIE???

Then she started backpeddling and all and was trying to say she didn't say all that- but I have the damn paperwork they gave me that she wrote up herself saying EXACTLY what teeth needed to be pulled and all to prove it.
And I told her so.

She tried to change the subject and said "Well, you have a filling in the tooth that's broken off that we can replace today and then..."
And I told her " you ain't. What's gonna happen is I'm gonna go home now and decide if I wanna sue your ass for all the stress you put me thru....AND I want a refund for all the work thats NOT gonna be done now and I want it TODAY."
I am STILL pissed about it. And I still havent decided what I'm gonna do- other than find a new dentist.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Edinburgh Flats

I've been blogging for a few years now.  I've blogged about a LOT of topics. And I have a few loyal followers.
I usually check out their blogs when someone comments and there are very FEW I don't follow now myself.

Recently, one person has started reading and commenting on my posts and it has intrigued me.  I followed the link and it took me to a real estate site.
Hmmm...kinda frustrating. I mean, I like to know the people behind the comments. Curious as a cat, me!!! Always have been, always will be. I'm the person who unwraps the gifts under the tree and then wraps the packages and puts them back under the tree so no one knows I've been in them. True Story. It's so bad my family have taken to either waiting til Christmas Eve to bring me my gifts or if they give them to me early to put under the tree- they SHRINK WRAP them so I can't cheat. Darn them.

I mean I dont wanna stalk them or anything,(altho my Blog list is titled "Some People I Stalk") but if they have a real blog(and by real I mean a personal blog) I wanna see it!! PLEEEEEEEEEEAAAASSSSSSEEEEE!!!! Pretty please?

You can contact me by email on my least I'm pretty sure you can...I'll check it as soon as I post this.

And Thank you ALL for reading and commenting. I know I havent been very prolific lately, but I've had a few health issues the past couple of months. But I promise I'll try and do better. It would probably help a LOT if I had a job so I had more things to blog about. Right now my life pretty much is a routine of get up, look and apply for jobs, eat a bite of brunch, check for replies to jobs I've applied for, play a few games on Facebook, go for a walk if weather permits, take a shower, have dinner with hubby after he gets in from work, watch a movie with him before bed.....Then I start all over again the next day.  Not very exciting my life at the moment. But somehow- I manage to find a few tidbits to tell yall about. It's a gift. Or a curse. I do love to talk, I guess it just depends on how MUCH you are forced to listen to me yammer on about what's been going on in my day as to whether it's a gift or a curse.

Husband would defo say it's his CURSE. LMBO!!
Anyway...Thanks again, y'all!!
Have a GREAT weekend!!!

Friday, March 09, 2012

One Year Anniversary- Part II- What I LOVE about England.

Well as I said yesterday. I DO miss many MANY things about home.
But- there are many MANY things about living in England that I LOVE as well...

...the weather. The temperatures are much more level here. Not nearly as extreme cold and hot as at home. Yeah, it's a bit more wet here for a lot of the time, but I can live with damp as long as there's not a lot of money for a leaky roof involved.
...The countryside. Everything is such a lovely green here!!! Must be all the rain we get over here!!!
...Clouds. No matter what the day you have them...big white fluffy ones on nice days. Grey and white ones on partly cloudy days... and heavy grey ones on the days it's raining. All lovely.
...New foods. It's been a real education trying new foods- and new versions of foods we have back home too. Dining out(and sometimes IN) has been an adventure in itself and I have loved almost every second of it.

...being able to walk almost everywhere. I walk to the post office, to the market, to the doctors office for my appointments, to the library, the hair salon and to my friends and in-laws houses.  It's been a real BOON to my weight loss and since moving here I'm no longer even PRE-diabetic. Almost EVERYONE walks here.
...Public Transportation. Most people wouldn't consider P/T a plus, but I do. I LOVE riding the bus and taking the train to the bigger cities and towns. And as I said before- walking around in the towns when I arrive there. I never thought I could ever live in a town or city, but I'm getting used to the lifestyle and could easily see myself living in a flat in City Center somewhere.
...The accents. It seems to me that every 5 miles a different accent emerges. And I love listening to people talking with them.
...Body image. It's MUCH more realistic here. If people are a bit overweight- no one much cares. You arent under the pressure to look like a fashion model or movie-star or celebrity all the time. Actors and actresses on TV dont all LOOK like perfect people...they look like someone you would pass on the sidewalk as you walk to the market. Yes, there are a few exceptions to that rule- but arent there always a few exceptions? And that's what I like about it- it IS the exception- NOT the rule.
...drinking. It's not frowned upon like it is in the South. If you drink, it's normal, and you're not looked down on or made to feel like you're a BAD person. You're just part of the group.
...The medical system. I can be looked at if I'm sick, get my meds for so much less than in the states, and not have to worry about having to decide if I am going to pay the medical bill or pay my rent and get groceries.  I LOVE this country's system.
...I've loved having this time off work. I've had a good resting holiday, but I'm ready to go back to work now please. That's all I'm saying about that.
...Aero Candy bars. Fish and chips. Scones. Bacon that's really Ham. GREAT coffee(once you find out which is the GOOD brands). Chocolates. Lager and Lime. Irish Meadow. ByGone Times.  Tesco. Aldi. Iceland. Gregg's. Mark & Spenser. Puntos. Ford Mundeos.  Wine. Beer. Vodka. Jack Daniels. Gordons.

Yes. All in all, I can't say I'm NOT happy here. If I had some familiar faces from home I would be PERFECTLY happy-
but Life is Good, and getting even better!!!

One Year Anniversary of Leaving America....What I Miss...

Today marks the one year anniversary of Paul and I leaving South Carolina to come live in England.

It's been quite an experience, especially for me who has never lived anywhere but South Carolina the entire *Mumble-tee-mumble* years of my life...

I've missed SO many things since moving here.....

... my family and friends. I miss being able to go to their houses and being able to do lunch or dinner with them or just being able to show up and surprise them with a hug and a 5 minute chat if I'm running errands in their neighborhood.
... my car and being able to drive where ever I want-when ever I want.
... Sweet Iced Tea and the Snow Cream Ice treats from the Sno-Hut on Wade Hampton Blvd.
...Real honest to God SHORTENING to make BISCUITS (the AMERICAN scone type ones- not the cookie type ones)
...Pulled Pork or Chicken BBQ with Mustard based sauce. OMG.Nowhere but the South can you find it like it SHOULD be.
...Fast food joints. McD's, Jack-in -the-Box, Burger King, Subway, Zaxbys, Wendy's...take your pick. I miss em all. I also miss chain restaurants like, Cracker Barrel, IHOP and WaffleHouse.
...having a job. Just the routine of getting up, getting dressed and having a schedule to keep while making money.
...having regular days off when Paul and I would sleep all morning, then get up and go for a ride to the mountains or the lake and then come home and watch movies until 3AM and then hop in the car and ride to the local Waffle House for breakfast- or supper...whatever meal we was in the mood for.
...Having a house to ourselves.
...having 7 acres to be able to walk on, or go out back and target practice with the rifle, or shotgun, or the GLOCK....or just to play a game of awesome Lazer Tag.
...being able to walk 50 yerds down to our very own fishing pond for a few hours of relaxing fishing. Even if we didnt CATCH anything, it was awesome to not have to worry about having a fishing license if we wanted to fish.
...WALMART. OMG- I never knew how MUCH I would miss that place. I cannot find anything here in England.....I'm S-L-O-W-L-Y learning hwere to find a few things, but I'm going to die of old age before I find the equivalent of basic things I used in the states. They have so many specialty shops here for things you would think would be in places like the pound shops(The British versions of Dollar General or Freds or the 5 & dime stores) or ASDA(the British version closest to our WALMARTs-only NOT) or Morrisons or Sainsburys, or Tesco(the British version of Bi-Lo or Ingles or Winn-Dixie..only so NOT). Thankfully, both places have ALDI!!!!!
...Guns. OMG...guns.
...Knives- as in my stilletto switchblade. No you can't.
...Pick-up Trucks. I've seen TWO since I've been here. That's it...TWO. They were small ones like Toyota Tundras sized.....Not a single big old honkin' crew cab or doolie or Monster truck. I mean HOW do people MOVE their stuff around here?? Seriously!!!
...Country Music. I brought a lot with me- stored on my computer of course, but then my compter crashed and burned and I lost it All. I'm hoping we remembered to back it up on our hard drive- but I'm not holding my breath. 
...Big houses with lots of room. Add one bedroom to our house back home and thats the average size of houses here....and from what I've seen, there is no such THING as an "open floor plan"... the rooms are TINY compared to rooms back home. That may just be MY perception of it tho.
...seeing luxury cars. Cars are tiny over here too. They have to be to fit in the tiny narrow roads becuase they dont have-
...Big wide roads with plenty of room for a slight error.
...Pine trees. I miss the smell of pines so much. Maybe just because we always lived in the middle of a half dozen stands of pines scattered on the estate.
...The Carolina Blue sky. It's usually gray and overcast here. We do have sunny days too- and the sky is absolutely stunning when we have clear days, but  there's nothing like a Carolina Blue sky with the puffy white clouds floating by.
...service in restaurants. As much as the wait staff stopping every  5 minutes to ask if you needed a drink refill or anything, it was much better than here where you buy *A* drink and dont get free refills and the wait staff just disappears as soon as you're seated. Southern Hospitality- you just cannot beat it.

This is just the major things I miss. There's a lot to be said for things over here too...but I'll cover THAT part of it tomorrow- when it will be the One Year Anniversary of us ARRIVING in England.

There are two sides to every coin.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Princess Alyssa's First Fancy Gown

In the South, a new baby's "Coming Home " from the hospital outfit is one that's carefully planned and thought out and planned for.

I have 9 grandsons and one stepgranddaughter. Princess Alyssa will be my first TRUE Granddaughter and I got to buy her Coming Home gown.  For the other grandkids, I made a special blanket, or crotcheted a baby afghan for them.
Princess Alyssa was a complete and totally wonderful surprise. None of us was quite prepared for the news that  another new baby was on the way. Mama & Daddy already had 5 boys. We all thought the grand baby days were over. Next would be Great-grands!!!
Well, the Lord had a completely different plan laid out for us all.

Alyssa is the only baby that I won't be there for the birth of. Circumstances won't allow it. BUT My sister and daughter are planning to set up a SKYPE session so I CAN be there and at least HEAR her being born. I wont be able to hold my daughters hand, but I can be there to offer words of encouragement and love.

Anyway, I've been looking for Princess Alyssa's outfit for weeks....ever since we got the news from the ultrasound that she was a GIRL!!!!! I've seen a few that vere cute- but just not quite the "right" one. I said I'd know it when I saw it.....and Monday, when I went to the dentist in town, me and my friend, Lynn(who had went with me for moral support) did a bit of spot shopping to pass a lovely afternoon together, and we happened into a YARN SHOP, of all places- and this outfit was on the clearance rack!!!

I looked at it and fell in love with it at first sight!!! I looked at the regular price and about had a heart attack, my heart sank because no way could I pay that kind of money for a baby dress, but then I flipped it over and saw the SALE price and started squealing like a little girl because I most certainly COULD pay the sale price for my only granddaughters First Fancy Gown. I would have gotten it if I had to only eat bread and water for a month to make up for the price of it. So I bought it, brought it home, photographed it, packed it up, and sent it to her yesterday morning.
And this is what it looks like.....(The lighting wasn't too good so it looks ivory- but it isn't, it's snow white.)

As I've said before.......I'm Tickled PINK!!!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Dental Work Weight Loss Plan

Yeah, I have a feeling I'll be losing some more pounds this week....probably in the next two or three weeks...its called the Dental Plan of Weight Loss. I'm having loads of dental work started today with a molar being pulled that has been giving me fits for the past 6 months. Next week I go back for more x-rays for more pullings. From the looks of things, I may end up having to have all the bottom teeth pulled and a lower plate made. I'd say that would put me well below the 50 MORE pounds lost mark on my weight. I could think of MUCH less painful ways to lose this weight. But- on the upside- it will go off much faster with dental work. And once it's off- I'll be DANGED if it will be put back on!!!!

See? Silver Cloud. I'm a "Glass Half Full" kinda girl!!!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

I'm Still Here.....

Just to let y'all know, I'm still here. I have been really busy the past couple of weeks and havent had time to post much, but I'm planning a big post for next week because we will have been in the UK for a year on March 10th.
So hang in there....Ones a coming!!!

Today I'll do a short one and tell you a bit about my birthday yesterday.

Well, first of all it actually started the night before when I made my friend Cindys World Famous Taco Dip. Its made with Velveeta and Salsa and taco seasoning. She made it for my Surprise 50th Birthday Party thsat she and a couple of other work mates threw for me and it was amazing. So she generously shared the recipe with me and I have made it on my Birthday Eve ever since. So for dinner/tea that night we had Pizza and The Taco Dip and Tortilla chips. And it was good.

I got a TON of Birthday wishes from all my friends and family on FaceBook. I didn't get any actual snail mail cards or gifts from home, but there's a very good reason for that. I had asked everyone ...instead of sending me a card or gift, donate some food to a food bank or adopt a family in need in your neighborhood or school and bring them a bag of canned goods or clothes, or  give a dollar or two to the next OBVIOUSLY homeless person you see on the street corner holding a sign saying hungry or please help....or go to McDs and buy them a burger, fries and drink from there and bring it to them, or donate some old coats or sweaters or unused sleeping bags or blankets  to a homeless shelter or to the people outside the local soup kitchen. Do something to help out someone who is down on their luck. We have so much and others have so little. Be kind to your fellow man.

Anyway, I got a bit off track there, didnt I?...Well anyway, my sweet husband took me to town yesterday and we had lunch at the local Chinese Buffet. Then he took me shopping to look for a coming home outfit for my soon-to-be-born grand-daughter!!! That's right- after 9 grandsons I am getting a Granddaughter. My sons widow has a little girl and I claim her as mine too- but technically, Alyssa will be MY first grand-daughter and I am tickled PINK!!!! Hahahaha!!!
What I'm looking for is a very princessy, frilly, lacy baby dress or gown....much like a christening gown perhaps. Sized Newborn. And I'm finding those are VERY hard to come by. Most everything is size 0-3 months. And from experience, that will be wayyyyyyy too big.
Anyway, I figured with Easter just around the corner, there should be a bigger selection in the next couple of weeks. Anyway, we looked, found a couple of possibilities, but didnt buy anything for her yet.
I'll know it when I see it. And if I dont see it pretty soon, I'll be buying some material and making it myself.

Anyway, then he took me to Currys- the local electronics shop- and bought me a Digital Photo Frame (which will be refered to as the DPF for the rest of the post for simplicitys sake). I've been drooling over them for the past three years and my darling man bought one for me so I can have my loved ones photos out to see without it taking up a lot of space in our bedroom or without having to put photo frames on the walls of his parents house.(Remember that we're living with them until we BOTH get employed  and get our own place.)
Then we stopped at HMV and I bought me a new set of earbuds for my ipod so I can listen to music on my walks again. I can walk for MILES when I listen to music, but it's really tough for me to walk with nothing  but the sound of cars to listen to. Anyway, I usually get Skull Candy ones, but I got the HMV brand for half the price and they are just as comfortable as the SC ones.

So then we came home and I spent two hours sorting and organizing all my photos to upload onto my DPF only to find that 3/4s of them seemingly didnt transfer. Slightly upset, I was. But then husband came down and looked and it turns out it was User-error, instead of a technical difficulty. Thank GOD.
But they are loaded onto the DPF now and I enjoyed it all evening.

I got to talk with my daughter  for a few minutes, but she was in the middle of buying and loading her new crib,so I told her I would call her back on Sunday. (Little tidbit of wisdom for you all, if your haven't  gotten the snip(male or female) do NOT give away all of your baby things because as soon as you do, you're going to get pregnant again and you'll have to buy all the baby equipment all over again.)

I also got to talk with my mom for a few minutes, but she was at the flea market selling so I told her I would call her back Sunday as well. I hated not being able to give her pink roses and a balloon that says 'It's A Girl' like I usually do on my birthday. I know- it's weird to give someone else something on MY birthday- but Mom was the one who went thru all that pain having me and I think it's just fitting that MOM should be appreciated and acknowledged on my birthday as well. After all, the world does not revolve around ME.

Wait...... what???
Did I just SAY that?

Anyway, After dinner/tea my in-laws surprised me with a birthday cake and sang the birthday song to me. My husband did a very nice job of singing it the same way I do(just to be annoying and well off key with no hint of a tune-just like I do) and it made me laugh hysterically to hear it that way!!!

And all day long all of the Aunts and Uncles and Cousins were stopping by and dropping off cards. Aunty Les and the family  gave me a container of Chocolate covered Toffee and it was lovely.

So all in all, it was a REALLY good day.

(Hmmmmmmm, looking back, it turns out I had more to say than I thought I did, huh??)


Sunday, February 19, 2012



Much love from Nanny Vada & Poppy Paul!!!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

This Is Getting Ridiculous!!!

On my birthday last year, I was able to leave my job. We was moving to England in a couple of weeks and that gave me time to tie up a few loose ends before leaving without having to worry about a work schedule.

At the time I thought..."What a WONDERFUL way to be able to celebrate my birthday- "........

Okay, so almost an entire year later, I'm still unemployed.
This is ridiculous!!! I'm well qualified to do more than Security and Law Enforcement work!!

I really enjoyed the break from the 12 hour shifts, but I'm ready to work again.
Just sayin'.......

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Inspiration -Not Drama and Excuses.

I know I do a lot of whinging on here about stuff that really annoys me and things that aren't going the way I want them to. But at LEAST I try and do something to CHANGE the things I don't like- even when I KNOW there's slim to no chance to change them.

Last night- and many other nights, I sit and watch TV with my housemates and inevitably the TV will be turned to a show about some fat person(s) who are whinging about how they are sooooooo unhappy, and then come up with a hundred and twelve reasons why they are the way they are and why they can't lose weight.

And it royally just pisses me off.

Yeah- I need to lose some more weight myself- and yeah I whinge about it- but I ALSO have gotten up OFF my fat ass and walked every day- even on bad weather days I will go up and down the stairs twenty times during the course of the day to make up for the walk I can't take. I dance while I'm doing my housework. Paul has even told me I "dance" in bed when I'm sleeping with my ipod on and the earbuds in. I LOVE to dance. (It's also why I rarely wear the earbuds to bed anymore now that he's working and doesn't need to be disturbed during a week/work night.) ;-)

My mother-in-law is an awesome cook-she tries to cook healthily and I LOVE almost all her dishes- but we ate oversized portions every single meal. And then, for a couple of months, I was nauseous all-the-time and couldn't eat more than a couple of bites at every meal. I couldn't even THINK about sweets without it making me ill- so I refused THEM as well, and all of you who have known me for longer than five minutes know what a HUGE Chocoholic I am and how hard THAT was for me to do. So, after all that unintentional "portion control", I started losing some serious weight. I've lost two stone(about 30 pounds) in the past three months. And now, even tho I'm not feeling nearly as nauseous, I've started watching to make sure my portions don't get oversized again. Plus, I recently had a medical proceedure and had to be intubated and during that time my throat and roof of my mouth got bruised and scraped so I've been on soft foods for ANOTHER week. Cream soups, scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes, and occasionally ice cream. Don't tell me that you can't lose weight and not still eat all your favorite foods- I'll call you a liar. It's PORTION control and frequency that you eat them that matters!!!!

My point is- after all the complaining people do about being unhappy- instead of making excuses why they CAN'T make things better- why do they not find REASONS to make things better? Find WAYS to get AROUND the excuses and obstacles instead of "feeding" them?

Last night I got so pissed off at all that drama and mess I got up and came upstairs and turned on OUR TV(that only has VERY limited channels) and turned it to something inspiring-Biggest Loser- and watched the people who have made the decision to change their lives for the better. (And the cash winnings at the end of it can't hurt either.) But regardless of whether or not they win the cash at the end of the show isn't the point.
The point is- they are changing their lives instead of making excuses for NOT changing things. And that makes all the difference in the world in my book.

My favorite slogan/mantra EVER is Nikes......JUST DO IT!!!!!!

Whew...I feel MUCH better just venting a bit. Thanks for listening!!!