Monday, May 28, 2007

New itunes For the Week

Feel free to comment. I like nothing better than to buy music from the past and present.
  1. Mr. Brightside - The Killers
  2. A Little Respect - Erasure
  3. The Distance - Cake
  4. Magic Man - Heart
  5. One - Cowboy Junkies
  6. Sweet Jane - Cowboy Junkies
  7. True Faith - New Order
  8. I Who Have Nothing - Jordin Sparks
  9. She Doesn't Get It - The Formats
Like The Killers, that song is old. Why did it take until today to love it. I like other songs by The Killers, but Mr. Brightside made sense today. There was a lot of talk about Magic Man this weekend because we were talking about The Virgin Suicides when Trip Fontaine "emerged from baby fat to the delight of girls and mothers alike". So, of course, I had to have that song.

New Places

Last night was a flashback to when I first moved to Philadelphia. Dar Williams, a folk singer who I dig, was playing a concert in a park near our suburb. This suburb is also near the second biggest mall in America. When I first moved here, it was one of the first places that I took an adventure. So, as I was driving, I started thinking about how far I have come.

When I first moved here, I did everything by myself. Tim was busy at work and I was only working part time. I would find my way to new places and neighborhoods and here I was again, finding my way by myself to something new.

The concert wasn't meant to be because even though I had found the park and set up my lawn chair, it was canceled because it began to storm. I was able to catch the first act but wasn't going to get soaked or electrocuted for some folk music.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Midwestern Crush: Keith Olbermann

I guess it isn't normal to develop crushes on television newscasters and commentators, but I do it at such a regular interval that I have to wonder what it is that I love so much.

Take my new news boyfriend, Keith Olbermann. I enjoy watching him on MSNBC every night with his show Countdown with Keith Olbermann. I love his clean cut style and of course, I love his politics. Also, he points out the ridiculous with the news and the news makers. I enjoy any newscast that gives American Idol as much time as the 2008 Presidential race.
Each evening, he shares the worst person in the world. He is the first newscaster to point out when stupid people do stupid things. That either boosts my ego or just makes me laugh. Sure, he's 48, but he is my new boyfriend.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Midwestern Movie: Beautiful Girls

Beautiful Girls is one of my favorite movies. This is a bold endorsement since I do not have many favorite movies that fall out of the mafia genre. However, every once in awhile, I will love all things about a movie.

This movie was made in 1996, but has these themes that affect you at any age. Without going into too much of the movie details, it comes down to a 'getting on with your life' story after characters take a weekend in their hometown to look back on their life of 30 some years.

These are the things that I love about Beautiful Girls
- The soundtrack...11 years later, it is still good.
- Natalie 13, she was an amazing actress.
- The weather reminds me of home.
- I think the writing is clever and quick.

So, if you are looking for a movie to add to your queue, I am giving it my highest midwestern endorsement: four casseroles!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Recipe: Bill's Blue Cheese Dressing

This is one of the few dressings that I make from scratch, but it is very good. If you like blue cheese dressing, you'll love this one. I like to serve it with spinach salad, walnuts, and bacon.
3/4 cup sour cream
1 1/3 cups mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 ounces blue cheese, crumbled

In a large bowl, whisk together the sour cream, mayonnaise and Worcestershire sauce. Season with mustard, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Stir in blue cheese. Cover, and refrigerate for 24 hours before serving.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Let's Keep It Simple

Things I Don't Like
  1. Shrek and Shrek movies
  2. The song by Heart "All I Wanna Do Is Make Love to You"
  3. Purple and all purple related colors
  4. Orange flavored desserts
  5. People who think they are perfect and try to make everyone else perfect.
  6. Scheduling appointments.
  7. Karl Rove
  8. South Park
  9. Dry markers
  10. The Monday night television choices

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Home Improvement

Does this ever happen to you?

You buy some paint, put the first brush stroke on the wall and utter words that have been uttered many times on Arrested Development, "I've made a terrible mistake".

It always seems to happen but as I continue to brush and reflect, I get use to it. I gave the bathroom a first coat of Svelte Sage covering the lilac. I don't do lilac. Now that the entire bathroom is covered, I am enjoying it.

Home improvement projects just gets longer and longer. Here it is...
- fireplace screen
- find bedroom duvet cover
- paint bedroom
- research and find someone to sew roman shades for the dining room
- find fabric for those roman shades
- maybe a new shower curtain, something light
- research the price of carpet for a few spaces
- weed wack the front yard
- think about what I need in the dining is kind of bare.
- start thinking about the three season porch and what I want to do in that space.

As you can could take me awhile.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Citrus Obsession

I am going through a lime and lemon stage.

I can't get enough of the citrusy wonder. I have had either limeade or lemonade in my refrigerator for about three weeks. I made a key lime pie again for dessert. I just printed out a lemon cake recipe and will leave for the store to gather the ingredients after I write this post.

I know other people obsess about things, but I have a tendency to obsess about food more than most. I just think about how I can get that certain craving in as many ways possible. I am so glad that Tim is a good sport about all of my obsessions. He never says, "Sara, could we make something other than key lime pie? How about peanut butter?" He just eats it.

If you have a suggestion for a new obsession, I 'll consider it. I am in the market for a new one.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Grillin' and Chillin'

One of our new grown up purchases with this house is a new grill. We've mooched off of friends and family for our grilled food fix for many years. It is now up to us to get the brats and steaks done.

I am trying a new thing tonight, grilled shrimp. I am using the following marinade. I'll let you know how it goes. They are marinading right now and it smells fantastic. I am serving it with a mild garlic and oil pasta and salad.

A key lime pie is on deck for tomorrow. I made one last week, but it was far from my dream key lime pie at home. So, I'll give it another try. I am crazy about lemon and lime stuff lately.


  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons hot pepper sauce
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined with tails attached
  • skewers


  1. In a mixing bowl, mix together olive oil, parsley, lemon juice, hot sauce, garlic, tomato paste, oregano, salt, and black pepper. Reserve a small amount for basting later. Pour remaining marinade into a large resealable plastic bag with shrimp. Seal, and marinate in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
  2. Preheat grill for medium-low heat. Thread shrimp onto skewers, piercing once near the tail and once near the head. Discard marinade.
  3. Lightly oil grill grate. Cook shrimp for 5 minutes per side, or until opaque, basting frequently with reserved marinade.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

The Zoo

I took in another Philadelphia adventure today, The Philadelphia Zoo. I took the kindergarteners on a field trip. It is a totally different experience taking a group of children to the zoo rather than when I go with Tim.

My feelings about zoos are very conflicted. I feel bad when I see the polar bears sleeping in the hot sun since I know their natural habitat is where it is cold. When I see a crocodile in a pond the size of my bathtub, I know he would be happier somewhere bigger. The elephants are the saddest to me. These are huge animals that go in herds and are confined to a small space. Thankfully, the elephants are moving out of the Philadelphia Zoo to a big land preserve.

On the other hand, I like zoos because I love to see the animals. Today, the big cat house was amazing. All of the cats were active and came right up to the window where the children could be face to face with a real tiger, lion, and puma. The gorilla put his hand up to the glass and the children did too. If it were not for zoos, the children would never see these animals except on television.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

I Ate It

I am a little behind the times when it comes to burrito consumption, but tonight I broke free of the refried bean chains that have kept me from a variety of fast food burrito chains that people have been enjoying for years.

I enjoyed my first huge burrito at Santa Fe Burrito. It is comparable to a Chipotle or Qdoba burritos. I have to say...I am not too impressed.

First of all, it is too big. I could only eat this with what I consider level one friends and family. These are people that have seen me at my worst or they don't have a choice but to still love me. It is not a pretty eating experience. I would hate to eat this tortilla mess with co-workers that I do not know very well. Even worse, if I were in the dating scene, eating this on some sort of first to twentieth date. I actually ate this with a person that I am just getting to know, so I have no memory of the taste of the burrito. All of my energy was spent on not making a damn fool of my cheesy self.

For those of you who know me well, you might have guessed that it was the cilantro that has kept me away from the burrito joints. I can't stand cilantro. Cilantro has made its way into most Mexican establishments and I am against it. So, I asked my friend at Santa Fe Burrito if this has a lot of cilantro and he said no, but it was a very unsure no. But, it was okay. I didn't taste any.

You know me, I usually have glowing reviews of things even when I only sort of like it. I like the burrito, but I think I like it for my secret Sara behaviors like barrette wearing and peanut butter on everything.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

A Gnome Among Us

I almost bought a garden gnome today. Are they cute? Are they ugly? I am some where in the middle of that argument, yet I felt strangely compelled to buy one.

Like many of my purchasing moments, I was caught up in nostalgia. Bringing me back to my very younger days in northern Minnesota where my grandmother's garden was sprinkled with at minimum of six garden gnomes, my walk through the craft store aisle had me lifting up each gnome looking for the perfect one.

I wonder if Grandma still has these gnomes? Were they sold at her auction? Now that I have a garden of my own, I think I need one.

It was only after a conversation with a friend tonight that I realized that people do not like garden gnomes. What is not to like? He is a short little man who looks slightly slow. His simple purpose in life is to hang out in the garden among friends. His nose always looks like he might have had too many. Wouldn't we all like to be like the garden gnome?

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Plant of the Week

I guess you can add gardening to the following list...

friends and family
good television

because I am currently obsessed about it. If you recall, I had several photos of mystery plants on the blog. Well, days have passed and things have bloomed. I thought you might want an update for the flowers.

Thanks for helping me identify the holly plant. I plan on trimming that up next weekend.

Remember this plant?
Well, check out what it has turned into...
I still do not know what it is called, but I love the purple flowers that have come out of it. I hope they last all season. If you know what this is called, I'd be glad to know. Click on it to see a bigger view.

Remember this plant?
Well, check it out. It has blossomed into some beautiful hostas. Everyone was right! Thanks for the help. They are sprouting up all over the landscaping. I will be glad when they fill up the space.

So, here is mystery plant/flower of the week? Who knows what this is called?
Here is the full view and the close up view of the flowers. They are so small and delicate. I love them. Seriously, I am in the bottom of my class when it comes to horticulture.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Midwestern Endorsement!

Hello, Nation.

I know I am not the only person out there that loves Stephen Colbert. I love not only his 'truthiness', but also his irony wrapped in the American flag that he delivers every night on Comedy Central.

It's satire, folks. And I love that. There isn't an episode that we don't laugh out loud at his over the top stars and stripes lovin' humor.