Archive for December, 2009

Settle Down Houston

It snowed in Houston on Friday. I’m sure you heard. If you don’t live in Houston you probably still knew about it because it was on national news. Stephen and I even saw it on Hannity as they were mocking global warming.

Last Monday we heard it might happen. Rumors spread through the city like mosquitoes after a rainy summer day. There was excitement, skepticism, butterflies in our tummies. If we’re going to be completely honest, I didn’t believe it. I’ve lived in Houston, Texas for 25 years and I’ve seen it snow 4 times. FOUR TIMES. So excuse me if I thought that people were getting a bit ahead of themselves. But I was wrong. It snowed and we set two records. It was the earliest date that it ever snowed in Houston. Additionally, this is the first time it’s snowed two years in a row in Houston. Fun facts, huh?

Something crazy is going on in Houston.

Saturday was a big day for the Space City. Ree Drummond came in town. If you don’t know who that is, leave my blog at once. Just kidding. Kind of.

Ree is most commonly known as the Pioneer Woman. She has this little blog in a tiny corner of the internet where she tells dumb stories and makes crappy food. Not so much. She’s definitely the most successful blogger out there and her food is fantastic. Her photography is great. Her stories are hilarious. Basically, if you aren’t reading her blog, you are really missing out.

So as I was saying, she came to Houston on Saturday for her book tour. I got her cookbook for my birthday and knew I needed to get it signed so that the food tasted right. I had been waiting for this day for a long time. As the day approached, the thought of meeting PW made me want to hurl. I considered sending my book with someone else because I was scared that as soon as I saw her, my IBS would act up or I’d faint. Fainting would be embarrassing but not too terrible. She’d definitely remember me. She’d probably write a blog about this crazy chick that fainted as she was signing her book. She say something clever about how far a 6 foot tall girl has to fall. It would be sad. But it would probably end my life if my body chose not to faint but, instead, chose to hurl or… worse. I wasn’t sure I was willing to take that risk.

I live on the wild side though. And I knew that if one of those things happened, at least it was be good blog material. I love y’all that much.

So I went. On Saturday morning I picked up my non-blogging friend Kelly and we met up with some of my blog friends at Georgia’s Market in Katy. We arrived at about 11:30 and ate a sub-par $9 lunch that consisted of a salad bar with no preservatives, the most tasteless chicken noodle soup I’ve ever had in my life, and some chocolate cake. For the record, I’m okay with some preservatives in my life.

We settled into our chairs and waited for PW to come talk. Besides the fact that the chairs were practically on top of each other, I didn’t mind the wait. I got to chat with Kathleen, Lauren, and Darla. (Their names are links – click to visit their blogs.) Then the time came. Some woman came to the front and talked to us about the bookstore and about the venue. None of us listened because we were all well aware that we were in the same building as PW. The woman called her name, everyone screamed. She didn’t come out. A few minutes went by and she called her name again, everyone screamed. Then she came out. This is what I saw.

She sat down and did some Q&A. When I raised my camera in the air, this is what I saw.

DUMB. Hi Ree, I’m sure it was great to see you. The people in the front row probably really enjoyed it. I enjoyed listening to you though… for what it’s worth. The Q&A only lasted about 10-20 minutes and then it was time for the lines to form.

As I was waiting in line I thought, “What the heck am I going to talk about??” I didn’t want to sound like everyone else. “Hi Ree. I love your blog. I’ve made a bunch of your recipes and they are really great. I think you’re funny.” She hears that all day.

First it was Darla’s turn. I don’t know what she said but I do know that she started to walk away without taking a photo or getting her camera from the lady in charge of pictures. Nerves do crazy things to a woman.

Then it was Lauren. She talked a lot. I know she mentioned something about Twitter. (Incase you haven’t heard, PW re-tweeted Lauren. Or whatever it’s called. Regardless, it was amazing.)

Then Kathleen. I think I blacked out during this time.

My turn. Oh my gosh. My turn. I walked up and didn’t hurl or faint or anything else. I just said (no lie), “I wish I had something cool to tell you but I don’t.” Smooth. Original. Hilarious. “That’s okay. Just say hi.” So I did. And she signed my books and I told her I was a blogger. Like she cared. And then we took this picture.

And it was all over. And honestly, I was disappointed. Not because of her. No. She’s great. She’s funny and friendly and so beautiful that it makes you want to touch her face. I was disappointed overall. Like I was after watching Twilight. I had built it up and then it was over. And we weren’t best friends. And she didn’t say, “OMG, I am so addicted to your blog! We should totally hang out tonight!” I had approximately 20 seconds with her and then it was over. And I looked like a fool.

Kelly’s turn was next. I have no idea what she said to PW either because I was too busy mourning the last 30 seconds of my life. I do know that Kelly turned bright red at some point. I think it was when Ree told her she liked her jewelry.

In sum, it was an oh-so-embarrassing day for all of us. But she did announce that she’s publishing her Tractor Wheels novel and I’m sure I’ll go to that book signing as well. I’ll probably walk up to her and say, “Once again I have nothing cool to say.” Or maybe I’ll have a baby by then so she will pay more attention to me and take my picture for her blog. And then my stomach will turn and I’ll tell her to hold my baby while I faint.

And that is precisely why I’m a blogger. I don’t do well with real, live people.  But leave me a comment and we can be best friends.

-Ten on Tuesday Questions are posted! Click the button on the right. I think I’m going to do without Mr Linky tomorrow. Just leave your link in the comments.

-If you haven’t entered the giveaway, there is still time. Go here by Wednesday night and enter. Can someone please answer me this: Why would someone come to my blog and NOT enter?? You do know that it’s free, right? And you won’t be spammed or added to a list? And it’s like real, delicious meat? Yeah. If you didn’t enter… you are weird. And that’s all I have to say about that!

December 7, 2009 at 9:42 am 39 comments

The Way Texans Do Christmas

(Christmas is rapidly approaching and so is my Blogiversary (January 5). In honor of these two wonderful dates, I’ll be hosting WEEKLY giveaways throughout December and the majority of January. Each Friday I’ll post the new giveaway. You’ll have until the following Wednesday to enter and then I’ll announce the winner on Friday with the next giveaway. I hope you enjoy these fantastic products and keep them in mind for your Christmas shopping or List of Things I Really Want to Give Chelsea!)

*******

Christmas shopping can be hard.

Some people are just too hard to shop for.

They have everything.

Seriously, everything.

But suppose you know a person like this who has everything.

And suppose this person is someone big.

Someone strong.

Someone who likes to workout.

And eat.

If you know someone like this who has everything and likes to eat, like really ENJOYS eating…

like my brother…

then do not fret!

Just go to this little site here. (<- That’s a link.) Click there to find a great Christmas gift for your big, strong brother who likes to eat. You can buy him a ribeye. A big 22 oz ribeye that even he can’t handle. And he’ll love you forever and you’ll do a happy dance because you’ve pleased the beast but spent less than $20!

Or spend $49 and get a whole lot more! (Which is what I plan to do. I can’t publish this post without giving my brother his very own cooler of meat for Christmas. That would be cruel.)

They say that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach… and I agree. BUT why is that exclusive to men?? There are a lot of people who are reached through their stomachs. Your aunt, your cousin, your neighbor, your fellow blogger named Chelsea, your coworker’s cousin, your pastor’s wife’s childhood friend. I understand this. Do you understand this? Green Grass Meats understands this. They love you and they want you to love them back. So they’d like to give you a Christmas gift!

The Goods:
Family Night
2 Tenderloin Filets
2 T-Bones
1 Brisket
1 lb. Stew Meat
1 lb. Ground Beef

Now the good (Texan) folks at Green Grass tell me this is a $49 value. Not true. It is $49 if you buy the Family Night package, but if you were to buy each of those things individually, you’d realize that it is actually a $104.93 value! I know, the majority of us are poor and could never afford a $19.99 filet… but you get TWO in this Family Night.. Plus so many other goods.

So here’s how you win. The contest begins…. now! It closes on Wednesday, December 9 at midnight. I’ll announce the winner next Friday. I’ll hook you up with the friendly people at GGM and they’ll mail you your delicious prize in a nicely packed cooler with dry ice. I got some of my own goods a few months ago and they stayed frozen, even in this Texas heat! There are many, many ways to enter so listen carefully. (For each entry, leave a new comment.)

1 entry – Just leave a regular ol’ comment. Tell me how excited you are about this giveaway. Or tell me about someone who has everything. Or just tell me you love me.

1 entry – Blog about this giveaway. (Leave me the link to that post.)

1 entry – Tweet about this giveaway. (Leave me the link… I don’t tweet but apparently I can still read yours… or something.)

1 entry – For the non-Tweeters, you can Facebook it. I suppose you can Facebook it even if you are a Tweeter.

1 entry – Add my button to your side bar. Make sure that it links back to my blog. (Sorry, the code doesn’t work so you have to save it as a jpg and add my URL when you upload it. The jpg can be found on my sidebar… or right here, for your convenience!)

See that! FIVE ways to enter! Good luck!

December 4, 2009 at 8:15 am 59 comments

Attacks on Black Friday

(Okay so this is long but I have so many things to tell you! I just can’t help it! Deal with it. I’ll be having a giveaway tomorrow so you can’t stay mad at me for long.)

I love my husband. This is no secret. He makes me happy, he makes me laugh, he makes you laugh. But, you know, we’re married. And when you are married and live in the same house, sometimes you take your spouse for granted. (I very often tell Stephen how lucky he is to have a wife who cooks dinner for him every night. But then I remember that he’s okay with fast food and take out every day, and that just makes me want to kick him in the shins.)

Tuesday night was a night that God practically came into my house and said, “Chelsea, don’t take your husband for granted.”

We got home from work fairly late since we had a couple errands to run. I went to the kitchen to preheat the oven for my “Mexican Chicken Made With Turkey, Therefore Mexican Turkey.” Stephen went to the living room to turn on the television so his wife wouldn’t miss a single second of Biggest Loser. I then went into our spare room where Rookie hangs out while we’re gone.

“Oh my gosh. Oh. my. gosh. OH MY GOSH. Stephen. Oh my gosh.”

A few seconds went by before Stephen could pull himself away from Obama on television. He came in. “Oh my gosh.”

Explosive dog diarrhea all over. We had white carpet and white walls. No longer. We had a house that didn’t smell like crap. No longer. It was awful. Terrible. I gagged. I wanted to hug and comfort my poor dog who had never dumped indoors ever before. But I didn’t touch her… because well, she’d just diarrhea-ed all over and that stuff tends to get on everything. And you want to know what my amazing husband did?? He turned to me and said, “You go finish dinner and get ready for Loser. I’ll clean this up.”

Lord bless him. Like, a lot.

(For the record, you can’t clean 972 liquid crap stains out of white carpet with normal “over the counter” cleaner. Stanley Steemer is at my house at this very moment. I didn’t tell them what they had to look forward to. I thought it would be a nice surprise.)

Now do you all have good feelings in your mind about Stephen? Do you love him just a little bit more? Okay, hold on to that feeling because some of you aren’t going to like the rest of this. It’s about hunting.

Some of you won’t care. Like my friend Lyndsey. If you can drink a glass of wine while watching a deer get gutted, we’re probably on the same page. She and I are on the same page. If I sat her down and showed her these photos and told her these stores, she wouldn’t say, “Oh gross! Blood!” She’d say something cool like, “Sweet. Who shot him? How many points is he?” If you can relate, you’re probably from Texas. Or maybe you should move here. Anyways, if you start reading and don’t like it, skip the pictures. I’m posting the “nicest” of the batch but some people can’t handle it. You’ve been warned.

We spent Wednesday through Saturday last week in a small town south of a small town in south Texas. Also known as: Practically Mexico. My Papa works for a bank in another small town in south Texas and has access to their hunting camp. On holidays when we’ve prayed real hard, we get to use it. It’s fabulous… as far as hunting camps go.

Last year Stephen shot his first deer. And coyote. And quail. And dove. And probably 4 or 5 other species. He was thrilled because he’s a man and that sort of thing makes him puff his chest. I was thrilled because that meant I had venison in my freezer and wouldn’t have to buy ground beef for a long time. And then I ate it and wanted to hurl. It was awful. Stephen loved it, but he loves everything that isn’t soup.

So this year I told him not to kill a deer. I don’t want that funk in my freezer. I just end up making crappy meals that I hate. So his goal was to get a rabbit. One rabbit. That’s all he wanted. Then my parents said they wouldn’t mind having some venison, so if he shot a deer, they’d take it. Then my brother (who wasn’t able to come with us because his wife is 8 months pregnant) said he’d like some sausage, so if he shot a deer and a hog, he’d take it. New mission: kill a rabbit, a hog, and a deer large enough to split between multiple people.

Let me tell you one thing about my studly husband. He doesn’t miss. Seriously. So when he went out to the blind on the first morning he was vewy vewy qwiet as he was hunting wabbits. A rabbit he wanted, a rabbit he got.

Here he is waiting for Papa to pull the truck a bit closer so he doesn’t have to haul this beast too far.

I’m not sure if there’s enough space in the freezer to store all that meat.

I mentally reorganized my freezer and made peace with the fact that there would be a large rodent in there. And I didn’t really care if he killed anything else because it wasn’t coming home with us. He had other ideas.

See that buck spooning that hog? Those are Stephen’s. Here is Texas, our animals comfort each other in their time of need. Either that or they were cuddling and trying to get used to each other since they knew it’s only a matter of time that they’d be put together forever in the form of sausage.

Sometimes I pretend that it’s my deer because it makes me feel tough. Like a modern day Annie Oakley. Then I let Stephen jump in and do the dirty work.

Check out how focused he is. For those of you who don’t know anything about cleaning a deer, one wrong cut and you’ve ruined some good meat. And another wrong cut and you’ve ruin a good finger. Slow and steady wins the race here. So while he focuses on not hurting himself or his dinner, I focus on having a beer and staying a safe distance from blood and stink.

That’s my sister, can you tell? That’s my scarf too, can you tell?

I don’t have many pictures of the hog for you. Most of the ones I have involve a lot of blood, guts, and bones. Something tells me that if I post them you’ll throw a fit. I’ll share this one final one with you. This is after the gutting but before the skinning and especially gory parts.

On Saturday we took the meat to my aunt and uncle’s house to process it. My uncle cooked up some patties and, turns out, I like venison. I think we must’ve had a bad deer last year. The meat is WORLDS apart. I could never understand why people like it. So now I really do have a full freezer.

And that, my friends, is how Texas does Thanksgiving. Jealous? Just wait until tomorrow when you see how we do Christmas.

December 3, 2009 at 9:16 am 25 comments

Loser 8.12: Wait, What?

Live blogging… excuse the tenses.

So apparently this isn’t the finale. I’m not sure what happened. I even heard on the radio that the finale was going to be postponed an hour because Obama wanted to talk to us. We were all wrong. Next week is the finale. This week is about the 60 days between the last day on campus and the finale.

The remaining four (Rudy, Liz, Amanda, Danny) go home to see their family and friends. They all give speeches about how hard it’s been and how much they’ve lost.

Time for bullets:

  • I like that Danny says that he was a rock star.
  • Amanda has a Bob at home. I think her friend had two pierced ears and I think that means he’s gay. I could be wrong. I’ve been wrong a few times before.
  • Rudy is finally opening up about his sister. Looks like he’s going to try to struggle through it.
  • Liz. “I was bitter. I was angry.” Uhh yeah. You still are. Watch yourself.
  • Liz and her husband know they need to work through some things. It was touching when her husband cried. I don’t know if they can make it work, but I’m glad to see that they’re going to give it a shot.
  • I love Rudy’s teeny tiny television.
  • Rudy’s wife is gorgeous.
  • OH MY GOSH! A commercial on Amanda’s DVD. RIDICULOUS.
  • Stephen thinks that Danny’s wife looks like Tracey.
  • The contestants find out that they are going to run a marathon. They shouldn’t be surprised.
  • Wii commercial. Complete with Biggest Loser commercial music in the background. This may be one of the products I can get on board with. I’m okay with that commercial. It’s reasonable. Unlike chewing a piece of gum instead of eating a cookie.
  • Curtis Stone went to Danny’s house to cook. They made baked potatoes but I missed most of the segment because Rookie had diarrhea during the day and she started fussing so we rushed her outside to prevent more explosions. I don’t want to talk about it.  
  • It appears that Liz lives alone, her husband comes home on the weekends. What a lonely life.
  • Sounds like Rudy has it hard. I want to know why he works 12 hours a day. That’s just not right. To make it even worse, his daughter never wants him to leave the house because she’s scared he’s going to leave again.
  • WOW. Danny’s realization is the struggle that every single BL contestant has gone through but haven’t been able to verbalize. “We had all these problems at home so I went to the ranch. I came back and it turns out that my weight wasn’t the problem.” The Biggest Loser won’t solve your problems or fix your marriage. “It improves your self-worth and self-esteem so you can come home and have the strength to fix the other things.” WELL PUT JILLIAN.
  • Erin from last season’s finale came to plug the Biggest Loser Resort. Then they all ate Subway party platters. ($ chick $ ching $)
  • Time to start the marathon. But not before a Biggest Loser Protein Powder plug. UGH. ENOUGH.
  • Danny is really looking young. I’m impressed,
  • There isn’t much to report about 26.2 miles of running. But I’ll keep going because that’s my (unpaid, self-imposed) job.
  • Tara, blue team chick, Amanda’s maybe-gay friend, Liz’s husband, and Danny’s wife all showed up to run along.
  • Amanda is having some awful pain. I feel really bad for her. You can tell she is really hurting. And also, what the heck is she wearing around her waist?
  • Rudy finished first and he did it under his five and a half hour goal. Amazing. And Alison, Helen, and Mike were there to greet him. Ugh Helen, I thought I was done with you.
  • Amanda was next. Oh the joy in her face!!! And she was also under five and a half hours. And the joy on Bob’s face!!! So cool. So very cool.
  • If I were Danny’s wife, I don’t think I would enjoy running along with him and Liz while Liz repeats, “Come on baby!”
  • Danny and Liz finished in just under 7 hours.

Weigh-in! Bad dress choice for Alison. Don’t they know this is the final weigh-in?? She should have a better dress! This is a huge weigh in since they’ve been home for 60 days, what do you expect? A big number? A tiny one? Plus, only three people will be finalists. Two will earn their spot tonight, the third will be chosen by us.

Liz – 16 – 8.0%
Amanda – 16 – 8.6%
Danny – 59 – 20.49% – FIFTY NINE POUNDS!! He’s lost 201 pounds since he came to the ranch. And he’s very handsome now! Un-freakin-believable!
Rudy – 43 – 14.53% – Fantastic. Nobody really celebrated though. Bob and Amanda were probably mourning since Amanda just got pushed below the yellow line.

 So now we have to decide between Liz and Amanda. I think we all know who I am voting for. (Hint: not the bitter, angry one.) I think that as faithful Loser lovers, we all need to vote. I’ll make it easy for you. CLICK HERE. You’ll have to register but don’t worry, they won’t send you any Extra Sugarfree Gum ads  unless you ask them to. They just need to make sure you aren’t voting over and over. So on the count of three, go vote. 1… 2…. No wait. First comment, then go vote. I won’t count. Just do it.

December 2, 2009 at 9:32 am 14 comments

Ten on Tuesday (8)

This week’s list comes from Stephany at Stephany Writes. Stephany and I are fairly new blog friends. I’m not sure what it is about her blog that I like so much, I can’t pinpoint one thing… I just read it an liked it. You know how that goes?? Sometimes you just stumble upon a blog and think to yourself, “Self, I think I could really enjoy this blog!” And the rest is history. I don’t know if she found me or if I found her, but that’s not important. What’s important is that we found each other!

1. What was the last concert you’ve been to?
Ironically, I touched on this yesterday. The last concert I went to was The David Crowder Band. It was great but I would have loved for it to have been a tad bit louder. DCB needs to be loud.

2. Is it easy to make you cry?
Yes and no. I get a lump in my throat pretty easily but I rarely cry. I think it’s because I look like death when I cry. I get a splotchy red face and my nose looks like Rudolph and my eyes turn this amazing shade of green. I like the eyes part but the rest is just not good. So I try to avoid it. Plus, it’s much more fun to cry alone than it is with a husband. Husbands don’t know how to handle tears… especially irrational ones.

3. Do you ever feel like people underestimate you?
No. I feel like people overestimate me.

4. Name 7 completely random things that you like:
    1. Man Vs. Food on the Travel Channel.
    2. Using my Notary stamp. I love the sound.
    3. My tiny NASB Bible that I keep in my purse.
    4. The smell and sound of dry erase markers.
    5. Reading Sunday ads.
    6. Spiral notebooks that have been written in with ballpoint pen on both sides of the pages.
    7. My A Store (<– that’s a link). It’s my latest obsession. It’s like Oprah’s Favorite Things… only they are my favorite things, and I’m not giving them to you. I’m just telling you to buy them.

5. What’s your favorite reality TV show and why?
Uhhh duh! The Biggest Loser! Why? Because it’s fun and shocking and family friendly and inspiring and addictive and I can’t help but watch it and it makes me write run-on sentences. Speaking of, season finale TONIGHT!!

6. What is your favorite hair care product?
Does the Chi count? It’s technically a product. And I love it because it makes sure my bangs aren’t psycho. And it flattens out my weird half curl cowlick on the side of my head.

7. What’s your favorite song at the moment?
Stephen and I really love Need You Now by Lady Antebellum. He always wants me to sing a duet with him but I’m too scared that his ears will melt or that he’ll divorce me.

8. What’s the number one thing on your Christmas wishlist?
Dining room chairs. We are saving to buy them though because I don’t anticipate Santa bringing 8 wooden cafe height dining room chairs down the chimney. He’s magical but I don’t think that even he could do that!

9. Have you ever lost your cell phone?
Nope. Knock on wood. I’ve lost it in the oh-crap-where-is-my-phone?-Oh-there-it-is way. But never in the oh-crap-where-is-my-cell-phone?-(crickets)-Crap!-It’s-gone way.

10. Did you attack the hordes of shoppers for Black Friday?
Nope. There weren’t any stores in the part of the country I was hanging out in. But my husband attacked a few things… More on that later in the week.

You know the drill. Do your ToT and make sure to link back to my blog. Add my button if you’re fancy like that. Be sure to visit other ToTers.

As of 10:30 on Monday night, the Mr Linky site isn’t working. I’ll check it again in the morning but if it doesn’t work, leave your link in the comments.

*Edited: Mr Linky is working now. Add your link there.

December 1, 2009 at 8:00 am 25 comments

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