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Archive for the ‘personality post’ Category

So after a lot of browsing, research, hours that I can’t get back and testing I have taken the big dive and will be moving my blog over to a new platform where I feel that I’ll fit in more appropriately from a creativity and usability standpoint.  I’m officially now a Blogger instead of a WordPresser.

Another new development is that I have decided to rename the blog to “Ann Marie’s Cup of Tea” because:

  1. I’m looking to expand outside of the “Eat Cook Read” topics that I’ve limited myself to with that title
  2. I’ve noticed that the posts people have been enjoying aren’t necessarily about those topics
  3. Lastly, as you can imagine, having a food blog has not been nice to the waistline so I’m also trying to put some health and wellness topics on here as well which would have been counter-intuitive to “Eat Cook Read”!

So you can now find me at www.annmariescupoftea.blogspot.com!  Sign up for the updates and new posts on the right side of the new blog with your email address to follow along on my adventures and misadventures.

Also be sure to let me know what you think or if you have any improvement ideas that would make the blog better!  I’ve already gotten a few ideas that I’ve used from close friends and family so I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts too!

Join me at my new blog!

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Our house is a home to not only us, but, also to a few little furry friends.  Two of which we were only introduced to this weekend.

But let’s start with the “old friend”.  Thomas the woodpecker is not so much a friend as a royal pain in our a*s.

Thomas, he's a real jerk

He stopped by our house last year and decided to mark his territory by boring holes in our siding and not just in one place…in multiple locations.  And he’s such a great friend that he decided to come back this year!  We were so excited to see him again!

And turns out the guy is a real genius.  He actually pecks at the siding surrounding the chimney so you can hear him going to town on a Saturday morning when his beak hits the metal sheeting lining the chimney.  Thank you Thomas for ruining our plans to sleep in on the weekends!

While we were hoping that he would be the only friend that we have to worry about getting rid of, turns out we were wrong.

This weekend we met a new friend, Marvin, when parking our car in the garage last night.  Good thing that I’m not afraid of bats or the fact that there has only been one documented survivor of rabies without a vaccine (enter sarcasm here).

This is Marvin. I really hate bats so this is the only picture I could put up without nearly vomiting

Here’s to hoping that Marvin has found a safe place for the winter or found a way out of our garage, the latter of two being preferable.

Our last and newest edition to our deranged family is someone who I accidentally evicted this afternoon, Squeeker.  While redneck rota-tilling my raised  box garden with a shovel to loosen up the dirt for next Spring, I must have dug under Squeeker’s home in a corner and then pitched him and some dirt a few feet.  I don’t think I’ve ever screamed so loud.

Squeeker, now looking for food stamps and a warm place to stay

Just imagine seeing a mouse fly a few feet in the air, land near your feet and then run for his life.  It was freakin scary.

In all seriousness I can handle the mouse living in the garden but the bat and the woodpecker need to find a new home because they are no longer welcome here!  This is not a homeless shelter for rodents!

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First of all, I would like to tribute this post to Andy Rooney.  There should be more people in our world asking questions, whether it is a dumb question that bothers a few of us or a huge issue that affects all of us.  I have a lot of respect and have gotten many laughs out of the things that grumpy old bastard said and this next post goes out to him.

Almost all of us have been there.

You’re in the line staring down your Subway Artist in the face, trying to predict what kind of a mayo portion you’re going to get. In your mind you’re thinking “should I say “just a little mayo” before he goes to town on my sandwich?” or you’re justifying in your head that “the guy is skinny so I’m sure he won’t put much mayo on” or it’s the last and worst assumption that me and Adam’s old roommates make.  “Maybe it’s just the white trash Subway chick by our house that does that because she’s talking about her ex-boyfriend to her coworkers and is taking it out on the mayo bottle…”.

And then it happens.  Your Subway Artist goes and makes a shi**ty attempt at recreating a really deranged Picasso on what you were hoping would be your “healthy” dinner for the week and loads on literally 1/3 cup of mayo on your sandwich.

Who the h*ll is teaching these artists to portion mayo on subs??  And more disturbingly, who is getting their sandwiches with that much mayonnaise for them to think that we would all want that!!??

It’s gotten to the point where I no longer get mayo on my subs because I am a women scorned.  I’ve been burned too many times by those creative artists and their liberal mayo portions.  I just can’t stand the heartache of seeing one more sandwich bite the dust to cheap Kraft mayonnaise so I simply ask for the mayo packets and then put mayo on the sub post artist construction.

If anyone at Subway ever reads this, I would love to know if there are ever any sting operations to audit these places for their mayo to bread ratio?  If so, what are the findings?

Moreover, we need to change as a culture and fast food community.  If we can’t figure out a way to cut down our mayo consumption to a (6 inch sandwich: 1 TBSP mayo) ratio then maybe we shouldn’t even be eating at Subway and fooling ourselves that we’re doing something healthy.

Some Wise Guy Reading This: “But Jared did it Ann Marie, you don’t know what you’re talking about”.
Ann Marie: “Jared ate fast food and sat on his butt all day and then changed to Subway, didn’t get any mayo or cheese most likely, and in combination got off his keister and started working out.  Eating just Subway sandwiches loaded with mayo probably isn’t a good start”.

Lastly, I end with a challenge and making us as a society more accountable.  I challenge any of you that let them destroy your sandwich to have them put the mayo in a cup on the side and measure how many TBSP it takes to get to the level that they add and look up the calories and fat content.  I’m sure that it would shock you if you did it yourself versus watching them put it on as a bystander.

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Many of my friends and family from out-of-town have asked for the engagement story and since I’m not sick of telling it yet (and probably never will be since he did such a great job of surprising me), here it goes!

Vital Story Background

Me and Mister started dated three years ago during the Thanksgiving of 2008.   Since it was around Christmas time, he asked me on a romantic city date to Minneapolis to watch the Hollidazzle parade and for dinner downtown afterwards.

Since it was about 5 degrees outside, he agreed to sit in front of one of my favorite downtown locations so that we could hop inside and outside….the downtown Barnes and Nobles.

SIDE NOTE: As many of you know, reading is something that I’m very passionate about.  Browsing around bookstores is something that I find peaceful and that I find myself doing when I’m overwhelmed with life as a kind of meditation.  Some people find that inner peace when they’re running or in a yoga class, but not me… it’s browsing book stores. : )

Well, this date ended up being the best that I had ever been on!  We got to talk about books that I had read, books that I still wanted to read, hobbies that he liked while walking through the “Hobbies” section, current event topics and what our thoughts were on those…and we hadn’t even been out to dinner yet!  This was the date that changed it all and it was when I fell in love with a person would end up being my fiance.

Fast Forward 2.5 Years to Today

He had asked me if I wanted to go on a bike trip the weekend over Labor Day to a town South of Minneapolis.  Our summer had been very busy and we had not gotten a chance to get out-of-town and be away from everything.  To say the least, we were both looking forward to that time away.

Then, during the week of Labor Day he asked me if I was interested in grabbing dinner in town Friday before heading out on Saturday, to which I said “sure”…not thinking anything of it.

Friday rolled around…we left the house for dinner and parked downtown in a strange spot.  I insisted that he didn’t know where he was parking and kept suggesting that we park elsewhere.  He kept telling me that he knew where he was parking, so I let it go since I’ve been working hard on not being a bossy little brat.

While walking down the street to our destination, M&S Grill, Adam gave me a card and insisted that I walk and read since we needed to make our reservations.  Again, I didn’t think anything of it and kept up pace with him while reading and dodging through people.The card was sweet and had a message that was very special to me.

He then encouraged me to read the folded letter that was inside as well.  The letter was one that I had written him on our one year anniversary about how special our relationship was to me.  On the bottom of my letter it said “and I can’t believe that this all started for me on Hollidazzle in front of a Barnes and Nobles”.

He then told me to “stop!”.   I said, “Stop reading or stop walking??”.  Then this is what happened:

This is me getting to the end of the page where he told me to “stop”.  I had my head down the entire time reading and didn’t really even have a clue where I was since we had parked in a strange location.

He then turned me around, and this was my expression upon realization that we were in front of “our” Barnes and Nobles.

That same instant he hit his knee and my mind went completely blank…I was so excited and surprised that I don’t even know what he said but I’m sure that it had something to do with marrying me!  At this point, there were about 15 strangers and passerby’s gathered round watching the proposal.

‘This photo ended up being my favorite because it shows the insanity of being in a city and how we’re just lost in our own little world at this specific time and place…

Kudos to Joey for taking so many great photos!

By the time that I had kissed him and said “yes”, people had started clapping, congratulating us, and taking pictures of us with their cell phones.  It was pretty unreal!

I still didn’t know at this point that there was anyone taking photos of us and was in utter bliss about what had just happened.

Here you can see a some of the people back on their route after seeing a surprise proposal that they probably hadn’t been expecting on a Friday night downtown!

Immediately after this he finally told me that our friends Joey, Kayla and Mike had been inside the bookstore window the whole time taking pictures.  I guess that they had even “staked out” the location at lunch that day to ensure that everything would go smoothly!

I was so happy that all of my friends and family that live far away were able to see the shock on my face, along with the happiness that I feel so thank you so much to Joey, Kayla and Mike for being there and capturing the whole scene!

PS: The lady on the right was texting her friend after she had just taken a picture of us and told us enthusiastically that we had “made her week” ; ).

Here’s the Barnes and Nobles that now holds an even deeper spot in my heart.

SIDE NOTE:Look like I’ll need to put down my Kindle and start purchasing some more books in store so that my sweet memories don’t get taken away!
Here’s the shot that some of you have been asking for, the bling!  As many of you know, he has better taste than I do when it comes to things like this so it is of no surprise that he impressed.
He even picked out a generic band so that I could pick my own since we had never been ring shopping or talked about what kind of ring I want.  Always thinking…
And there you have it all folks, the story of how we got engaged!  And I couldn’t have been a luckier girl to have found such a special guy that takes very good care of me!

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After the generous application of MiracleGro the plants rebounded back to greatness!  And today I got my first harvest of vegetables, in the form of a hand full of green beans!

A mother of a garden has never been so proud!  I even put it on a happy monkey plate to celebrate!

Crispy and Fresh!

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And don’t start thinking that this is some post about me being the milk man’s kid or something.  Get your mind out of the gutter.

This title is actually in reference to my crop tending skills, and lack there of.  While I thought that I had everything figured out, it turns out that something went terribly wrong that hadn’t become obvious to me until this week.

On a walk the BF and I went through the church parking lot near our house that has a HUGE garden with plots for members.  Upon looking at their crops and knowing that they had planted their crops the same week as me…I came to the realization that either these people have a prayer group for their gardens (that was clearly working if that was the case) or I had done something wrong.

Then I researched the gardening sites and it became blatantly obvious that I had missed the lesson on fertilizing and “feeding” your garden.  Time to call in the big guns.

Miracle Grow LiquaFeed to the Rescue!

Same exact size as it was over two months ago...go back and see the comparison. Not good.

Yikes, transplanted dill not looking so hot.

Better late than never on a pea fence, right?

There is good news though; first spotting of green beans!

Plus the little climby plant flowers look good too!

To be continued on the MiracleGro results…I just need to remember that it’s a learning experience and that it will just make next year’s crop that much better.

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We thought it might happen eventually…and it did today.  We had our first unexpected visitor raid my garden this morning.  Adam was tossing a couple of pebbles at him and he still wouldn’t go away.  Hopefully that means that the produce tastes good!

Finally after watching the deer wait for him to leave (so that he could resume his criminal garden raiding activities) he took this picture of the deer while going into the yard and giving him a few key words.

Look closely in the shade to the right of the shed...just a little guy

What am I going to do about it?  I have no idea but I better think of something quickly since my stash has been found by the neighborhood produce thieves.

Speaking of which, you have to see a picture that an old coworker sent me of his “little bandit” that keeps raiding his bird feeder.  Clever little fella….

Honestly, how could you be mad at a face like that?

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