Friday, August 31, 2007

Internet Down

Our neighbors who send us the Internet in the air we breathe came by yesterday to tell us that they are moving this weekend.

So, if there's a sudden absence of posts, that's the cause. Now we have to go deal with actually buying Internet instead of just paying our neighbors monthly... ugh. I hate dealing with "the man."

Monday, August 27, 2007

A Winner!

So when McKay tells me that I should make a dish a second time, I know that I've found a great recipe. When it's a recipe I made up on the fly, then there's hope for the world (if I can cook, then believe me, you can).

So here I'll share it with you. Now, I'll give you the recipe how I made it Saturday night, but add notes at the bottom about changes I'd make in the future.

Cajun Chicken Pasta- My goal for this was to make something similar to Chili's cajun chicken pasta. I love cajun anything, so I may have gone over board on the spices. Frankly, I think it's more flavorful than Chili's. This recipe fed 4, but seconds were very wanted by the company and by McKay.

3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
3-4 small white mushrooms, chopped
1 packet of alfredo sauce (you know the kind of packets...there's also taco seasonings and fajitas seasonings in the same area)
1 cup milk
2 tbsp margarine or butter
olive oil
cajun seasonings (amt. listed in directions for seasonings)
garlic
basil
salt & pepper
Noodles (fettuccine)

Start boiling water for the noodles. Just cook them as you would any other day.

So, with the chicken cut into strips, cook it in olive oil with 2 tsp. cajun seasonings. How much olive oil? Oh, you know, put some in the pan so the chicken doesn't stick to the pan. Make sure the chicken is thoroughly covered in seasonings (I even added more at this point. I figured it couldn't hurt). Once the chicken is cooked, add the bell peppers and mushrooms and seasonings. I added more cajun, some garlic, some basil and a dash of salt and pepper. I also may have gone through the side of the cajun seasoning bottle and added various ingredients it mentioned (cayenne powder, more garlic, you know the drill). Mmmm... Cajun seasonings...
Now, I got out my packet for the sauce and poured the powder in and the ingredients it mentioned on the packet (although I used 1 cup milk instead of 3/4 cups and there may have been slightly more than 2 tbsp of butter). At this point I followed the directions on the packet: heat to boiling, let simmer 12 minutes. Then just add to the top of the noodles and enjoy!

Things I'd do differently:

  • Make more. If I were to feed 4 people this recipe again, I'd use 2 packets of alfredo and double the sauce. I might even use the whole green and red peppers and add more mushrooms. I bet adding green or regular onions would be tasty. I might adjust the chicken amount, too.
  • Actually use fettuccine noodles. When I made this on Saturday, we ended up using spaghetti noodles. Noodles taste like noodles to me, but for presentation purposes, I'd use fettuccine.
  • Ask the other couple if they like spicy food. I was lucky that this couple loves spicy food, but it definitely would have been too much for some people and some children. Okay, okay, I could have used more moderation in spices, but gosh! It's CAJUN! That's French for "Use as much of this bottle in one sitting as possible."
Have fun with that! I hope someone else likes it. It was so easy: fresh veggies, alfredo packet, and chicken. Easy and MSG-free (I think...do those packets have MSG?)

Calling Roulette

So you have a pretty simple assignment at church: a little stressful towards the end of the month, but you do it so well, that you know for sure you'll be doing it until you move out of the ward.

And THEN, you get a phone call: "Sister Farley, you've been entered into Calling Roulette! Come meet with a member of the bishopric for a chance to spin the wheel of fate!"*

So you have half an hour until you meet your doom/bishopric member and the possibilities are endless:

  • Nursery/Primary teacher. Luckily for parents, the ward only asks non-parents to be in a responsible for children-related calling. Too bad you aren't a parent.
  • You know your husband is helping a family move a Saturday. You love them very much and would rather them not move... especially since it means that the YW President is moving out (aka any and all YW presidency callings are now open).
  • You also know there's enrichment committee openings. Not a bad calling, but it means meetings and evenings devoted to trying to get women to go to Enrichment.
  • And then there's those callings that you try to pretend don't exist: scout leader, activities committee (aka, more meetings), YW camp director, choir director...

So you get to the building.

"Sister Farley?"
"Yes?"
"Come with me."

So you follow and follow and follow into a room with just two chairs, you take the smaller of the two, and roll the dice.

"Sister Farley, we have a calling here: you show up to church, don't have to pay any attention to any of the announcements, and with little or no preparation each week, you get to just sit back and not be bothered for the second two hours, and in fact, may be entertained with bouts of comedy during those 2 hours."

You jump up and down, confetti falling, fireworks crashing. WOOHOO! Who won the calling lottery? Oh yeah! I did!

Actually, it was more like, "Sister Farley, did you enjoy playing the piano in Primary last week?" (I was substituting since they didn't have a pianist)
"Oh yeah. It was great! I hear they need some one..."
"Yeah, about that..." And I was suddenly asked to be the Primary pianist. Jackpot.

Like I already mentioned: little or no preparation, don't have to pay attention to announcements since Primary activities won't pertain to me, and I can sit back and enjoy the children and the fact that I'm not responsible for them. Woot Woot. I don't think I've ever been so happy about a calling in my life. God really does love me. :)

The only "downside" occurred after the calling was extended:
"Is this a release from my other calling?"
"Other calling? You have another?" (pause...) "Oh.. Let's see this list... Oh. Relief Society Newsletter... I'll talk to the bishop about that."
"Uhuh."

So they've got me in two right now. At least they're both pretty low-maintenance. And with half the ward is moving out/in because of the semester starting next week, they'll be able to nab a poor unsuspecting newbie into RS Newsletter pretty quickly (I hope).

Oh and another great thing: as soon as the Primary Presentation is over in October(?), I get to play Christmas songs and have fun!!

*Ok. It was more like, "Sister Farley, is there a time we could meet with you to extend a calling?"

Saturday, August 25, 2007

100 Hour Board Envy

Don't know what the 100 hour board is? This is what wikipedia says about it. I'm going to all tell you a little story first.

This blog was not my first. This is actually my second. My first has since been demolished, erased, stripped, from the Internet. I started it the winter semester of my freshman year in hopes that if I had a blog that I was anonymous on, I'd get to be on the 100 Hour Board. I read the Board ravenously and I wanted to be a writer. The anonymity of a brown paper sack was my kind of life. I even fought a few man-eating worms to discover how to even apply as a writer. And so I applied.

My downfall was that I was a freshman and didn't have BYU experience; my freshman status didn't attract the editors of the Board. I did have an anonymous blog (which is why until about a year and a half ago, I was still completely anonymous on this blog: just in case I applied again and got in). I occasionally ask the Board questions and I'll use either a punny sign off or I'll stick to "Top Hat." Anyway. Now that I've graduated, I'll never get to write for the infamous Board. Alas!

But anyway, the reason I say all this is because as I was reading the Board today, there were some questions that I'd like to answer, writer or not. And if this is against Board rules, I'm warning Hobbes that I'm not afraid of his secret execution squad.

Board Question #38685
Dear Vixen of PB&J,
I do know exactly what you are talking about, but child, DO NOT FOLLOW THE PATH. It'll only cause heartache (or heartburn). A story from my experience:
Once upon a time I was being pursued by a man who would eventually become my husband. I knew that young men were turned off by girls who just ordered a salad, so I would order as usually and make sure I ate EVERYTHING on my plate. That's right. I was not going to look like a sissy girl! I wanted to proved to him that I was a formidable foe in eating contests. And so whenever I was out with him, I ate. And then, we were married, and suddenly, I ate EVERY meal with him and I hadn't changed my "eat everything on my plate in front of my boyfriend/fiance/husband" habit. So I gained a little weight. Only maybe 5 lbs., but once I knew what I was doing, I had to stop. I actually sat down with him and explained my situation, "Honey, I love you, but I'm a girl and I don't have your metabolism and I'm smaller than you, so I'm not going to eat as much anymore; don't feel like less of a man because I'm eating less. It's not that I don't appreciate the food you cook or buy for me. I just can't do it anymore." Thankfully, he's an understanding and reasonable husband, so it didn't bother him.
So girls, eat like you should eat. And that's the end of my story.
-Top Hat

Board Question #38686
Dear Romance Novel Author,
I really wanted to answer this because it happened so recently for me. It was August 1, to be exact (I know because my brother was with me and I was going to send him off at the MTC later that day). I did throw up on campus. And I didn't make it to the bathroom, but HOW COULD I? I was in room B104 in the JFSB. A map for those of you who do not know": My classroom was in the basement, so the only two bathrooms on that level are marked in red.

This is an old map from Google Earth, so excuse that. For distances, the building is about 100 meters wide, along each of its four sides (I'm guessing it's about square). So I'm running to the bathroom, to toss my cookies and it's going to be just under 150 meters, or under 500 feet. Now, for those of you who have had to rush to the bathroom to throw up, you don't have time to dash 150 meters! I'm no sprinter! I made it just around the corner to the straightaway when I couldn't make it any further. Luckily, I found a garbage can right there. Had I not, my elementary days of "Hurly Heather" would have revisited me (it's not my fault the school nurse wouldn't send me home because I didn't have a fever. I was sick, darnit, and for 3 years straight she didn't believe me! Fevers are not the only indications of illness!)
Conclusion: the JFSB was not planned for sick people in mind. 150 meters to the nearest restroom!! Sure, if I had gone up 2 flights of stairs, there'd be a "closer" bathroom. No planning in mind AT ALL.
Sorry you didn't make it to a restroom either, Paperback. Maybe we can set up a protest or something... "Barfers for Bathrooms!"

-Top Hat, who'll have to explain the "Hurly Heather" later. stupid school nurses...

And I think Uffish did a great job answering the Mr. Roboto question today.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

graduation pics

I posted a few here, but I just got some from my dad and I wanted to post some here, too.

Here we are Geocaching in Park City.

And here's my family. Jared has weird smiles.
And here's me and my hot husband.


I posted a pic like this on the heatherandmckay blog, but this one I'm having more fun in :)
And I really like this one. My dad spent a while trying to frame this one just right. It's got the bell tower and the temple in it.

Monday, August 20, 2007

the MTC

Here are the pictures of me and Rick at the MTC on August 1. He's going to the New York, New York South Mission speaking Spanish.