Monday, June 30, 2008

Birthdays, Home and Family

One Wednesday, I will be 42 years old. Harley will be 1 on Thursday and Allen will also be celebrating his birthday on Saturday!

We will be celebrating by going to Fort Lauderdale.

For those of you haven't been on my blog for long, Ft Lauderdale is where I come from.

It is an utterly grueling drive. 11.5 hours in the truck, no matter how you cut it.

YES Florida is that big! We have to go all the way across the panhandle before we go down.

There are things about this city that I absolutely love:

And things I detest.

Traffic, crime, just the general hustle and bustle of millions of people squished into urban communities are a few. But there is something so charming about this city that you see only through a tourist's eyes.

BUT, it is where my mom is:

Where some of my oldest friends are:

In a way it is still home.

I am so happy to be going home.

The girls will be staying at Mother's. Allen and I will be at a hotel. There are many reasons for that, the least of all being my mother's condo does not accommodate all of us. The other being, my mother and I are totally different people. I love her with all my heart, but distance allows us to have a better relationship.

The last reason is that Allen and I get to only steal a few minutes to ourselves. This will be a vacation for us. We know that the girls will be with someone who loves them as much as we do, and we can go off and have a romantic weekend knowing we don't have to worry about them.

I'll let you all know how it goes!

Be safe and happy on the 4th ya'll!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Sesame-Garlic Chicken Wings

Mama @ Big Mama's House is having a summer cooking post.

Since I had the BEST WINGS I ever had today, I decided to share the recipe:

1/4 cup Kikkoman Teriyaki Marinade
2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
1/2 cup honey
2 tbsp tonkatsu (asian stores)
2 tbsp pure sesame oil
2 tbsp sagogi powder (asian stores) or beef bullion
1 tsp coriander powder
3 tbsp Teriyaki glaze
4 cloves garlic - lightly crushed
Hot peppers to taste......mild, use none, hot use habaneros

Mix glaze items in large bowl and adjust sweetness or saltiness as needed. If the mix is too salty, add some Coke to sweeten. Stir and set aside for at least 15 minutes to meld flavors.


1 family pack chicken wings (30-35 count)
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup cornstarch

Depending on what type of fryer you are using, heat oil. We prefer to use a turkey fryer outside with peanut oil.

Heat oil on high.

Cut chicken wings in two pieces. Combine flour/cornstarch mixture in a paper grocery bag. Dredge wings thru mixture and shake off excess. Turn down temp on oil to Med High and fry wings in small batches until golden brown. Drain wings and toss into glaze immediately.


PS: If I could sit down and drink the glaze, I would. It is THAT good!

Pss, this recipe is not my own. However, I am still awaiting permission to tell you whose it is.


Noel who is our IT Techie told me it would be ok to tell you the recipe is his. Ladies....the man CAN COOK YA'LL!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


Just out of curiosity, I would like to throw this out to you bloggie friends.

Other than our families, and God.....who do you trust?


Have you ever trusted someone and found out you were just stupid? Did your desire to do the right thing override your brain?

Were you burned? Did you trust again?

How long did it take?

Did anyone suffer, that needed your help, because someone else caused you not to trust?

Think hard, dig deep.

I am not asking for details, generalities will do just fine. Also your thoughts on the questions would be a good place to start. If you don't feel comfortable leaving those comments here. My e-mail is open to anyone.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Greatest Show on Earth!

Last night we took all of our 6 little girls (and all the adults) to the Ringling Bros, Barnum & Bailey Circus. And we just had an absolute BLAST!

Working for the Newspaper has very few perks, specially with the economy and the Internet they way they are. But one of the perks we still do have, is being invited to attend special events. They send us complimentary tickets. Myself and three other employees scarfed ALL 28 tickets!

If you have never been to Ringling Bros, and they come to an arena close to you, make every effort to attend. It is the single most entertaining experience.

From The Tigers: (click to enlarge)

To the Elephants:
And the Acrobats:

And a never ending stream of Clowns:

It was amazing. All the kids were on the edges of their seats and the parents enjoyed it even more.

Afterward we invaded McGuire's Pub for Dinner:

BTW, Happy Birthday Joe!

It was just way too much fun! You can tell, we all just hated it.
Even Harley enjoyed his souvenir!

I hope you all had a great weekend too!

Ooops, correction: There were 6.5 Little girls! Monica is preggers and we just found out she's having (BIG SURPRISE) a.........GIRL!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Thouthful Thursday: Little Girls

Taylor's all time favorite movie is Annie. I am sure all of you ladies out there remember (a very drunk) Miss Hannigan singing about those Little Girls:

(Please press play before you view pictures)

Little girls
Little girls
Everywhere I turn I can see them

Little girls
Little girls
Night and day
I eat, sleep and breathe them

I'm an ordinary woman
With feelings
I'd like a man to nibble on my ear
But I'll admit no man has bit
So how come I'm the mother of the year?

How I hate
Little shoes
Little socks
And each little bloomer
I'd have cracked
Years ago
If it weren't for my
Sense of humor

Some women are dripping with diamonds
Some women are dripping with pearls
Lucky me! Lucky me!
Look at what I'm dripping with

Little cheeks
Little teeth
Everything around me is little
If I wring
Little necks
Surely I will get an acquittal
Some day
I'll step on their freckles
Some night
I'll straighten their curls
Send a flood
Send the flu
Anything that You can do

Some day I'll land in the nut house
With all the nuts and the squirrels
There I'll stay, tucked away
til the prohibition of

Monday, June 16, 2008

Girls Day Out

Most normal women think of something resembling "Sex in the City" when they hear "Girls Day Out".

I said normal!

This was MY girls day out:

These lovely young ladies are: Ashley, Mia, Alyssa, Taylor and little Haley.

They are a great date. I even got to torture them with these!

These are the greatest little girl torture devices ever invented! They work by sucking up water, from the Gulf, from a bathtub, or even from melted ice in a cooler, then squirting your tortuee (is that a word?).

Looks fun, huh!

This is such a cool place to hang out. There is this water slide in the middle of the bay that is about 50 ft high:

Even the Ice Cream Man is on the water:

The best part is the little girls hanging out with their Daddy's on Father's Day.

It's those sweet little girls, fresh from the shower, after a really hard day of playing, that give us the most joy:

No worries Ladies..........I have ALOE!

We had one downfall to our day, it was this group:

They were drunk. And despite hanging out all day next to a boat with 5 little girls on it, they decided it would be fun to rip the bald guy in front's pants off.........and he decided it was cool to show his (not really all that much) everything to the world.

It really is a shame that the whole fun day ended with us pulling up anchor because some dumb jerks just cannot control themselves. Fortunately, the girls saw nothing, they were too busy playing.

Allen's Update, he is doing much much better. The antibiotic is working and he goes back to the eye doctor tomorrow.

Again, thank you for your concern and prayers. He is ok because of all of you.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Birthdays and Food

Tomorrow, we will be having a lunch for two of my "girls" in accounting who are celebrating birthdays.

If you follow the news, you know that newspapers are a fading fad. Thus, our budgets shrink each year.

How do you deal with a shrinking budget and still celebrate birthdays of staff members? You bring ingenuity and recipes!

Our menu tomorrow is Italian. There are 5 of us in the department and with two celebrating birthdays, it takes three to cook. Here is what we decided to do.

We decided on fresh Italian. We are serving:

Tomato and Gorgonzola Salad (yes, we checked, our tomatoes are salmonella free)

Italian chicken casserole

Capellini Pomodoro (angel hair pasta with fresh tomatoes, basil and garlic)
Sauteed Mushrooms:

And Apple Crisp with Vanilla Bean Ice cream.

I have been cooking since I got home.

You see, I do have a hidden talent. I made the apple crisp, the mushrooms and the Capellini (the pictures are off the web, I am not brave enough to take pics of my own food)

I do hope it goes over well, and the girls are not disappointed in not having a store bought cake with candles.

I'll let you know how lunch goes. I put my heart in it as did the two other ladies, but you never know how people will react.


The lunch was FABULOUS!

First a correction, it wasn't a chicken casserole, it was chicken medallions in a balsamic glaze with mushrooms and it was the best! I have the recipe so sometime, I will post it!

We started eating almost as soon as we got in this morning, and we never stopped. There were no leftovers.

All of us are going to be spending time at the Y on the stairmaster!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Aye Matey, Dem Pirates are Here

The Pirate Billy Bowlegs has arrived and declared a week of frivolity and merriment in our small town. Maybe the mayor can throw him and his Krewe out in a weeks time, but for now.....the town parties!

The single largest party on the Emerald Coast is in it's 53rd year. We do love our parties, and our Pirates!

We decided this year, since we were attending the party with people we work with, and on the boat with lots of nutty drunks out on the water, the girls should stay home. They will likely go to the Torchlight Parade with us, but the party on the water was just not an appropriate place for them to be.

There was much Merriment aboard the Roach Approach! Just look at the Hotties I got to spend the day with!


No matter where you looked, people were having a big time:

I had one moment with a twinge of "I want that", "Why can't I have that"? when I saw this:

Oh Baby!

The waters were seriously patrolled by our Sheriff's Dept, Fish and Wildlife the Marine Patrol AND the Coast Guard.

They did a Wonderful job protecting us (and themselves) from the idiots who don't know when enough is enough. It's a great party, but some will always overdo it.

If you want to see a video, go HERE.

Also, this last week, Ashley graduated from Middle School. She is now officially (ugh) a High Schooler,
Boy did I cry. I remembered her first day of school. She was so little and so cute, and now she's grown up.

Talk about stupid, the middle school she went to has it's own theater, but for some reason the powers that be decided their graduation should be in the library. They crammed all of us in there, the kids couldn't even sit down and there was NO A/C!

Our next big party will be at Crab Island for the 4th.
Imagine that with ..................oh about 4000 more boats.

Remember I showed all of you that ugly building at the Destin Harbor? Here are pictures of the Harbor and the East Pass:
(Click to enlarge)

I love love love where I live.

There is a reason they call this the Emerald Coast.

I hope all of you had a lovely weekend.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Billy Bowlegs and The Imminent Loss of our Town

Wikipedia tells us that Billy Bowlegs is this guy:

William Augustus Bowles (1763-1805), also known as Estajoca, was a Maryland-born English adventurer and organizer of Native American attempts to create their own state outside of Euro-American control.

Some sources give his date of birth as 1764.[1] Bowles was born in Frederick County, Maryland. He joined the British Army as a foot solider at 13 and served with the Maryland Loyalists Battalion as an ensign during the American Revolution. After the Battle of Monmouth he went to Jamaica. He was officer in Royal Navy by age 15, but was cashiered for dereliction of duty for returning too late to his ship. This occurred at Pensacola, Florida.

Here in Fort Walton, Billy Bowlegs is this guy:

The year is 1779. Adventurer, wanderer, scoundrel, pirate extraordinaire, and notorious bad boy, William Augustus Bowles, affectionately known as Billy Bowlegs, bursts on the scene. A charismatic leader of men uses his egotistical ambition and superior strength of will for self gain.

Bowles originally came to Pensacola with British forces to hold Pensacola from the Spanish. When the effort failed, he developed an undying hatred for the Spanish visitors. At this time, three countries were vying with the new Americans for control of the sea lanes and trade with Europe. Pursuing his idea of an American Indian state after the end of the American Revolution, Bowles managed to get himself received by King George III as 'Chief of the Embassy for Creek and Cherokee Nations' and it was with British backing that he returned to the Bahamas to train Creek Braves as pirates to attack Spanish ships.

Motley crews in the area were a force to be reckoned with and pirating became a very lucrative business on the high seas. As Bowles' popularity rose, his opponents became more distrustful and vowed to stop at nothing to get him under their control. Resistance came form all sides: the English became afraid Bowles was an agent for the Spanish, the Spanish offered him a Maj. General commission to “change sides” (and later offered $6000 and 1500 kegs of rum for his capture when he refused) and the Americans considered murder to be rid of his devilish activities.

He was briefly captured by the Spaniards. He managed to escape, commandeering a ship and returning to the Gulf of Mexico. In 1795, along with the Seminoles, he formed a short-lived state in northern Florida known as the "State of Muskogee", with himself as its president, and in 1800 declared war on Spain.

In 1803, not long after having declared himself 'Chief of all Indians’ at a trial council, he was betrayed by disenchanted Indians. They led him into a trap and turned him over to the Spanish authorities. He was imprisoned in Havana where he would neither speak to his captors nor eat their food and subsequently starved to death at the age of 42. This obscure episode in American history has given rise to a festival which is now an integral part of the Fort Walton Beach Community, the Billy Bowlegs Pirate Festival.

..........the year is 2008. Very soon local residents will batten down the hatches in preparation for the invasion of the infamous yet ever popular, Captain Billy Bowlegs. Captain Billy Bowlegs, along with his Queen, has been spotted at several local schools trying to persuade local youngsters to join his Motley Krewe. Captain Billy and his Krewe plan to invade Fort Walton Beach at the 53rd Annual Billy Bowlegs Pirate Festival in June at Fort Walton Landing. Although Captain Billy's record stands at 52 wins and 0 losses, nothing is a sure thing when it comes to the city militia. The Fort Walton Beach Mayor and his brave Militia are not about to give up control of the city without a fight. Reports also say the militia has a secret weapon in store for those spineless thieves."

THIS is a mighty Pirate Bounty Ye Mateys!

This weekend we will be welcoming Billy Bowlegs to our town. He will arrive by ship, fight the Mayor and his minions for control of our town. His Krewe will make merry all week. There is a ball and a parade (all events raise money for different charities) and who can forget his imminent arrival!

I will regale you all with pictures as he arrives (or I will try through the throngs of people).

Pray for our small town as we are invaded!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Iraq from an Iraqi.

For those of you that do not check out my blogroll, you may never have met Sunshine or read her blog.

Mosul, Iraq is the last bastion of violence in Iraq and Sunshine tells it best when she talks about her hometown. I encorage you to visit her blog, for 15, she is very savvy!

Today I read her blog and almost cried with relief. Things are so much better.

From Sunshine's Blog:

"In these nights I sleep comfortably, at least I can’t hear my heart beat ! time I hopefully night bruxism will stop, I still suffer from killing cramp in my jaw, now I spend more time in my room and even change my clothes there !!
There are a lot of things I want to do in the coming days, not now, but within a month or so to make sure the situation will remain good, I want to fix my room, and hide the places that were damaged because of the fights I am excited.
May god bless Iraq, and National guards ,and save everyone"

If the news tells you one thing, question it, remember......they get paid to sell! Read!

We are in a flux right now, we are electing another president. Compare what the candidates tell you is happening in Iraq, with what Iraqi's tell you.


Sea Bugs and Friends!

You wouldn't think these very ugly sea bugs would eat well, but you have no idea.

When cooked, these scrumptious creatures make for a fun evening.

This past Friday, my girlfriends daddy and her husband went crabbing and fishing. Then.......INVITED US TO DINNER!

Those pesky little suckers are a mess to eat.......a lot of work for just a little meat, but OH SO MUCH FUN when everyone is just having a good time (did I mention yummy?)

So, for those of you that have never eaten steamed blue crab, a recipe!


For each dozen crabs use:

2 1/2 tablespoons Old Bay Seasoning

Cayenne pepper to taste

3 tablespoon salt

water and vinegar

Use a large pot (we use a turkey fryer, outside), such as a canner, with a raised rack in the bottom at least 2 inches above bottom of the pot (a round barbecue grill sitting on bricks or stones works well). Fill pot with equal quantities of vinegar and water to just below the level of the rack. Add craps to pot in layers, sprinkling each layer of live crabs*** with the mixture of Old Bay Seasoning and salt. Cover and steam until crabs or red, about 20 to 30 minutes. Serve crabs immediately. Because seafood spoils quickly, keep crabs warm in steamer or promptly refrigerate.

Serve steamed crab on a table covered with paper for easy cleanup and with plenty of cold beer. Melted butter seasoned with a little Old Bay Seasoning is often served on the side. Have plenty of paper towels handy.

***When adding crabs to pot, make sure the crab is alive. Crabs spoil quickly and any dead crabs should be discarded

The rest is easy....make sure you have claw crackers on hand for everyone and MUNCH!

For those of you that heard the myth that crabs scream, it is just steam that builds up under the shell. It isn't really a scream, it's more of a pppphhhhhhhhhhhhhtttttttt.

Serve with corn on the cob (leave the husk on, butter them inside the husk and throw them on the grill), fried zucchini and yellow squash (sliced and battered in corn meal).

Invite your friends and pass out the bibs!