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Weekending With Auburnchick

Y’all, this head thing is putting a crimp in my style as far as weekend fun goes.

Because I’m still having headaches, I’m being forced to lay low, which means NO beach, NO pool, and NOTHING that’s too loud.  When you live fifteen minutes from the beach, it’s a bitter pill to swallow.

True to form, I’m making the most of my downtime.

Friday, I found myself without a headache; however, the trade off was that I’d gotten NO sleep the night before.



Bet that you can’t tell from the selfie, below.  I’m a girl who pulls up her big girl pants and does life anyway.

Thursday night, I’d taken one of my new pain pills – the one with codeine (to help me sleep) – but it also had caffeine in it (to ward off the headache).  Guess which ingredient my body took to like a flea on a dog?


I was super relaxed, though, so at least I wasn’t exactly suffering all night.

It was strange, though, because I wasn’t really tired when I got up.  I took the dogs for a ride to get them out since I can’t walk them right now.

At first, they were suspicious, but when I didn’t make the usual turn for Petsmart, they relaxed.

Gambit’s face though 😀

I was down for the count by 2pm, though, and slept a hefty two and a half hours – in bed.  The dogs were more than happy to oblige me.

I felt a little better when I got up, so I got busy in the kitchen, preparing a few things I’d been wanting to try.

First up was 5-Ingredient Vegan Peanut Butter Pudding, a recipe by Minimalist Baker.

I had prepared the pudding the day before and had it chilling in the refrigerator for twenty four hours, as directed.  It was time to put the finishing touches on it.

First of all, I learned that waxed paper is the best way to go as opposed to using saran wrap when trying to prevent a film from forming on the top of puddings and custards.  I’ll remember that for next time.

I’d gone back and forth about the topping.  Although chocolate ganache strongly appealed to me, I wanted to try something new, so I pulled out the can of coconut cream I’d put in the refrigerator a few days before and got to work on a whipped topping (the recipe is linked in with the recipe above).

I’d purchased several cans of this at Trader Joe’s over Christmas break because we don’t have this store, and I had read that to successfully make whipped cream, you have to buy cans that don’t have guar gum, which is used as a stabilizer and prevents cream from being whipped up.

I’ve tried, in the past, to make this and never gotten it right.  I guess Friday was the day!

It was light and tasty.  Yum!

I added it to my pudding.

I showed restraint by putting it in the fridge because y’all, I hadn’t eaten dinner yet!

The next dish I prepared was really a “recipe.”  I’ll admit that I cheated a little.

I wanted to warm up the jackfruit I’d purchased earlier in the week.

I’ve been very intrigued by this newly-popular food item, and although I’ve found it sold in cans online, I haven’t been able to locate it in my local stores.

Prep was fairly easy, except for the pulling-apart thing (akin to pulling apart pork when making barbecue).

Although it’s a fruit, the texture is similar to pork.  I think it would be a great food for people who are making the transition to becoming vegetarians.

I added 1/8 of a cup to each slice of pizza I had leftover from the day before.

It was delicious!  I wound up ordering a pack of six cans of jackfruit (from Amazon) so I can make stuff like this from scratch and eliminate some of the unhealthy ingredients that’s in prepackaged food.  Oh yeah, and don’t be judging me, because I know the pizza wasn’t healthy either.  It’s been a tough couple of weeks for me, so cut me some slack.  🙂

Because of my nap, I wasn’t tired that night.  Gambit was not impressed.

I slept in rather late on Saturday and quickly got dressed.  Chicky was on her way for a very brief stop enroute to see her guy.  She needed to drop a few things off.

I got to see her fur baby, Cali, who is always excited to visit us.  She’s never forgotten us after the summer that she and Chicky spent here when Chicky was still in college.

We put her in the backyard because we didn’t want to risk a less-than-friendly reception by our dogs.


We sent Chicky on her way with my rice cooker, a couple of homemade energy bars, and a bowl of peanut butter pudding (just so you know that I’m not a complete pig).

After she left, I made lunch for the Mr. – chicken fingers – his favorite.

Thank goodness for being a blogger who takes a lot of pictures because my memory is giving me tiny fits right now.  I blocked a project I’d finished in the wee hours of the morning.  I’ll have photos of that soon.

I didn’t go to bed too late, if you consider midnight acceptable.  It is still summer, after all.

I skipped church on Sunday because I was worried that the loud music would make my headache worse.  Although the headaches are less intense, they are constantly present, brewing beneath the surface.  I did get up, showered, dressed in street clothes, and adorned with makeup.

Go me.

Good thing too, because the Mr. called and asked if I wanted to go to Newk’s with some of our friends from church.  He picked me up, and we had a lovely time with two other couples.

Then, it was home again for the day where I rested, knit a LOT on a new project, listened to RHAP’s Big Brother updates (don’t be judging), and binged on Bosch, my latest Amazon Prime go-to show.

The Mr. and I watched the latest episode of Sharp Objects.  What a dark show; it’s so depressing!

While we watched, the Mr. tried, unsuccessfully, to ignore Pele as he ate a leftover hamburger patty.

Although I’m spending a lot of time at home these days, it’s been good for me and the dogs.

They love that they’re getting extra treats and lots of time in the yard.

We are getting so much quality time together, which is difficult during the school year.

Did you do anything exciting?  Can I live vicariously through you for a little while?  🙂

When Mischief is Afoot

My Pele . . . such a chill dog . . .

Yeah, rightttttt.

I think I’ve finally figured him out.

You see, he spends an awful lot of time sleeping.  I mean, it is a dog’s life, right?

But see, here’s what’s actually happening.

He’s plotting.

All kinds of evil.

Well, doggy evil, that is.

Take, for instance, Thursday afternoon.

Mondays and Thursdays are my long days because I go straight from school to physical therapy.  I usually don’t get home until 5:45 or so.

The Mr.’s schedule is usually flexible enough that he can come home during lunch to let the dogs out.

Pele has been staying in his crate during the day because he’s regressed to his puppy chewing days; however, we’d recently begun to leave him out because he had not been chewing things the times we’d accidentally left him out.

Now I can see that this was part of Pele’s grand plan.

We always said that he wasn’t the smartest cookie of the batch.

Boy has he had us fooled.

So, back to Thursday.

I got home around 6 and was greeted by a happy dog.

And this . . .

The Mr. had beat me home but had left this for me to find because, as you can see, it was quite unbelievable.

My 80-pound dog had somehow dragged the toilet paper holder across the house to his bed – no easy feat, I’m sure, and one I wish I had a video of.

Not only that, but he’d chewed up some very pretty cruise photos the Mr. and I had taken during our last trip.

Pele had to have climbed on my baker’s rack to get to the pictures.


The Mr. said that if he’d remembered that it was my long day, he would have put Pele in his crate at lunch.  Pele tends to get antsy / lonely in the afternoons.

Or should I say that he gets hungry.

Lesson learned.


Because we’re getting old, forgetful, or soft.

Fast forward to Sunday.

Rooster Facetimed us in what has become our weekly call.  I had him pulled up on my computer, and we were all about our boy.

That’s when Pele decided to implement Part B of his evil plan.

He knew we were distracted, so he eased into the kitchen.

Then, I heard something.

That something was the sound of his claws . . .

On my counter . . .

Snagging something from the cooling rack . . .

I had made the Mr. ten donuts.

He had eaten two.

That should have left seven.

Go ahead and count the ones you see in the picture.

Yep.  Seven.

Pele had smelled the peanut butter and honey and decided he needed deserved one for being such a good boy.


Meanwhile, we were yelling at Pele, and Rooster was asking, “What’s happening?”

He had a good laugh when we told him.

Do you think Pele felt remorse?

Not exactly.

Now, don’t go passing judgment, and don’t you dare try to tell me that he needs more attention.

This boy gets more than his fair share, that’s for sure.

He’s spoiled rotten.

Just like a toddler, that doesn’t seem to be enough.

While I’d like to think that we’ve managed his mischief, I think the opposite is true.  He’s managing to create mischief when we least expect it.

I highly suspect that he has more plans for us; he seems to be getting more impish with each passing year.

Heaven help us.

Puppy Loving

Saturday was simply glorious around these parts.

The sun was shining, and the temperature got up to 78 degrees.

I cannot remember February ever being this warm before.

I spent some time in the back yard loving on the dogs.

Pele loves the sun.

He was very cooperative when I started taking selfies.

Gosh, but I love this guy.  He’s our oldest now; every day with him is a gift.

Pele may be the oldest, but Molly is the one in charge.

I ordered a new collar for her from Kelli, a high school friend who has an Etsy store that specializes in dog collars and leashes.  Her work is top-notch, let me tell you.

This is the third collar I’ve purchased from Kelli.  They are so strong and stylish too!  Molly didn’t mind posing for me in the yard…

Alas, but I didn’t take any photos with Gambit!  Shocker, I know, but he did get loved on…just not photographed.


This weekend’s weather provided a tantalizing whiff of spring, which is right around the corner.

How We are Coping

Dear Rooster,

While you’re off learning how to wear camo and keep your face clean-shaven, we’re just over here, counting down the days until we get to see you again.

We still have a longgggggggg way to go.

The waiting is exhausting.

If you need us, we’ll just be chillin’…in between letter writing…you know, like sleeping, which is something you’re probably not doing a lot of these days.

We love you and are praying for you, even while we snooze our days away.  Honestly, sleeping helps pass the time until we can be reunited with our boy wonder.


Mama, Pele, Molly, and Gambit


As evidenced by a few of the questions, Christmas is drawing nearer.  Am I ready?  Not really, but everything will come together in the end, as it always does.  Meanwhile, I hope you’ll play along by linking up with Joyce.  Thanks, Joyce, for the fun questions!

1.  Are you doing anything special to mark this season of Advent? If so please share.

I think I’m becoming a bit of a Scrooge the older I get and just can’t seem to find myself over-excited.  I think that over the last four years, work has drained me, leaving me with little energy or time to do the things I used to to mark the holiday season.  So, that’s my long-winded way of answering in the negative regarding this question.

2.  Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen…and of course you recall, the most famous reindeer of all…so, which reindeer name best describes you this week?

I’d love to say Vixen, but I can’t say that my outfits have had that WOW factor.  😀

Instead, I’ll go with Prancer, because prancing around my classroom, getting kids to stay on task, seems to be the name of the game ever since we got back from Thanksgiving break.  Learning?  What is that, the kids wonder.  Their minds have jumped ahead to Christmas vacation!

3.  What’s worse-too quiet or too loud? Which have you had more of lately?

Too loud is definitely worse and what I’ve had more of lately thanks to kids being unfocused and a bit too chatty (see question #2).

4.  This question comes to you from Zoanna over at A Penchant for Pens-thanks Zo!

When you are administratively gifted, how often do you find yourself not trusting less gifted people to do what they’ve committed to do?  If you are not so gifted that way, but are reliable, how do you feel when the stronger person (in that area) goes ahead and covers it before giving you a chance to come through?

I am the type of person who takes care of business when I say I will.  Thus, I have little tolerance for those who do not.  I tend to follow up…quickly…to ensure that things are getting done in a timely manner.  It does irk me if someone who has tasked me with something goes ahead and does it.  Don’t ask me to cover if you don’t really think I can!

5.  What is your most dreaded task relating to the holidays? Your most looked forward to holiday task?

My most dreaded task is putting away decorations, which I won’t have to worry about this year because I have not decorated.  Shocker, I know, but true all the same.

My most anticipated task is wrapping presents because it’s when I learn what the Mr. has purchased for people (bad, I know, but I trust his judgment enough to turn over shopping to him).

6.  Facebook has released its list of the ‘most talked about’ topics of 2013. Pope Francis took the number one spot.  Does that surprise you? He was followed by election, royal baby, typhoon, and Harlem Shake. Your thoughts? What was your most talked about topic in 2013? (Facebook, around the kitchen table, or wherever it is you talk)

The Harlem Shake made the most talked-about list of topics?  Wow.  The others listed do not surprise me.  Mankind is a nosy species, that’s for sure!  My most talked-about topics would be a toss-up between teaching and my children.

7.  What’s something you consider a necessity that others might view as a luxury?

Getting my nails done every pay check is a mental necessity that others often view as extravagant.  I care not what others think.  Going to the nail salon provides downtime that I need.  I work a lot of hours, both at school and from home, and I don’t really treat myself to things.  I don’t like to shop, except for books for my classroom, and I don’t do many other things for myself.  Having my nails look pretty makes me feel good.  I feel no guilt or embarrassment.

8.  My Random Thought

For a few years now, we’ve had a problem.  Pele, our now-oldest dog (Aubie was the oldest before she passed away in May) has insisted on sleeping on the couch.  It started when he was a puppy and we allowed him there.

I know…bad, bad, bad.

When Molly came into our home, she followed suit, and I’ll admit that it was fun to watch the dogs chase each other around the house and over the couches.

Yes, I am a redneck, and Martha Steward would be having a heart attack.

At some point, we got tired of getting up from the couch with an entire skin of fur on our backsides, so we banned the pups from the furniture.

It was a long, difficult adjustment, but Molly finally learned her lesson.

Pele did not.

He’s not the brightest bulb, let me tell you.

I resorted to putting dining room chairs on the couches to deter him.

Did I mention that Martha Stewart would be having a heart attack?

Last week, I had an idea…very random but so typical of me.

I pulled pink packing wrap from a box I’d had for years, covered my couches with them, and waited to see what would happen.

Guess what?

The dogs did not disturb the wrap!

Not the first day, nor the second, third, or fourth.

It’s been about a week, and the wrap continues to do its job.

In fact, Molly is scared of it when I move it to sit down.


The wrap is so much less of a pain than picking up two chairs, turning them over, and laying them down, only to pick them up later when anyone wants to sit.

Did I mention that I have moments when I surprise myself with my brilliance?


Puppy Pampering

I feel the need to apologize for not writing much of late.

I’ve been incredibly busy with teaching, lesson planning, and grading.  I come home exhausted and without any brain cells left to write with!

I have been teaching my students to write…something I am passionate about…so at least I’ve got an outlet.  Still, I’m missing my blog and my readers!

On Tuesday, students in my district had to write essays based on grade-level responses.

These essays had to be graded.

Guess who got selected to help with this task?


I had a half-day sub on Friday and must have graded over 100 essays in two and a half hours.

Although I had dreaded the work, it wound up being a little fun.  Students are simply amazing, and I heard their voices through their written prose.

Afterward, my brain was fried beyond repair, so I headed to my nail salon where I went for something a little wild…a suggestion made by one of my students earlier that day…

It’s my tech’s version of cheetah nails.  I like them a lot!

Today, Gambit got me up early (Rooster is spending the weekend in Auburn for the big game against Georgia).  I was glad, though, because I was able to get stuff for school finished.  I have my first of two observations on Tuesday.  Although I already had my lesson plans finished, everybody knows that we have turn things up a bit when administrators come in.  Truth be told, the observations are good for me, because they make me analyze my plans and incorporate more engaging activities and student reflection opportunities…things I need to be doing EVERY time I teach but sometimes get too tired or lazy (ahem) to do.

I took a break and ran errands.  While at Sams, I found a little something for my fur babies.  I couldn’t wait to get home and surprise them.

Yes, I am a sad creature, am I not?  With my non-furry babies grown and one of them out of the house living on her own, I pour my attention on my dogs.

Take a look at how they responded to the new, PoochPlanet ThermaLuxe (I’m not getting paid to mention the name) dog bed…

A bit of wistfulness entered my heart as I thought about how much Aubie would have loved this.  Sure wish I’d found one like it when she was still here.  I miss her so.  😦

Meanwhile, Gambit took a turn on it…

I don’t think he likes it.

Not one bit.

Pele returned to it early this evening.  He is one of the sweetest, gentlest giants of a dog.  The look on his face is priceless.  That is one happy dog!

I don’t know about you, but pampering my dogs brings a smile to my face when I see their human-like reactions.

Tuesday Puppy Love

Here’s a quick post in which I share some recent puppy love that’s been going on in these parts…

Washing the bed cover didn’t stop Gambit from getting comfy on his bed.

Fridays are long days when there’s a football game. Molly was very happy when I got home and stayed home.


The cooler weather and cold floors mean that these two become the best of buds when it comes to sharing the bed.


By 10pm, Pele is tuckered out. He’s the sweetest, gentlest 90 pound dog you’ll find.

Grandpuppy love is the BEST!!! I spoiled her with a glow-in-the-dark collar, lots of play, and let Chicky deal with the aftermath. heehee

Lazy Days of Summer

Don’t be envious when you see this…

And this…

And especially this…

I don’t have too many weeks of summer left, so I’m going to enjoy each and every one of them to the fullest!

Still Miss Her So

It’s been a little over two months since we lost Aubie.

She’s never far from our minds as things the other dogs do remind us of her and her quirky mannerisms.

I have my Macbook Pro desktop set to rotate through the pictures I’ve saved on my computer, and this one popped up the other evening.

Pele was a wee thing at the time.  He’s nearly 100 pounds now.

A couple of things about this picture touch me.

First, look at how small Aubie was on that bed.  It’s ironic that Pele would later be the one to lay across it because he would quickly outgrow the smaller one.

I also noticed that we had pushed their beds close together so he could be near to her at all times.

Pele loved Aubie and followed her everywhere.

There was, quite literally, a bounce in his step when she entered the room, and his ears would flop as he trotted after her.

She was his mama, and he worshiped the ground she walked on.

Sometimes I think he still misses her.  He gets a sad look on his face that no amount of loving can take away.

We miss her too, and the tears come unbidden when we least expect them.

See Ya Soon, Cali Girl

Chicky’s puppy, Cali, has been staying with us since Chicky came home in May.

Chicky and one of her roommates adopted Cali nearly a year ago, and we have treasured her visits.

Having her here for over a month has been a lot of fun.

It only took a couple of days to train her to not attack her food bowl.  Now, she sits patiently and won’t eat until we give her the command.

She rules the house from her perch on the couch…

But now, it’s time for her to go back down south.  Chicky is taking her to her roommate’s parents’ house, where her roommate is spending the summer.  “K” will keep Cali for the rest of the summer, and Cali will live with the girls when they move into their off-campus housing in August.

I will miss this sweet puppy.  She has so much personality, and she’s incredibly smart.

She has livened up our home through her crazy antics.

Gambit is going to miss his playmate too…

I’ll miss my snuggle buddy…it didn’t take her long to get used to sleeping with me…giving Chicky’s allergies a break…

Safe travels, sweet girl.  I’ll see you soon.  Like any grandma, I’ll probably take a surprise down to you the next time I’m down your way!

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