Blessings, conferences and friends

On Monday, April 11, my laptop was stolen from my car in a shopping center parking lot. While my car and my body came to no harm, I lost several months of graduate research, more than that in notes and more than more than that is electronics.

Plus, it was the laptop Husband got me for Christmas :(

Not to mention all of my personal information. I had fun changing every password I could possibly think of this week. I got ’em all!

But because it was taken, I’m terribly fearful that whoever took it is going to come get me.

I know. I’m paranoid.

Of course, we’ve got a security system and a gigantic noise-maker (i.e., Ivan the German Shepherd), so I’m super safe in my home; I’m still freaked out.

Sigh.

Here is the good news (and it’s really good news):

My sweet husband and his wonderful parents got me a new one. Yes. A new one. After my idiotic head got the first new one stolen.

I am blessed for my family. I am so blessed.

While my last post was suuuuuuper depressing, this post is much more uplifting, don’t you think? :)

My friends, too, helped me so much. My classmates sent me notes, gave me copies of evaluation forms and let me borrow textbooks, which I’ll probably have to borrow again. They can’t replace my research, though, I have to do that. Boo.

And Ashley R. has been so supportive and let me curse and moan about stuff even though I know she hates it when I cuss. She’s so sweet!

So, while I have returned with new hardware, I will be missing AGAIN because I have a conference to go to. Don’t give up on me! I will be free someday!

Until then… please enjoy what I ate for dinner tonight. :)

Mesquite BBQ Pork Loin (Hormel – It was pre-made), Bush’s baked beans AND…

Crunchy Onion Mashed Potatoes
Ingredients

  • 3 cups  prepared hot mashed potatoes
  • 1 cup  sour cream
  • 1/4 cup  milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon  garlic powder
  • 1 1/3 cups (2.8 ounces)  FRENCH’S® Original or Cheddar French Fried Onions
  • 1 cup  shredded Cheddar cheese

Directions
MIX mashed potatoes, sour cream, milk and garlic powder. SPOON half the mixture into 2-qt. casserole. Sprinkle with 2/3 cup French Fried Onions and 1/2 cup cheese. Top with remaining potato mixture. BAKE at 350 degrees F for 30 min. or until hot. Top with remaining 2/3 cup onions and 1/2 cup cheese. Bake 5 min. or until onions are golden.

Pretty tasty. Use reduced fat sour cream, skim milk and sharp cheddar cheese to cut down on calories.

Last night I made a whole chicken!

Chicken with Rosemary-Garlic Butter
Ingredients

  • 1 cup  butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup  chopped fresh rosemary
  • 4 teaspoons  chopped fresh garlic
  • 2 teaspoons  salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon  ground black pepper
  • (5- to 6-pound) whole roasting chicken

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small mixing bowl, combine butter, rosemary, garlic, salt, and pepper. Rub butter mixture under skin and on outside of chicken. Truss chicken with butcher’s twine. Place chicken, breast-side up, on a rack in roasting pan. Cover loosely with foil and bake for 1 hour. Remove foil and continue baking, basting occasionally, for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until meat thermometer inserted in thigh reaches 180 degrees. Remove pan from oven and let rest for 10 minutes. To serve, slice chicken and pour pan juices on top.

I enjoyed this, too, even if Husband was a bigger fan of today’s dinner.

Have I been working out? Not so much. If it’s any consolation, Ashley R. kicked my butt with stadiums on Thursday. I hurt…

(She made me do a weird track exercise, and I stopped early, and she said, “Do two more.” And I looked at her like a 12-year-old looks at her mother when she says, “Eat your broccoli.” Then, we laughed.)