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[Comments] (3) Close Encounters of the Sharp Kind: I got attacked by a staple today. For anyone who doesn't knnow how clumsy I am, that means I accidentally attacked myself with a staple. I was sitting there talking to Andrea trying to get it out of my finger, and realized I was getting nowhere, so she finally did it.

I made this huge, gorgeous Thai chicken satay stir fry dinner for John. The knife slipped while I was cutting green pepper, and cut my bitten-down nail. Not two minutes later I realized I was trying to grate baby carrots. What kind of a stupid idea was that? I avoided another incident there.

The dinner was delicious. John was so impressed he jumped right up after and did the dishes! I got this recipe off Rachael Ray's 30 Minute Meals several months ago, but today I randomly had all the ingredients to make it. I picked this one in the first place because I new I'd never have lime juice or cocount milk, key ingredients in other recipes. This is the first 30-Minute Meal I've actually made and it took me about 50 minutes (not including whatever dessert she put with it). Here's the recipe (Susie-ized):

Chicken Satay Stirfry with Orange Jasmine Rice

Zest of 1 Orange
1 cup rice
2 cups water

2 T. oil
1 lb. chicken, cut into bite-size pieces
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 medium yellow onion, sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced (I used green, but I think red would be better)
1 cup matchstick carrot pieces
6 scallions, cut into 2 inch pieces
1 c. peas

Satay sauce:
4 rounded T. chunky peanut butter (or creamy with chopped peanuts! I’m so inventive!)
3 T. soy sauce
3 t. honey
1 t. ginger (or 1 inch crushed)
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 t. red pepper flakes
juice of ½ orange

¼ c. chopped peanuts
3 T. chopped cilantro

Cook rice and water with orange zest.  Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over high heat.  Add chicken, garlic and onion, stir-fry 3 minutes.  Add remaining veggies and stir-fry 5 minutes more.  Heat all ingredients for sauce together in a small pot over low heat, stirring the sauce until all ingredients are combined.  

: I had a good time yesterday hanging out with Rachel. It's great that I can actually hang out with my sister on random occasions! Now if only my brother were closer... Anyway, as soon as I got off work, we drove around to a bunch of stores in the Tustin Marketplace. I bought two new work shirts. That makes four new shirts I've bought since we moved here- and no shoes. I did need the shirts, but I'd still like to get some sandals. Of course, by the time I find some it will be cold and I won't want to wear them.

On Wednesday night, while John was at the Angels game with a client, I made mini-kits for Jamie's online store. I spent about two hours, coincidentally the amount of time it takes to watch "The Incredibles". It was fun, although I feel like I haven't talked to my husband all week. We are going to Ladera Ranch on Saturday; John is going to study in the library there, and I will do the beginning-of-the-month stuff for Jamie. Then we are having a BBQ. I love having our family close!

: I have gotten three compliments on my new shirt. It's white with silver "thread" in it, kinda "cowboy" style, only really thin material and it was only $10.

John and I are going to the Angels game tonight. I haven't been to a baseball game in years. Should be fun. I'm going to go to the grocery store on the way home, and I'm going to stop at Trader Joe's. I want to see how prices compare, and I want to buy some bulk cornmeal- I can't remember if Trader Joe's has bulk or not. I want it to make fried okra with. I've been very good about us eating vegetables every night. John mostly prefers cooked vegetables, so it takes a bit more planning, but it is health for us.

Presto Pesto Cream Sauce: Last night I made pesto cream sauce to go with our leftover noodles. John doesn't really like the basil pesto, and I don't really like plain pesto and noodles, so I thought this might be a good idea. It turned out to be really easy and yummy.

I just made a white sauce (2 T. Butter, 1 T. flour 3/4 c. milk) and put some shredded parmesan (1/2 c.) in it (aka Alfredo Sauce), then added an ice cube of pesto. That's it. It was so easy. I also put peas in mine.

: The NFSA is not what you expect: Fire Sprinklers!

Exhale: I just had to run our safety team meeting. I wasn't nervous until everyone kept asking if I was. It was fun, I work with great people.

[Comments] (2) The Calls: Rachel came to visit last night. We went shoe shopping, finally with success, and then went to dinner with Justin and Barbara. Not only was the food yummy (I will have to take John there so he can enjoy fried ice cream) but the conversation was wonderful.

Uncle Justin is always so interested in our lives. He asked lots of questions and then told us about Lorna, and about his mom (Great-Grandma Della). He was reminiscing about her piano and was excited to hear that I have it now.

He was also telling us about some of the cases he's been an "expert witness" for; drug companies, contested adoptions and the like. And about how he got to be so cool. He showed us the bike path where he rides 12 miles every other day and told us about the fundraiser he is hosting on Friday. They are going to have a sign outside his house that says "Neuroscience and Psychoanalysis."

Aunt Barbara is such a go-getter, she could hardly sit still long enough to eat her food. It was nice to get a chance to chat with her too.

[Comments] (3) : Let's see. Busy week this week. Monday: Oil change, Tuesday: grocery shopping and bake cookies, Wednesday: Enrichment, Thursday: Girl's Night Out (we're supposed to be getting pedicures), Friday: Mommy might be coming to visit me, Saturday: Tyler and Tasha are going to dinner and the temple open house with us, Sunday: Make September kits for Jamie.

They are keeping me fairly busy at work with steady projects. They are not yet used to my efficiency, but I've only been turned down by both Susan and Andrea once* when I asked for work.

In other news, John has been around a lot more since his last test. He has been coming home a bit earlier (ten to seven instead of ten after) and bringing work, since he doesn't have to study quite yet. I like having him home.

And yesterday I cute up a pepper all tiny to make salsa with and later rubbed my poor eye. I called Mommy to whine and make sure I wasn't going to go blind (any worse than I already am) and she said I'd be fine. And what do you know? She was right.

*Update: Make that twice. I believe they are beginning to have suspicions about my superefficiency (at least compared to normal slow assistants).

[Comments] (2) : I was much busier last night than I thought I would be. I got home from the grocery store after five and I spent the next two hours making dinner, doing laundry and putting the groceries away. Then I made cookies as quickly as possible and had a huge mess to clean up in the kitchen. I made a chicken-broccoli casserole and it seemed to use all of my pots and pans. I managed to get all the dishes done before 8:00. Then I had to hang up the wet laundry, put away the dry laundry (which John so graciously went and got for me). *whew* We still have semi-dry laundry all over our house. I have Enrichment tonight, but John is going to an Angel's game so I'll have some time to find our home again. At least my cookies (I made molasses cookies) are already made.

[Comments] (4) : Since Sumana asked, I thought I would take the opportunity to talk about Jamie's business. Basically what she designs a different coordinating kit of scrapbooking supplies for every month and sends them all over the world. Her partner does the same so there are two main kits every month. There are also mini-kits and other supplies you can buy from her store. Here is the website if you'd like to look at some of the examples.

What I do is stuff the kits, label and box the international shipments and take them to the post office. Starting next month I'll also get to help with invoicing and domestic shipping. Since I love having a nice, tidy task to sit down and do, and John gets home several hours after me each day, this is a great job for me. Another great side effect is that it's a great excuse for John to play with his best buddy, Tyler. And I love working with Jamie. And I get paid. And I get free scrapbook stuff once in a while.

So go to her website and check it out. They also have newsletters with ideas of what to do with the kits and anyone can post things they've made. It's really pretty cool, and there are lots of cute scrapbooking supplies and papers every month.

[Comments] (1) Quoted: Susan (my boss) showed me a quote today that said "You can't have everything. Where would you put it?" (Stephen Wright, I think).

Soaky Beach: Enrichment last night was ok. I got off to a rocky start. I didn't realize how much traffic there would be between my house and the church (not a short difference) so I was paranoid about everyone leaving me. When I got there, there wasn't a single person from our ward. So I met some nice older ladies from the other ward and got in a car and waited. We drove down to Balboa beach to have a BBQ/picnic. The lady who sat next to me in the car turned out to be pretty neat though, once we started talking. She is from Vietnam and told me all about how her family was affected by, and eventually escaped, Communism there.

At the beach: ok, like two people from our ward. The waves were huge! This beach has a very steep slope right at the water's edge- the waves were crashing over it, 15 feet high. Eventually, of course, enough water made it over and ran down toward the BBQ pits. For some reason it rolled mostly to either side of us, but we still moved down to the grass. The bulldozer, having built a wall of protection around the lifeguard building, moved down toward the picnic areas, and our place never did get wet. Anyway, it was really cool.

Eventually some more people from our ward showed up. There's a girl in our ward whose brother I knew from Nature's Way- he was our rep from the temp agency and was always taking me and Linda out to lunch. She was there, and gave me a ride home. The RS president bugged the two of us about our talents. They were pretty sneaky too. When we didn't 'fess up, they started making up talents. I had to be honest before I got stuck playing the organ! So not a complete waste of an evening, esp. since John was at the Angel's game.

: Rachel brought me a huge stack of CDs to listen to. I was particularly enthused at the return of my Joan Osborne CD. It's been fun listening to some random stuff from the past, as well as some new stuff I'd never heard. I'm only about on the 6th one, though, and there are at least 15 I think.

: While I was going through personnel files, organizing them my way, I saw a really cool check someone had (like a bank check, for direct deposit). It was a space check, with some planets and stars. The colors were very vivid, considering checks always look like they have vellum layed over the picture so you can see the writing. Pretty cool. But still not as cool as my Woodstock checks!

: When I told me co-worker Andrea about my busy weekend she said, "We've been living like that for 12 years." I really would like to have a day to do nothing, but I know I would find something to do.

The weekend started off great with a visit from Mom. Other than the Gretel-spots on my carpet, it was a nice visit. I enjoyed sitting in our camping chairs at the dog park watching Gretel romp. We also made fun of some scrapbooking magazines together.

I also had a great time with Tyler and Tasha Langston. I never knew Downtown Disney was so big! It's like a mall, only we get 10% off from our Annual Passes. Then we went to the Newport Beach Temple Open House. The temple was beautiful. The mural in the instruction room is painted to look like the California coastline, with the ocean waves toward the front. All the doors were made out of a dark wood and had curved tops like in a fairy tale, or a Romanian Castle, or a Disneyland ride. The grounds are also beautifully landscaped and there are some neat etched-glass panels.

Sunday we spent most of the day at Jamie and David's. John and I made two trips from the car to bring in all the work I was sent home with. It should keep me busy this week. Jamie is coming to my work tomorrow to pick up some of the kits that already need to go out.

We have another busy weekend ahead of us. John and I were asked to usher at the Temple Dedication next Sunday. I have no idea how the Stake got out phone number, because I'm pretty sure the Bishop doesn't know who we are still, but it should be fun. There are four sessions; we are attending the second and ushering at the last two. It is a long shift, but we don't have callings yet, so we might as well serve doing this.

[Comments] (3) The Sound of Work: typety type type. click click. typety typety type. Woof! ... giggle ...

Somebody brought their cute doggie in, because he has to go to the vet. Of course, having sat at the front desk all morning, I was prewarned to the random bark.

That reminds me. When Gretel first came into our apartment and saw the mirror on our dining room wall, she gave a load bark. Gretel doesn't bark very much so it was actually kind of funny. But she ran over and sniffed and made friends with the doggie on the other side (and some noseprints on the mirror) and that was the end of that.

[Comments] (1) : Yesterday I was craving yummy balls, so I made some. Now I get to eat them for lunch too. I'm so lucky! yum.

[Comments] (1) : Today we had a massive game of Musical Cubicles, only without the music. I think we had 17 people move, myself included. I am actually amazed at how smoothly it all went. IT went around moving computers and people kinda moved along with their computer. It took me about 1/2 hour to move my stuff (1 cubicle over!), clean, and get settled in. Now there is only one other person in my row, way on the other side, but there are fun people behind me and I am closer to Susan and Andrea.

I tried to put my hair into two little braids this morning, but it was too short, at least for me to do it myself. So I tried french braids instead, and it worked ok. Actually, not only did it look ok on my first try, but they have actually stayed in! I couldn't even do that with long hair. However, I can still only french braid inside-out on my self. Oh well.

[Comments] (2) Ah, the Weekend: Because we are so busy doing the week, we always have jam-packed weekends. This week was no exception. E&Y kindly let my husband loose while the sun was still up on Friday and we spent the evening at Disneyland. It was awesome! The crowds and the lines were way down. We got to go on all of the exciting rides, except for Splash Mountain, in just over four hours. My acute hearing (hahaha) got us to the front of the line at the Matterhorn in a double-rider slot. And John got us a free pinneapple whip- the girl kept saying it was too runny, but free runny whip is better than no whip, or expensive whip. And it wasn't even runny.

Saturday John worked the entire day. I cleaned, finished Jamie's kits and sewed. Yes, contrary to popular (John's) belief, I actually do know how to use my sewing machine. Mom gave me a million (about 2,000) flannel squares. I made five squares of nine. Most of my time went into sorting the fabric. I don't know what I'll do once I have a finished quilt (or three). Anyone want a quilt?

Saturday night we went on a date to the beach. This was John's idea. (isn't he cute?) I made us BLTs and we took a blanket and ate dinner watching the waves. We contemplated sand, took a walk, and poked a dead jellyfish. Then we spent the rest of the evening wandering around South Coast Plaza and Metro Pointe, and had a Jamba Juice.

Yesterday was the dedication of the Newport Beach Temple. John and I went to the second session at the Irvine Stake Center, then we went over to the Newport Beach Stake Center to be ushers. We were quite superfluous, so we didn't feel too badly about leaving early. We'd been invited to dinner with some other young couples in the ward. We had a good time there, making some friends and eating yummy food.

Anyway, other than the standing out in the sun, and poor John being exhausted from working so hard, the actual Dedication was lovely. I even used the antique white handkerchief Aunt Anne gave me when we got married. I love when we all sing "The Spirit of God" at the end. We were just in a chapel, but it was so loud you couldn't even tell when the video feed kept shutting off. Now I am excited to actually go use our new temple! John is taking off Sep. 16 to spend the day spoiling me, so we are going then.

Random thoughts on freeways and other things: I used to always write stories about my life in my head. Now I write weblog entries.

When I am stopped at the light waiting for my turn to get on the freeway and the lane next to me is empty, I like when cars zoom past me, using my green light as well. This is something I would do. Actually, this is something I do if that lane is empty when I am pulling up. It saves everyone time, and besides, the 55 is never crowded right there.

Dear John: Thank you for your not-so-subtle hint that you were almost out of dress socks, letting me know ahead of time, and allowing me to choose a convenient time for me to do laundry. Or, thank you for finally running out of socks on a convenient day.

Love, Susie

PS: Remember you are taking me to Souplantation tonight!

[Comments] (1) : Yesterday some girls brought me back a Chocolate Dipped Strawberry Blizzard from DQ for watching the front desk an extra 1/2 hour. It was the yummiest ever!! Highly recommended for the afternoon sugar-low.

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