Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas in Oklahoma

Merry Christmas from Oklahoma, dear ones! I'll have pictures and stories to share later, but tonight is for quiet time with the family...unwinding and snacks...playing with my nephew...chilling out with my mama and sister :) I'm so happy to be home for Christmas! Tomorrow...our 3 year wedding it!

Hugs and Christmas time love, my lovelies!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Hours away of actually enjoying this holiday season!

This is my first time to try and blog from my tablet, and I'm on the end of my lunch and in a noisy fingers are also slightly dirty from chips...I'm classy like that ;) Anywho! This is my last shift; then there is one more day left for planning, cleaning, and packing; and then we'll be on a plane home for Christmas in Oklahoma...seriously seriously...srsly....cannot wait!!! At seven o'clock PM I will officially be able to enjoy the holidays...retail has it's upsides during this time of year...but they are no where close to outweighing the lovely bliss of NOT working during the holidays. So's almost over :) keyboard just died. So to wrap up...Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, darlings! My heart, love, and prayers for all those separated from their loved ones this season...especially our military service members!

Hugs and love my lovelies...and....I'll be home for Christmas :)
Amy Ro Fo Sho

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Kakashi Dog's 3rd Birthday

Kakashi dog is my baby sweet baby boy...and yes...he is indeed a mama's boy. He turned 3 on December 5th, and, although he's older and much wiser (ha), he is not so cooperative with having his picture taken. He also seems to have a grumpy and disgusted look on his face in most of the shots, but its okay 'cause it kinda cracks me up :)

So anywho! Just wanna share Kakashi's birthday photos...and maybe write a little birthday poem for my furry here goes...ahem...

Kakashi dog
he's the cutest puppy
in the whole wide world!
His name is Kakashi dog!
And I love him
so so much...
He's my Kakashi dog!

Actually that's a little song I like to sing to him from time to time...yes...I'm weird.

Happy Birthday, Kakashi! Mama loves you!

Hugs and love my lovelies,
The Ro Fo Sho

Monday, November 25, 2013

Beautiful Bright Fall Foliage!

I love fall leaves. They really are kinda like snowflakes...although the shapes may be almost identical, the markings and colors are always different whether subtle or dramatic. Trees and leaves always make me happy : ) Here are some snapshots right outside my apartment. I hope y'all enjoy!

The leaves are blowing off of the trees quickly...lots before they even turn! I had to capture a little bit of it before winter really takes over. Jeez it sure is cold right now!!! Winter is coming ; ) Stay warm, and hugs and love, my lovelies!
p.s. I'll probably crop my beaming white hand outta those before I print the meantime...I hope I didn't blind y'all!

No Skipping Thanksgiving

I want to savor Christmas. I don't want to rush it at all! The anticipation is part of the magic of the season. So, therefore, I don't skip Thanksgiving because I want to savor it as well, and relish in the knowledge that the day is very simply a time to be not enjoy food, family, and friends with the parade, games, football, and relaxation. Sigh...what a blissful day : ) I also love fall decorations as much as Christmas decorations. The foliage outside is decoration year I plan to do some crafts to bring the outdoors indoors. But I love the simple elements of Autumn that I get to incorporate in my home even though my collection is sparse at this time in my life. I also did a little bit of redecorating when I put my fall decor before and after photos show some of my Halloween decorations as well, so just remove the Jack 'O Lanterns from the pictures ; ) Also, they're not the greatest photos, but you'll get the idea!


After. Remember to ignore the Halloween elements ; )

And the other day, I added this cute little dude...

The past couple of Thanksgiving were spent with my good friends, the Honcoops, and it's kind of a bummer we'll not be together this'll be a bit weird. However, it will be the first year, since we've been married, that we'll celebrate the holiday in our own home. Therefore, I'm excited to see how the day will go and what traditions we'll start. And even though I have to work the next day, we'll still drink some spiked apple cider, eat a bunch a food, laze about on the couch...and it'll be a happy happy day! Hugs and love, my lovelies : ) Oh...and Happy Thanksgiving!

p.s. My lovely wonderful grandma did the painting above the I will cherish always!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Overwhelming October...New November

So much for blogging "very soon" as I shared in my last entry! Turns out October is a little bit overwhelming! It has always been my favorite month very simply because it's my birthday month and the beginning of delicious fall weather, but this year I think I overloaded my plate a bit. There was my birthday weekend, my friend's birthday weekend, Halloween party weekend, and then the Marine Corps Ball (which was technically the beginning of November, but I still group it with October so there).

I got super behind on laundry and my wifely duties...ha...ha...haha...ha. The husband didn't seem to mind, but the mess drove me a little bit crazy! It was actually enjoyable catching up on my chores and making my home presentable again...ugh...that makes me feel old!

I've been totally kicking butt with my fight with depression. It's been a relief feeling genuinely happy without the shadowy presence of my illness hovering about! I'm still struggling with fatigue, so my doctor wants me to do a sleep study...I haven't set that up yet, but I will asap! I can't imagine what could be doctor's only thought was maybe hyper insomnia...we'll see I suppose! I'll keep y'all updated of course!

But anywho! Since October was just a bit too much, my attitude towards November has been to take it life a little different...out with some old routines and habits and in with a good dose of newness! We're halfway through the month and I've spent some time with new friends, reconnected with old friends, got a new piercing (cartilage) and a new tattoo (needs work), and I've been expressing thankfulness every day. I'm also determined to blog more...which I've said numerous times before...fingers crossed!

Okay then...that's enough for now! I'll leave you with flowers my husband brought me...he's so wonderful about "just because" gestures of love...makes me smile :)

Monday, September 30, 2013

Back and Better!

Sorry for my absence and for leaving on a super bummed entry! That entry was a week before we took a trip to New York City, so I was crazy busy preparing, making lists, cleaning, laundry, and going to work as well! Then I had cleaning, laundry, and work right when we got back! Whew! So! I will be sharing about our trip very soon...I truly love New York! I'll also be writing about the experience and how to prepare for a weekend trip, tips, and things I wish we knew before we got there.

I just wanted to say hello! Hello! I'm back and have lots to share with you all!

Also! I'm back on my medicine, so I'm sleeping a bit better and feeling a little more stable. Back on track, my friends!

I hope this work week goes quickly for all of us! Hugs and love, my lovelies!

Friday, September 13, 2013

A Bummer Kind Of Day...

Today was bad.

If I want to be honest about living with depression, I need to make sure I write about the really crappy days...the zero on the scale from worst to best days.

I don't have to write too much about it. Anyone reading this who lives with clinical depression will know...

That some days are just going to suck...nothing can make them better. Might over eat or not eat at all. Might sleep too much. Might not want to get up. Might try smiling to trick the brain.

I want to be inspiring and encouraging. It's hard to do that today. But, I don't want to leave y'all with know this...

Today was bad...a bummer kind of day...they happen...but I'm hopeful that tomorrow will be better!

Sweet dreams and hugs and love, my lovelies!

Tangled with Tears
pencil on paper by The Ro Fo Sho Art c.a. 2003

Missing Oklahoma Just A Bit

 I miss Oklahoma all the time. My husband doesn't get it...he always questions, with enormous amounts of disbelief in his tone, "Why?!" The biggest reason I miss home so much is because of our families. My husband is comfortable with once a year type visits, but I would prefer a once a month type visit at the very least...which is of course impossible unless we were millionaires with a private jet...but we're not! So anywho! I want to see them on birthdays, have family nights, share the holidays, watch football together...and right now...I want to go to the Oklahoma State Fair!!!

My mama called me last night from the fair...she had hilarious stories to share and just wanted me to know that she wished I was there :) She made me laugh and smile...I was happy for how much fun they were having! But, of course, I was feeling a little jealous happens. Oh well! I know there will be another time for me to go to the fair with my family, so I can't be too mopey about it haha :)

Well, there's not much more for me to share without being all sad and depressed! I just feel more and more homesick as we get in to this season. Now before I go, I must say that I love my little family with my husband and dog and me...we are still making our own seasonal memories and starting our own traditions..and I love and appreciate the life we are making! I just wish we could do it closer to our families :)

Have a great weekend, dear ones! Hugs and love, my lovelies!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Horatio the Lizard, Clutter, & Vintage Art

I. Can't. Stand. Clutter!!! Ugh. It absolutely drives me crazy!!! I feel like my home never looks clean because of the amount of stuff I have in such a little space. My grandma says I have too much "junk." I always try to explain how untrue her observation is...I have TONS of books and TONS of art supplies...books and art supplies can never be junk. I also have lots of pretties...ya know...original art by friends and family, colored glass bottles, figurines gifted over the years, and items that simply mean too much to throw away. Most of them are stored away anyway because I don't have any room! Anywho. It's cluttered in my tiny apartment. My husband isn't bothered at all by it and therefore does not try to help me maintain the cluttered situation. This is a really big deal, guys! I hope y'all feel enormous depths of sympathy for me...thanks! I appreciate it :)

So! My little Ro Fo Sho workspace was always a little cluttered because it's a tiny excuse for a room, and, like I said before, it's full of books and art supplies. Oh! And office supplies too...can't throw away office supplies, grandma :) Well, it became even more of a state of disorder when Horatio moved in. Meet Horatio.

Hello, lizard lizard. Every morning I say, "Good morning, lizard lizard." and every night I say, "Night night, lizard lizard." He belongs to our friend, Dave, who is deployed...we are lizard sitting. He's in a tank...a big tank...a big ol' tank that uses a good chunk of space in the Ro Fo Sho workspace. It was the only place for him, and of course, we're happy to watch him...and I think he enjoys my company since most creatures on Earth do...haha. However, Horatio is definitely a big contributing factor to clutter...he can't help it though so I don't begrudge him. Look how incredibly untidy my little art room is...

You can see a bit of Horatio's home on the right edge there. The room had become messier and messier over time because I wasn't using my space (due to issues with that stupid illness I told y'all about last time), so I had to do a bit of shuffling and reorganizing. I considered showing before and after photos but there's not that great of a difference between what it looked like before and what you see here. Is that sad? Oh man, it can't be sad...I did the best I could! And anyway! I'm surrounded by inspiration and happy's a bearable type of clutter I suppose!

Well, I'm sorry that I wrote about such an uninspiring subject! But I simply had to commiserate. Oh! My shuffling and reorganizing revealed a couple of drawings I did about ten or eleven years ago...

The first one is my sister and case you missed that :) And the second one is a drawing I did for my sister either before or after she went to New York to the American Musical and Dramatic Academy...I guess I never gave it to bad, beetle! (Beetle is my sister's nickname in case you were wondering) Beetle's drawing was supposed to be like an interpretation of her soul and her life...a fiery passion and love for the performing arts and a country girl's dream of the big city. I should frame it for her and send it to's not that great...but maybe it'll remind her that she can still make her dreams come true!

A lizard named Horatio, a cluttered art room, and a couple of "vintage" (haha) drawings...something for everyone! Enjoy the random things in life and hugs and love, my lovelies!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Depression Derailment...Ding Ding Ding!!!

Today has been challenging.

I believe that living with depression can sometimes make a person wonder if there could be more to the Bi-Polar disorder for example. My moods can swing so far from one extreme to the next that it can make my head hurt. I'm not Bi-Polar...there's much more to it than mood swings...but there are moments when I ask myself, "Is this really just clinical depression?" The answer is yes...yes it is...stupid illness!

Confession. I've been out of my medication for a while. Don't tell my mama! I don't know how many times I've stressed the importance of staying on one's do I find myself screwing up so many times? I really aggravate myself sometimes. So here I go again emphasizing a point that I myself slip up on time to time...don't run out of your medication! I've got a doctor's appointment soon, so I'll get back on track. I simply got derailed when I started a new job and all my appointments got messed up because of schedule conflicts.

There's a good point! Sometimes we get derailed. The important part for us all to remember is that we can't stay off the tracks too long...the longer we bump, skid, stumble, and bruise ourselves, the harder it is to find that smoother ride again. That's what I'm doing...trying to get back on the tracks! Don't stay derailed too long, dear ones...hugs and love, lovelies!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Deliciously Easy Pecan Brittle From The Microwave!

Hello, friends! My grandma use to make a few different candies, and peanut brittle was an easy enough one for me to learn! It's all done in the candy thermometers involved! Whoo hoo! She and I had to make little adjustments every time until we absolutely perfected it...after we had the measurements, order of ingredients, and times all figured out, it was super easy! One day we thought we'd try making pecan brittle instead...this one required a lot of tweaking until we got it just right, but it was worth it! I just realized all of my sentences thus far have ended in exclamation marks...I'm obviously very excited!!! Well anywho! There are some important things I must prepare you for before I show you the step by step process of this recipe!

First! Every microwave is different...duh...we all know that. But! It's also important to know that depending on what bowl you use to nuke this stuff in will determine time adjustments as well. At grandma's we always used a glass Pyrex bowl...I don't have a glass Pyrex bowl. I have Corning Ware dishes, and the difference was enough to warrant changes by only seconds...and yes...seconds matter in this recipe! But don't stress! Even if it gets a little under cooked or a little over cooked, it'll still be tasty. You'll find out rather quickly what cooking time makes the best tasting brittle for you.

Second! Make sure you use an oven mitt...the bowl will get super hot. And make sure you have two spoons and a dish to set them spoon to help get as much of the gooey sticky stuff off of the other spoon and into the mix...and a dish to prevent the gooey sticky stuff from getting on your counter top.

You will need:
1 cup pecans
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup white syrup
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking soda
butter and non-stick spray for the pan (The original recipe just called for butter, but grandma and I learned that using both made it tons easier to get the brittle off the pan after it cooled.)

Butter and spray the heck outta your pan!

Combine the sugar and the syrup...

Add the salt and stir it all up. It'll be a gooey sticky mess. Pop it in the microwave for 3 minutes and 15 seconds. Take it'll be bubbling just a little bit...

Add the pecans and stir it all up...pop it back in the microwave for another 3 minutes and 15 seconds.

This time it'll really be bubbling...a bubbling super hot gooey mess! The next few steps happen quickly...I'll explain first and then show you the photos! You'll add the'll sizzle and smell delicious. Don't stir yet! Next, add the baking soda and start stirring!!! It's going to get all foamy and glorious...stir stir stir it really well and then quickly pour on to the baking sheet...use the spoon to spread it out as much as you can spread it. Here's what those steps look like:

As you can see...the photo of what happens when you add the baking soda is quite blurry...I was in a hurry :) This isn't really a recipe you can take your time photographing during certain steps such as this one. Oh well! Y'all get what's goin' on right? I hope!

Spread it all out as much you can before it starts sticking to the spoon more than spreading out. Then you let it cool...about 30 minutes or so. You'll know it has cooled completely because it'll break apart easily...I use a butter knife to separate it from the pan and then my hands to break it into smaller pieces. The following photos are from my little Canon Elph...the previous ones were done with my DSLR, but the battery died on the last shot...and I can't find the charger!!! While the brittle cooled, I looked everywhere in my tiny apartment...I have no idea where it is :(

You'll want to store the brittle in an air tight container. The bottoms will be a little buttery, but it only adds to the deliciousness :) Oh! Just a little might be disturbing...but don't worry, y'all will be okay. One time I was breaking up the brittle, and I don't know if it was extra hard because it was overcooked or what, but somehow I cut myself with the brittle and bled on some pieces. Wounded by candy...I tell ya what...not a proud moment! Don't worry...I noticed rather quickly and was able to save the majority of the batch of brittle. Ah...good times.

Now in case you're curious...if you'd rather make peanut brittle, you'll need a cup of raw peanuts. You'll mix those in at the beginning for the first microwave round...and it'll go for 3 and a half minutes both times...stirring between rounds.

I hope y'all will give this recipe a try. And I hope I did a good job explaining the recipe...this is really the first time I've tried a step by step instructional deal like this. Enjoy and hugs and love, my lovelies!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Brown Sugar...How Come Ya Taste So Good?!

Just like I knew you would!!! Haha! Does anyone else remember the commercial with the ant singing? I'm not even sure what the commercial was for...maybe a soda? Well anywho, I always sing those little lines anytime I cook with brown sugar :) Ah...brown sugar...yum.

Anyway! I don't have anything else to say about brown sugar at this time...I just wanted to grab your attention! Tomorrow I'm going to (hopefully) whip up some pecan brittle and maybe those "skinny chunky monkey cookies" everybody keeps "liking" on facebook. I'll take pictures along the way and share with you all of course. The brittle recipe is actually one that my grandma has had for as long as I can remember...I'm not sure who gave it to her. But it's awesome...all done in the microwave!

It's only been a few years since I really developed any kind of affection for cooking, but it's been a fun journey! I believe maybe one of my proudest accomplishments is making gravy from grandma tried time and time again to teach me, but I was always intimated by the lack of exact measurements. I'm cool with eye balling measurements now...I'm not sure if I'm good at it, but so far, everything I've cooked has been edible :)

I feel like I'm rambling. That happens. Anywho! I have 3 aprons that were all especially altered for me...a "kiss the cook" one stitched by Betty (church family and person who wed Tom and me); a "mrs. carrell" one by one of my besties, Nicole; and a pink frilly one with "amy" stitched on it by my other bestie, Michelle :) I love all three! I'll have to make sure I get some photos of me rockin' the "housewife in an apron in the kitchen" look to go along with my show and tell of recipes on here.

I do have a half pic of the one Michelle made for me, and that is how I shall wrap this up. It's a few months old, but please ignore the bags under my eyes (that I can't seem to get rid of) and my messy hair. Stay tuned for recipes cooked and confirmed by me! Hugs and love, my lovelies!