Look who turned 1 !!

1 year

 

 

I have some exciting things to share with you all ….

First …. Valley Girl Gone Country turned one on March 5th!!  I can’t believe this blog has been up for a year now! I never would have expected to have over 17,000 views and over 600 followers but I am thankful for all those who have taken their time to read all about my silly adventures in the country.

Now…for the exciting part……

I’m surprised that I haven’t spilled the beans considering this is something that I’ve been looking forward to for MONTHS!

Valley Girl Gone Country is getting a makeover!

Back in August I had bought Valleygirlgonecountry.com with every intention to spruce up the site….not me persay; but someone who stated that transferring the blog would be easy peasy and giving it a makeover would be no problem. Well, as you can see my site hasn’t changed in over a year and knowing that I am not tech savvy enough to pretty it up some I decided to seek the help of Monique over at Fantastique Designs.

She is for better words … “Fantastic” and has made this process so much fun!  I am pretty sure all those who follow me still will be able to view my posts; my account is still through WordPress….so from what I have been told there shouldn’t be a problem!

We are in the final stages of the design process soooo keep your eyes posted for the new look!! I hope you guys love it as much as I do!!

And I wrote to you

In the spirit of Valentines day I wanted to share a collection of letters written by a man who is writing to the woman who stole his heart. For anyone who has loved, for anyone who has experienced heartache, for anyone who is a hopeless romantic you need to take the time to read this blog….start from day one.

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Day 1.

Dearest Xxxxxxxx,

I am not a writer. I am but a man, fallen far from grace. I am not handsome nor am I the charmer. But I can love, just as I loved you.

Even though you are far from me now, I find it hard to imagine life without you. But I will try. God knows I will. But I will never forget. For it took me 72 months to find you, truly did I find myself.

So I will keep writing. Just as I wrote to you, for everyday that I waited on you, for as long as it takes.

Yours Always,

Mark

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A little Q & A with Suzie

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This morning as I was catching up on my “must-read” blogs, I noticed that Suzie81  wanted to shake things up…try something new….a little bit of an experiment if you will. I was game…..anything for my witty English friend!! 

She asked a few harmless questions and we could either answer them on our blog or hers…..so here you go Suzie!!

    Why have you chosen your blog name?

I remember the day that my blog name came to me. I was driving home from work and as I rounded the corner from my home I just saw the most breath taking view …. rolling green hills, cows in the pasture and trees everywhere; I was not in the valley any longer and then it hit me, my blog should be called “Valley Girl Gone Country”…..a California native moving to Arkansas of all places?? there had to be some humor in that….so that’s when this blog came alive.

    When you have an hour of free-time, what do you do?

I read …. for the first couple of minutes I do get that nagging feeling that I should clean something, but that soon fades when I think about my book anxiously waiting for me to return!!

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    If you could choose to stay a certain age forever, what would it be?

This is a hard one…..it’s not like I would have to go back and relive that age because I really don’t think I would like to relive any point of my life. So to choose an age that I could stay forever, I would have to say the age I am now, 39. I’ve enjoyed being thirty something….I’ve enjoyed saying “I’m in my thirties”, yes gravity has taken hold of certain areas, no thanks to my 3 children….but that’s the price you pay right? now my boobs look like cow utters but Victoria has amazing “Secrets” that do wonders for my utters!!  but …. wrinkles haven’t appeared yet, my ass isn’t sagging …. I don’t have turkey neck and I have no need to freeze my face with injections. I fear that once I cross over “to the dark side” as my husband calls it then within weeks after my fortieth birthday crows feet will suddenly appear and applications to join AARP will show up in my mailbox.

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    If you could learn to do something, what would it be?

I would love to learn how to make my very own website, with cool logo and snazzy header.

     What would be the first thing you would buy if you won the lottery?

A trip to Ireland for my husband and I ….and I guess my kids and one of their friends could come as well!!

     What is the thing that makes you absolutely unique?

Unique?  I’m not sure if there is any part of me that makes me unique…..if there is, I don’t see it…..but …

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     What is your favourite blog?

It all depends …..  I really fancy Suzie81’s blog because she isn’t afraid of sharing her true self and Lisa Johnson Sawyer because I’m just so proud of how far she has come, she’s reminds me of a Southern version of Audrey Hepburn!!

Would you pay to be cuddled?

Well, if you answered yes to this then there is a place in Madison, Wisconsin that you can go to have someone hold you. Here’s the kicker…the price for your cuddle session ranges from $60 an hour for a single hug, $120 for a double hug (whatever that is, maybe you’re sandwiched in between two bodies…kinda like an innocent form of a threesome) and over $400 to be cuddled by a complete stranger overnight.

An article came out about this Cuddles R Us and  I was curious, who were these high paying huggers? I went to their site…. The Snuggle House and I noticed that these huggers are quite attractive……well, besides the man who looks like a well maintained hippie. I can see how this could possibly attract some perve or those that have a hard time finding a cuddle partner of their own.

I understand their touch therapy method but I can go to a massage therapist and get the same results without the personal closeness of a stranger. I just find this concept quite strange…….because I know when I cuddle with my husband I feel a closeness to him, I want more………..and even before I was with my husband and was submerged in the whole dating scene, there were times that “we can just cuddle” led to more.

Maybe the Snuggle House is legit …. maybe they have  video cameras in each room and a panic button just in case a client takes the cuddle session too far but whose to say there aren’t copy cat snuggle houses that well……offer more than “just cuddling”.

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I need to buy a simple coffeemaker or better yet, I will just stay away!!

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In the last 24 hours I’ve realized two things; one.. I can’t make fried chicken and two, I failed at making coffee twice this morning. …..actually I failed at operating that dang multi-button coffeemaker that I bought my husband last year.

Yes, I know I can hear all of you now…..especially you, Lisa!!  “Are you telling me you can’t operate a coffee maker?” ………. Calm down………. in my defense I don’t drink coffee on a daily basis and if I am craving my skinny vanilla latte I have Starbucks make it for me. I have never really owned a coffeemaker and when I did, it was my husband who bought himself one ten years ago (when we were first dating) which over the years I got rid of because it was just taking up space….but I ended up buying a nice one when he came back into my life.

Well, this morning I thought since he had the day off that I would make him coffee. How hard could it be? Pour some water in the machine……scoop some coffee grounds in and push a button right? ohhhh, no….it’s not that easy especially when I attempt this ten minutes after getting up and in the dark; the only thing giving me light was the nightlight by the doggy dish.  As I poured the water in…..the water poured right out…. “What in the world”……I turned the light on and I didn’t pour it in the right spot. URGH….I grabbed a towel and started again.

I made sure all the lights were on….I poured the water in, scooped the coffee …..pressed the green button. I felt great…any minute now my honey would be walking into the kitchen to the smell of freshly brewed coffee….meanwhile I fed the furkids and something told me to check the coffee. I looked up and noticed coffee was spilling ALL OVER THE FLOOR………. “What in the world, shit…shit…shit!!!”   I didn’t have time to figure out what I did wrong, I unplugged the damn thing…moved everything off my coffee/tea bar and cleaned up the mess. I was praying that my hubby wouldn’t come in and see me with a handful of coffee stained towels and a mess on the floor. Seriously, I wouldn’t hear the end of it…..the jokes would probably not stop coming for days.

Once the mess was cleaned up, I wasn’t going to attempt making coffee for the 3rd time ….. plus I still had to get ready for work and I had 15 minutes before I had to leave. Just then my furboy decided to throw up his breakfast inches from my feet. “GREAT…JUST GREAT” …. I said to myself while comforting my little furboy.

With less than a minute to spare, I went into the bedroom to say goodbye to my husband  “Honey, I attempted to make coffee but failed miserably…I don’t know what happened, but coffee was all over the floor….it’s cleaned up so don’t worry”.  It’s not like I would have left him a huge mess to clean up….so I don’t know why I said for him not to worry.  “How did you do that?” he said, “I have no idea…really I don’t”.  I know he was trying to wrap his head around what had taken place while he slept….. “so you don’t remember what you did wrong?”…. “No, I just know that I had good intentions but failed miserably”.

We said our good-byes…….and he headed to the kitchen to make coffee and I headed to work but treated myself to a Starbucks Skinny Vanilla Latte, because after the morning I had…..I deserved it!

I thought the magic was in the Crisco~ my attempt to make Southern Fried Chicken

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Yesterday, I felt like Ceelia Foote from The Help when she was trying to make Southern Fried Chicken for her husband. See, I get my fried chicken from a box…..Churchs or KFC suits me just fine, but my Southern husband asked me a few weeks ago that he would love for me to learn how to make fried chicken.

So I gave it a shot……but any old recipe wouldn’t do, so I asked my friend Lisa if she had a Southern Fried Chicken recipe that would knock my husbands socks off!!  “Yes Ma’am” she said. She even said that her recipe was simple enough that even I could do it. After reviewing her recipe I noticed that Crisco was in order, uhmmmm Crisco……I had visions of myself standing in front of a cast iron skillet with a big glob of Crisco melting while I prepare to drop in the chicken to be fried.

(Crisco, check- flour,check-butter, check-chicken, check)

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imagesWell, to my surprise this recipe didn’t require a cast iron skillet or having to dodge splatters of hot Crisco, her recipe called for me to bake it……..but to put in a couple globs of Crisco and butter in the metal baking pan. I needed the “fat” to get all nice and hot before putting my chicken in its home for about an hour.  My only question was “if its baked how does it turned fried?” but I kept my question to myself, I wasn’t going to ask Miss Lisa some stupid question that she will only shake her head and think “Poor little California girl”. So, I just followed her recipe step by step …… somehow some way my chicken will be fried. The trick must be in the Crisco!!

(season the flour, flour the chicken, then put it in the pan–check,check,check)

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I waited the 25 minutes before I had to turn the chicken over, I didn’t peek because again I didn’t want to screw it up……but when the buzzer when off and I opened the oven, I didn’t see fried chicken. “Shit I screwed up” I grabbed a bowl, melted more crisco and butter in the microwave, removed the chicken….poured the melted “fat” concoction in the pan…..and placed the chicken back in. “This should fry it”.

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As the chicken was cooking, I started up the butter beans that my husband requested, along with some mashed potatoes. “Do you know how to make Sawmill gravy?” he asked. “sawmill what??” I asked.  He informed my nonsouthern self about this gravy and tried to explain how to prepare it. Sounded easy enough so I was going to try it.

Let me just say…… he never got his sawmill gravy, because I was just exhausted. I ended up pulling out a package of gravy mix and prepared that on the stove. I finished sprucing up the potatoes, poured the butter beans in a bowl and was about to pull out the chicken. *crossing my fingers* I said out loud “please oh please be fried”.

It wasn’t “fried”, I googled baked fried chicken……and then saw that what I was cooking was considered “Skinny fried chicken”….. “well, I think I blew the skinny out of it with all the crisco” I said to the furkids.

I plated the chicken…..and hoped that he wouldn’t be disappointed that it wasn’t FRIED CHICKEN, like he had wanted.

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Like the Southern gent that he is, he said the chicken was very good. “What’s wrong” he asked.  “I’m tired, this southern cooking wore me out!!! but I was hoping it was going to be FRIED….I thought the magic was in the crisco?”.

Dinner was very good though, but next time ….. I’m busting out the cast iron skillet, the tube of crisco and will attempt to make fried chicken!!

My ghostly encounter ~ still gives me chills!!

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There is a road in Southern California named San Francisquito Canyon Road that sends chills up my spine when I have had to drive it.

A few years ago, around midnight my ex and I  were driving home from having a late dinner….as we were driving on this very dark winding road, I was staring off into the darkness trying to see if I could make out any animals that may want to cross into our path.

Within seconds, I am bracing for impact…..in the middle of the road stood a white male wearing a baseball cap, khaki shorts and a blue pull over windbreaker. I screamed, my legs were now curled up into me….my left hand on the door….again I was bracing for impact. I thought we were going to hit this man.

My ex looked over at me ,  “what’s wrong?”……..“didn’t you see him?” I said as my heart was about to burst out of my chest….I was shaking. I gave him a detail description ….. “He was RIGHT THERE standing in the middle of the road just feet away from our car.” He didn’t see anything…. of course he didn’t.

I drove that road several times after that, in the daytime of course.I avoided that road at night as much as possible but if I HAD to drive it I made sure that someone was with me, that someone was normally my daughter Ann and leave it to both of us to freak each other telling creepy ghost stories or “what if an ax murderer jumps out in the road” scenarios.

 

 

Pet Peeve: Just hit reply!!

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No I’m not talking about replying to a text….I’ve come to terms with not getting an instant response. Heck, you text me …. I text you back. If you were standing in front of me and you said “Hello”,  do you want me to just stare at you and ignore you?? probably not ….. so I say “Hello” back. It’s how things work….but this isn’t my gripe.

It’s emailing…… if someone emails you, don’t you think you should respond?? No,I’m not talking about my friends because I know they are all busy with work, children, sporting events etc. and have better things to do then sit down an email me. I will just call your ass.

MY VENT IS:

I’ve emailed several blog designers …. I filled out their long form (short of giving my blood type) with what I am interested in. I didn’t expect a quick response, I figure they have websites to design…..one week, fine- two weeks, growing a bit irritated-a month…NOW COME ON!!  Seriously now….if blog design is your specialty and you have a calendar showing your availability on your site and you make me fill out your long ass form then shouldn’t you respond? I THINK YOU SHOULD. END OF STORY.

(it’s not like I am asking for much….just a cute header and some social icons)

Today’s the day to vote…VOTE!

Please vote for Don Of All Trades *For all I know he won’t shutdown the government!!

http://blogger-idol.com/2013/10/02/voting-for-week-one-starts-now/

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Ok peeps, many of you have asked, and I didn’t know the answer, but today is the day to vote for your FAVORITE blogger, Donofalltrades in the Blogger-Idol contest. The judges are no doubt going to think I sucked, so go save me, please!

I won’t bore you anymore, but click below to do so!  DO IT!!!

I hope this is the link for the voting:

http://blogger-idol.com/2013/10/02/voting-for-week-one-starts-now/

If  not, we tried, right?

Also, I’m over at one of my favorite bloggers sites, Kristi from Finding Ninee!  She has a great segment called Our Land and I’m honored that she asked me to share a post over there.  Please go check it out.

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