“Take away this ball and chain…”

I know I don’t need to provide an explanation for my absence from the blogging world–It’s a little pathetic when people do that. And truthfully, I don’t really have one. I haven’t really had much to say, and while I’m guilty of the occasional lame post, I also haven’t been cooking much either. I don’t really need to photograph my fast food dinners (yes, there have been a couple), and even Friday night when I actually cooked for the first time in a couple days, all I made was more grilled cheese & fries, and there are only so many pictures of a grilled cheese panini the world really needs.

I’ve also been a little busy at work lately, and Friday afternoon, I had my mammogram. I’ll find out in a week or so what my results are, but as I’ve pointed out before, while I know that breast cancer can strike any woman at any time, only one of my aunts has had it, and she married into the family. No, sadly, being a former smoker, I’m more likely to develop lung cancer & die from that–But preferably not till I’m about 90. I will say that while it wasn’t pleasant, since I’ve had a kid, any dignity or modesty around doctors or nursing staff went out the window once the bambino entered the world, so it wasn’t that big of a deal. The honest-to-God worst thing about it was the fact that I had to wipe off any remaining deodorant residue (it can screw up your readings), and it was hotter than Hades in the exam room, so of course, since I inherited some over-productive sweat glands from one or both of my parents, my pits were damp before the process even started! Thank God I remembered to bring deodorant with me, so I could reapply once I was done. I found it funny that one of the pamphlets said you’re supposed to forgo any creams, perfumes or deodorants the day of your mammogram. Yeah, not happening in my case.

Enough of that. After dinner Friday, I started working on a couple lists. We got income tax money, and while we did decide to split it up, Jay just plunked his into savings, so he/we have a nice chunk set aside. I’ve been spending my half, although I’m not completely blowing it on stupid stuff. I did place an Avon order (I needed some new makeup & found a few other things I wanted), as well as an order to Pfaltzgraff for a couple more serving pieces. If I hadn’t already decided I’d be looking for some bakeware in Sioux Falls, I would’ve gotten the Ruffle Pasta Serve Bowls, as my mom bought me 2 of the individual bowls a couple years ago. That would give me pasta service for 8, which goes along with everything else I have. I emailed her about it, in case she’d really like to get me that for Christmas this year. I wouldn’t need anything else (hint hint, Mom!!!). Instead, though, I chose a new serving platter, as well as a set of serving bowls. I was searching online for different ceramic baking dishes & such, and then remembered I’d received a new catalog in the mail not too long ago (I’m glad I didn’t just chuck it!), and figured that I could get a couple more items to complete my collection. I’m hoping that the lasagna baker makes a reappearance later in the year, as that’s one I was hoping to get this time around. Sadly, it’s not offered–At least not at this time.

Along with that stuff, I decided that I would splurge on myself for something completely unnecessary & extravagant. Originally, I decided I wanted a new purse. However, unlike the Kate Spade satchel I was desperate for a little while ago, nothing really stood out to me this time around. I have a coupon & a gift card from my birthday, so I settled on a new wallet. I found one on the Coach website I liked, and was going to just get it in Sioux Falls, probably while Jay & the bambino took their time in Toys R Us or something. I got myself all set to quick run out to Hy-Vee & get all the things I wasn’t planning on getting at Pomegranate Market. My heart sank as soon as I tried to start the car & it wouldn’t turn over.

Jay tried for about an hour to warm the oil & get it started (we were afraid it was the weather, but it’s been colder out than yesterday & the car still started), I flipped out & had a panic attack (the fact that I felt trapped b/c we only have the 1 vehicle, and it’s our only mode of transportation did nothing to help), and a guy Jay works with came by with a battery charger to help out. We charged the car for about 2 hours, drove it to Sioux Falls. On the way down, I got irritated again because I noticed a LOT less snow on the ground and once we got to Sioux Falls proper, this seriously made my heart hurt:

Oh, the unfairness of it all! We popped into Target for about 30 minutes.We weren’t thinking anything of it, because the car battery was only a year & a half old. And this is how long it’s been since we’ve been to Sioux Falls and Target–The one we usually shop at is apparently becoming a Super Target, since everything was rearranged and there’s a grocery section they’re working on setting up.

We left, so I could pop over to Bed Bath & Beyond, because I was bound & determined to get myself a doughnut pan. Eden’s had a couple drool-worthy baked doughnut recipes, as has Kristin, and I’ve said before, doughnuts are a weakness of mine. However, when we got into the car, and I tried to start it, it wouldn’t. Again. I started hyperventilating, and we went back into Target to try & call for help. I called maybe 3 or 4 places just to see if there was anyone who could help, and no one would. I was getting a little irked & irritated about it, broke down in tears (again) and made Jay start calling places because I just couldn’t. After 3 tries, he finally got a hold of a guy named Perry (from South Dakota Triple A), who said he’d come out, check the battery, and see what he could do for us. It turned out that our fairly new battery was indeed dead (most likely still under warranty, but Billion, from whom I bought the battery a couple years ago was one of the businesses who was closed & therefore couldn’t help us). Luckily, he had a battery with him & installed it for us, and we could be on our merry way. We debated on just going back home, because we were already exhausted and it had been a hellacious day, but then we decided we were already in Sioux Falls, and dammit, we were going to enjoy ourselves.

And I got my doughnut pan:

As soon as “Meet the Press” is over, I will be testing out some cake doughnuts with chocolate glaze. I can’t wait! I also picked up some fun new soaps for the kitchen:

Once we were done there, we popped over to Toys R Us where Jay picked up a new Lego set for the bambino, then hit Red Lobster, to make us of the Christmas gift my godmother Debbie sent us:

And once we got to the restaurant, we got the first lucky break of the day. In spite of the fact that it was 5:00 on a Saturday, we had no wait, and got seated right away. I had had a bowl of oatmeal around 9, before we left Brookings, but none of us had eaten much else all day. So we started with some mozzarella sticks (we thought those would be the one thing the bambino might eat):

Not surprisingly, he didn’t want any. He also didn’t want any biscuits (the whole reason I love Red Lobster and the one thing I was excited about all day, besides the doughnut pan!):

I ate 3 of them…Jay had the other one. Our server actually asked if there was anything wrong with my salad, because once the biscuits came out, I shoved the salad aside:

And there really wasn’t anything wrong with it. I wasn’t overly crazy about the balsamic vinaigrette dressing, but it was decent. Because I’m a little bit of a weirdo who doesn’t care for fish that actually “tastes” fishy, I was at somewhat of a loss as to what to get (they took away my fish & chips a few years ago), and finally settled on popcorn shrimp:

It was good but there was a LOT. Jay had gotten crab legs, salmon & coconut shrimp, and I think we brought home about 2/3 of my shrimp, 3 or 4 of his, and the bambino’s chicken strips. Once we were done eating, we headed out to Pomegranate, my whole reason for wanting to go to Sioux Falls:

They’ve really stocked up since the last time I was there. I was a little sad, because by the time we got over there, Great Harvest was closed, so I didn’t get to pop in there, but I got what I needed at Pomegranate:

(I’m kind of excited about trying some bread made with this stuff)

I’ve seen Siggi’s around the blogosphere, so I thought I’d give it a try. I still don’t think it’ll compare to Fage, but I’ll try & keep an open mind.

The cola was more for Jay, but every once in awhile, I like a can myself. And after we got back to Brookings, I got myself one last treat:

The Advil was a necessity, as Jay & I were both in physical pain by the time we finally got home. I had a tension headache for most of yesterday, and was physically exhausted from being so tense on the drive home–Leaving Sioux Falls, we hit a patch of black ice going under an overpass, and I freaked a little at how easy it would’ve been for us to totally wipe out. Luckily we didn’t, and I drove like a grandma the whole way home. I didn’t care, though. After all of yesterday’s chaos, I just wanted us home in one piece! And while I never got my new wallet, yesterday was certainly an adventure–Just nothing I want to repeat any time soon!