Moving Day

Due to the limitations of my creative freedom at this location, Stranded in the Desert has been permanently moved and from this day forward can be found at:

See You There!!


101 Things in 1001 Days

I’ve pretty much joined the witness protection program. I have a new life. I now have a husband to consider in all my decisions. Live in a new state. Have a new name. I’m looking for a job to start a new career. So what’s next do you ask? We’ll I’ll tell you…

Here it is. This is it. My list of 101 things to complete in the next 1001 days. The next step for me is to stop putting off all those things I’ve always wanted to do. I will attempt to complete all the things that need to get done, fulfill those random ambitions I posses, and add a few new goals that come along with my new life.

Now, before you start giving me all of your input, I will say that I am fully aware that some of these things can be easily accomplished, while with others I have no control over their outcome and if they actually happen or not. I am also aware that some things aren’t going to make or break me, whereas others are completely life altering. But this is all okay.

I am giving myself nearly 3 years to attempt to accomplish everything on the following list, and for every task that I am unable to accomplish, I plan on doing an hour of community service. I plan on doing community service not as a way to punish myself for an incomplete task, but more for the making that every incomplete task isn’t a failure. I will still be doing something for each incomplete task that will benefit others and in return benefit myself.

Without further ado, here it goes…

The Mission: Complete 101 preset tasks in a period of 1001 days.

The Criteria: Tasks must be specific (i.e. no ambiguity in the wording) with a result that is either measurable, or clearly defined. Tasks must also be realistic and stretching (i.e. represent some amount of effort on your part).

Start Date: July 27, 2011
End Date: April 23, 2014

All Work & No Play

  1. Land an ultrasound job
  2. Complete my ultrasound reference binder
  3. Become ARDMS in at least one specialty

Life Online

  1. Don’t log into facebook for 1 week
  2. Get through HTML/XHTML/and CSS Bible
  3. Revamp Stranded in the Desert
  4. Revamp Romano Sugar
  5. Get someone I don’t personally know to comment on Stranded in the Desert
  6. Get someone I don’t personally know to comment on Romano Sugar
  7. Regularly post on Romano Sugar
  8. Learn about SEO
  9. Get 10 subscribers on Stranded in the Desert
  10. Get 10 subscribers on Romano Sugar
  11. Learn how to use Gimp
  12. Learn about PHP

Marriage & Family

  1. Have a “date night” with David twice a month (0/66)
  2. Add a mini-dachshund to our family
  3. Have a baby
  4. Take my grandma to a movie
  5. Take my other grandma to a movie

Pinching Pennies

  1. Make a budget and stick with it for at least 6 months
  2. Start a vacation savings
  3. Save enough money to have at least 6 months reserve

Big Spender

  1. Buy a house
  2. Get a fancy camera
  3. Purchase The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Pastry Arts
  4. Buy another gun

I ♥ All Things Food

  1. Make a confetti cake
  2. Make chocolate chip pancakes
  3. Try at least 2 new recipes a month (0/66)
  4. Perfect at least 3 different types of sugar flowers (0/3)
  5. Sell something I bake
  6. Make a custom recipe book
  7. Make homemade cherry pie for my husband
  8. Grow an herb garden
  9. Get a bottle of wine from Sunflower Market and drink it

Pure Entertainment

  1. Watch The Rocky Horror Picture Show from start to finish
  2. Watch all 3 seasons of Arrested Development
  3. Watch at least 2 movies a month I’ve never seen before (0/66)
  4. Read at least 1 new book a month (0/33)
  5. Go to another Toby Keith concert
  6. See a midnight showing at a theater
  7. Go to a play

A Picture’s Worth a Thousand Words

  1. Participate in project 365
  2. Order our wedding photos
  3. Take a picture that’s nice enough to hang in our house

Mind, Body, & Soul

  1. Lose 5 pounds
  2. Don’t weight myself for 3 weeks
  3. Wake up at 6:00am everyday for 1 week
  4. Go to bed at 10:00pm everyday for 1 week
  5. Make a list of 100 things that make me happy
  6. Give up ice cream for 2 weeks, including frozen yogurt & gelato (0/66)
  7. Give up dairy for 2 weeks, including coffee creamer (0/66)
  8. No eating after 8:00pm for 1 week
  9. Read the Bible everyday for 30 days
  10. Grow my hair out
  11. Wash my face every night before bed for 30 days
  12. Don’t say a foul word for 3 days
  13. Spend a Saturday morning in bed watching movies

Oh, so crafty!

  1. Actually finish a crochet project
  2. Learn to knit and make something
  3. Sew something
  4. Make a newlywed map
  5. Make a scrapbook

Expanding my horizon

  1. Try at least 3 new things at Starbucks (0/3)
  2. Try a coffee shop other than Starbucks
  3. Start to learn another language
  4. Take a photography class
  5. Become a more informed voter for the next election
  6. Try 5 new restaurants (0/5)
  7. Read through my book on wine
  8. Attend 15 different garage sales (0/15)
  9. Learn how to use all the features on my digital camera
  10. Read The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Pastry Arts
  11. Read through my photography book
  12. Take a baking class

It Must Be Done

  1. Put together the guest bedroom
  2. Line kitchen cabinets and clean out the pantry
  3. Clean out my nightstand drawer in the bedroom
  4. Change my name on my passport
  5. Organize my cook books and recipes

Involving Others

  1. Babysit for someone
  2. Clean out my closet and give away some of my clothes
  3. Participate in BookCrossing
  4. Mail a card to someone once a month (0/33)


  1. Visit Teresa
  2. Go to New York & visit Danielle
  3. Go to Mount Lemon
  4. Visit the Grand Canyon

Random Ambitions

  1. Sell something online
  2. Go pig hunting
  3. Host a game night
  4. Go on a picnic
  5. Sing karaoke
  6. Go running in the rain
  7. Host a giveaway
  8. Host a holiday cookie swap
  9. Attend a street fair
  10. Go wine tasting
  11. Enter a contest of some sort

Most Importantly

  1. Be me

Long Hours at “The Office”

My wonderful husband has bitten off more than he can chew once again. So I don’t get in trouble, I’m adding the disclaimer that this is strictly my opinion (and therefore reality of course) and he would be quick to disagree.

He has been putting in long hours day and night towards his new job. When he gets off of work at night, we head to my office where we can both get out of the house and focus, him on his work, and me on my blog. It is my office because it is where I read/study/play during the day while he is downtown in his cubical.

This  is my office.

Once my office shuts down (unfortunately they have a 10:00pm lights out, you don’t have to go home but you can’t stay here policy) we then go home where the work continues.

A few hours after being back at home is usually when the exhaustion, slightly delirious, “must get this done before day break” mantra sets in.

It look a little something like this:

After awhile, Wife (that’s me!) starts to annoy Husband with the camera.

This is where I decide I’ve hit my wall and run off to bed where David joins about an hour later. Then we wake up the next morning and it all starts again.

This is my life. And I love it!

3 Weeks with Dr. Hiney

Okay, so his name isn’t Dr. Hiney, it’s Dr. Heiner and he’s a dentist. For awhile there  I was calling him Dr. Hiney because I thought he was a bit of an ass.

You see, shortly after moving to Tucson, I broke my tooth. It was a tooth that already had a rather large filling in it from being broken once before. I was eating a LaraBar when it broke. You know…LaraBars? Soft. Chewy but not sticky. Yeah, a LaraBar!

My tooth was on it’s last leg I guess. I’m pretty sure it would have broken even if it had been a marshmellow I was munching on.

Anyhow, I ended up at Dr. Heiner’s office because he was what my insurance would cover. He (as I figured would happen before I even went in) said that I would need a crown and made me an appointment for the following day.

The next day I went in, had several shots in the mouth because they couldn’t get me numb, and Dr. Heiner went to town on my tooth. Before I knew it I had a crown. I thought the whole process went by pretty quick and that he wasn’t necessarily very focused on my tooth while proceeding to talk about his personal life to me, which felt like a major boundary failure on his part if I might add.

As soon as I went home my tooth hurt like never before, and when I say like never before I mean it providing I had zero pain upon arriving at the dentist. I decided I would give it some time. Perhaps is was just sensitive from all the work?

A week later, with the pain getting worse, I went back for a third time to see Dr. Hiner where he decided that the crown wasn’t on all the way and “patched it up”. Might I add he had to numb me for this too.

After being home for another week, my tooth hurt even worse than the first time he had touched it, except now I had a bad chemical taste in my mouth and could wiggle the tooth like I was in first grade and gearing up to lose it.

Once again, I went back to Dr. Heiner’s office where he decided he would cut it off and make an entirely new crown for the tooth. After 3 hours at his office and some 9 shots in the mouth (they had a hard time getting me numb once again) I had yet another crown.

It has now been 3 days since my second crown has been put on and my tooth does feels better, not perfect, but better. I still have some bad sensitivity to hot and cold and it hurts to open my jaw all the way, but my pain has gone from about a 10 down to a 4 or  5. Lets pray that it is on the path to recovery and I wont have to go back again.

So several hundred dollars later, some 14+ shots in the mouth, 4 visits to the dentist, 3 weeks of horrific tooth pain and drinking my coffee through a straw, and what do I have to show for it all?

This super cool T-shirt of course!

Dr. Heiner thought I should be compensated for everything I have been through, and so he gave me this T-Shirt. Yes, A T-shirt.

I have my doubts that my tooth is okay just yet. It still hurts and the chemical taste has resurfaced. I sure hope I don’t have to have even more work done.


So earlier today I decided that the watermelon we had bought took up way too much room in the fridge and wasn’t getting eaten fast enough.

This was clearly getting on my nerves, so after reading the latest post on one of my favorite blogs, Le Femme Epicure, which was all about watermelons and different ways to use them, I decided I would juice it! Actually…since watermelons are something along the lines of 92% water, then did I really juice it? Or did I ring the water out of it?

Either way, I started this whole process by cutting up my lovely watermelon.

Once all cut up, I piled it into my blender. Clearly not all at once. I had to do the whole “rinse and repeat” a few times due to the large size of the watermelon compared to the mediocre size of my blender.

Next I flipped the switch on the blender and watched it go to town, whipping me  up some lovely watermelon puree.

After the fact I thought I should have done something exciting and delicious with the puree. Unfortunately I had already strained it.

Badabing Badaboom! I had watermelon Juice….or water?

Mixed with a little seltzer water all poured over ice and I had a delicious cool drink for those hot desert days. (I have to admit, it was much more delicious than I initially thought it would be)

So am I really going to drink all of that watermelon do you ask? Why, yes. I’m going to make it into watermelon margaritas!

Pancakes, Pancakes, Pancakes!

So yes, some may be bored with two food blogs in a row, but what can I say? I love cooking and I love food. Even more so…I love pancakes!

This morning I made pancakes at the request of my hard working husband. Instead of making the traditional Bisquick pancakes I grew up on, I had gotten a pancake mix from Costco called Coach’s Oats. The package look’s a little something like this:

To be completely honest, I’m really not the biggest fan of many pancake mixes and if it weren’t for the sample they gave out that day at Costco, I would have walked right passed them without the slightest thought of purchasing. These are, if I dare to say, amazing. The thing that really sold me was how healthy they are. Chalk-full of healthy stuff like oats, whole wheat, barely, and even flax seeds you can see in the batter, one would never expect these to taste so phenomenal. Paired with some pure maple syrup and maybe a few blueberries or a banana and you have a not so guilty pleasure.

Not to mention they look even more delicious on my stunning fiestaware.