In contemplation of the weather
June 22, 2010

Summer officially started yesterday.  And it’s hot.  I don’t mean “it’s hot in the South in the summer” hot.  I mean, it feels like August in the South, before it was even officially summer.  We have already started hitting 100° temperatures and it’s only June.

And while we Southerners love to complain about the weather, especially the heat and humidity, I realized that we really have a lot to bitch about here lately.  Let’s take a look back at this year so far.  In January, we had the worst snow I can ever remember, but not only that, it snowed several more times this winter.  We’re just not prepared for that here, because we just don’t get much frozen precipitation.  We are, however, very used to other precipitation.  We are a fairly rainy city, with an affinity for thunderstorms and tornadoes.  But last month, we had historical rains and flooding.  Our city is still pulling out of the Flood.  Now, we are experiencing unbelievable heat, with at least another 3 months or more of “summer” left to the year.

With such severe and record breaking weather so far this year, I am left to only wonder what the next 6 months have in store.  Maybe we have been through the worst of it, and the rest of the year will be nice.  We can only hope.

Blogiversary, Helpful Hints, Giveaway
June 14, 2010

That’s right kids, it’s been 2 years since Sally opened her own virtual world!  In the past year, Sally has: posted more recipes, hunted more dinos, trained for 2 very different half marathons, got a personal record running a half marathon, hula hooped 13.1 miles in a storm, bought her own home, traveled to Canada again, hula hooped with fire, got snowed in, was flooded, became a new aunt (Tante), and shared many of her Helpful Hints.

And what better way to celebrate a blogiversary than with a Helpful Hints Giveaway!  But first, here are a couple more helpful hints to keep you going!

Sore feet
Been wearing heels too long?  Or feet are just worn out from a long run?  Use a TENNIS BALL or GOLF BALL to massage those sore feet.  This can be done at your desk or while watching TV.  Just slip off those shoes, and roll your foot back and forth on a tennis ball to massage your feet.

Scratches on Wood
I hate when I accidentally ding up a coffee table or picture frame moving it around.  How do you cover that ding?  Just just a MARKER that is a similar color to the wood finish.  You could buy the fancy expensive furniture markers, or you can just save your money and buy the same thing with a different name.  I keep a black and a brown marker on hand at all times!

No Socks
In the summer, you can’t just wear socks or hose with all kinds of shoes.  Besides the weird way it looks, it is also very warm.  But how do you get your shoes to feel comfortable and to reduce the sweatiness factor?   Just sprinkle some BABY POWDER or other foot powder in your shoe and voila, instant dry fit!

Back Tension
I hate when I have a knot in my back.  It seems impossible to work it out on my own.  But I just place a TENNIS BALL between my chair or the wall and my back and roll back and forth on it, or just sit back against the ball on the knot in my back.  It really helps relieve the knot and massage your back.

Gardening
While gardening, many plants need to be staked against a trellis or other stick, but some plants are too delicate for metal or plastic ties.  Just take some old PANTYHOSE, cut off small rings from the legs and snip one end. You instantly have a gentle, stretchy tie that will expand with the plant and can be easily removed, without damaging the plant.  Next time don’t throw away that pair with the run, just put it in with your gardening tools!

Wet Shoes
In the past year, I have learned a lot about running and walking in the rain!  So, I’ve had to deal with my fair share of soaking wet water-logged sneakers.  The fastest way to dry out the sneakers (without causing any warping, etc.) is to stuff them with NEWSPAPER.  For some reason, the paper used for newspapers is very absorbent and dries quickly.  Just remember to change them out periodically until your shoes are dry.  The paper wicks away the moisture and helps prevent any mildew or mold, and means you’ll be back out running or walking quicker!

Fluffing Laundry
Do you want your towels fluffy like when you first bought them?  Throw a TENNIS BALL in the dryer with your towels (just don’t use dryer sheets – they zap the absorbency of towels and should never be used with any towels).  The ball will bounce around with your towels, make a little noise, and help fluff and separate your towels while they dry!

BLOGIVERSARY GIVEAWAY
Ok, now to the Giveaway.  I know, I know, that’s the only reason you’re here.  That’s ok, I love giveaways too, just be sure to tell your friends!  This Blogiversary Giveaway is Helpful Hints related!  Each item in the package is something I have mentioned as a tool in Sally’s Helpful Hints!  I have not included every item I have suggested because some are not very conducive to shipping (e.g., honey).

This package includes:  Tennis balls , eye drops, Friction Aid stick, cinnamon, black and brown sharpie markers, meat tenderizer, Tide To-Go stick, baby powder, pantyhose, dryer sheets, and tea tree oil stick.  And I may throw in some other bonus goodies for good measure upon shipping.

What do you need to do?  Just leave a comment (one comment only per person please) either about your favorite Helpful Hint from Sally, or share one of your own helpful hints with Sally and her readers!  The giveaway will end Friday, June 18 at 12:01AM CST.  At that point I will assign the valid entries a number and take a random drawing.

*(NOTE:  Sally does not specifically endorse any product featured on Sally’s Helpful Hints on Sallaboutme, nor has she received any special endorsements or sponsorship by any particular brand or company.  She’s just that nice to go out and buy them herself just for the readers.  Often the products purchased for the giveaway are generic brands with no particular preference to a particular company.  All uses of or participation in any of Sally’s Helpful Hints are at your own risk.  It’s the internet folks, you are always at your own risk.  Giveaway currently only available for shipping within the lower 48 States.  Rules subject to revision at any time by Sally.)

AND THE WINNER IS…..

Nate Baker! Congrats Nate!  I’ll email you very soon and get your package to you!  Thank you to everyone for playing along!  There are some really great hints below, check them out!  And look for them to appear in future Sally’s Helpful Hints posts!

(Note: Many apologies to Gareth, one of my most faithful readers.  He lives on the other side of the pond, so he was disqualified from the Giveaway.  But you should go check out his blog and send him a little love from this side of the pond…especially after the world cup game the other day…)

It’s Spring
March 22, 2010

…and it’s freezing!  Yes, that’s right.  We had a beautiful 70 degree day on Saturday and there are reports of flurries today in some areas.  Ahhh, Middle Tennessee how we welcome your schizophrenic tendencies, allergen inducers, and violent weather patterns in spring, as well as the inability to ever have just one wardrobe out at a time.  If you put away your sweaters and heavy coats, we’re guaranteed to have snow.  If you put away your summer clothes, we’ll have a heat wave.  If you love surprises, you should live here!

Happy Cheap Heart Candy Day!
February 15, 2010

If you haven’t already gone to get the discount candy, you may be out of luck!  Don’t worry, the bunny holiday and all of its wonderful candy is on the way soon.

Oh…and…it snowed.  AGAIN!  This one I’m going to blame on Barbie, because she drove down from Canada for a few days and she probably brought some of that cold weather with her.  Ok, maybe not, but I do feel bad for her for two reasons: 1. She left the great white north in hopes of better, sunnier, and less snowier weather (yeah, no luck there sweet cheeks), and 2. Her bucket (how I lovingly refer to her vehicle) may have finally kicked the bucket, so to speak.  Good news is I will get to visit with Barbie!!

Snow Triptych
February 8, 2010

It’s snowing.  Again!  Three significant snowfalls this year is unheard of!  You’d think we were a few hundred miles north, and not in the Southeast.  I’ll take the snow over ice any day!

Last week’s snow, this week’s back
February 6, 2010

We had some serious snow last weekend.  (though it is nothing compared to what the East Coast is getting this weekend!)  But due to the rarity that is snowfall and our city’s complete lack of preparation and logic for such a thing, we were pretty much snowed in.  Seriously, people joke about the city shutting down schools if snow is even ‘mentioned’ in the forecast, but the city just cannot handle it if we actually do get snow.

After work on Friday, I let Diva Kitty venture for a moment (that’s as long as she could stand it) on to the back porch.  By late Friday night and early Saturday morning, you could no longer see the cute paw prints.

So, with snow on the ground, what does a mature thirtysomething and her friends do…go sledding of course!  Saturday we played in the snow for several hours and discovered the hills behind my house are perfect for it!

We met again on Sunday for more sledding.  On my first trip down the hill, I demonstrated a move worthy of the Winter X-Games.   Unable to stop the makeshift sled at the bottom of the hill, I hit a ditch, went airborne, and continued down the smaller hill.  All of that sounds cool and apparently it looked cool, but it did not feel cool.  I injured my back pretty badly from the impact with the ditch.  I turned down requests to go to the hospital for fear of having to sit for hours in uncomfortable waiting room chairs, and opted to go to the doctor the next day instead.  All is ok, my body did what it is supposed to do to protect vital parts like my spine and organs, but that also means my back muscles are in a total spasm.  It is getting better and I am very thankful that I am otherwise a very strong, healthy person, because it could have been much worse.  But to speed along recovery I made an appointment with my acupuncturist.  I want to be able to laugh, cough, sneeze, and hiccup without worrying that my kidneys might explode.  Nothing starts a giggle fit more than laughing that sounds like…”ha, ha, ha, Ouch!, ha, ha, ha, Ouch!”

Snowed in Hot Toddy
January 31, 2010

I love a good hot toddy.  I created this one a couple weeks ago, but it made a reappearance during the snowed-in experience.  The key is the caramel and the sugar rimmed mug!

Apple Cider Hot Toddy

Spiced Cider (I prefer Trader Joe’s)
Caramel
Turbinado Sugar
Whiskey (preferably Jack Daniels Tennessee Whiskey!)

Heat the cider.

Rim a mug with caramel.

Dip the caramel rimmed mug in turbinado sugar.

Add a dollop of caramel to the bottom of the mug.

Pour the heated cider in the mug.

Top off with whiskey.  (I prefer Gentleman Jack, but I only had black label and was too snowed in to hit the liquor store.)

Enjoy! Rinse and repeat!

Snowed in recipe
January 30, 2010

Three weeks ago I hinted that we would avoid certain winter disaster, only to truly be hit with it later. Call me Madame Soothsayer.  We are snowed in this weekend!  One of the worst winter storms in our history.  We ventured out today for some sledding.  Turns out the hill behind my house is awesome!  Then it was time for dinner.  I call this:

Snowed In Lemon Pepper Seafood Pasta

Pasta
Olive oil
Minced Garlic
Garlic pepper
Lemon pepper
Italian seasoning
Juice of 1/2 Lemon, plus zest of lemon
White wine
Mixed frozen seafood
Grated parmesan cheese

Cook pasta.

Heat olive oil, garlic, lemon pepper, Italian seasoning, garlic pepper in large frying pan.  Add lemon zest to taste, some wine, lemon juice.  Then add the frozen seafood and cook according to packaging, making sure to cook down some of the wine.

Toss seafood mix with pasta.  Top with cheese, if desired.

Winter Wonderland
January 6, 2010

Ok, so not yet, but apparently all the meteorolog-talking heads are predicting the snowpocalypse of 2010 here in the next 24 hours.  They’ve been saying this for the past 48+ hours.  You know what that means right?  We will get absolutely nothing.  Nada.  Snow in Nashville is kind of like a surprise birthday party.  You have to let it sneak up on you completely unsuspecting for it to be fully effective.

Yes, it has been wicked cold the past few days.  But it was warmer today, the supposed day of snow reckoning.  Yes, we even saw a couple flakes here and there last weekend and earlier this week.  It was also colder then too.  So, I predict we get just that.  Cold weather,  a couple flakes, maybe enough snow or wetness to make the roads appear to be messy, but nothing like the inside of a snow globe.  What I also predict? That next week, when we have no warning of snow, we’ll get 6 inches all at once and the entire city will shut down.  It’s happened before, many times, and it’ll happen again.  Here’s hoping I’m wrong.

That being said, I am trying a new tradition.  In the summer, I love to run early in the morning.  While it is part a necessity, because it’s still hot as Hades at 6am, I like getting it done before I start my day.  In the winter, it’s another story.  It’s too cold and too dark before work.  After work is also too dark and too cold, plus I start losing motivation to work out after about 3pm, and the likelihood after 6pm is next to nil.  So I am trying out running during my lunch hour.  That way I can watch the hourly weather, determine the optimal time for temperature and wind, and get in my run before I lose steam.  So far it’s been pretty good.  Even during the coldest 2 weeks of the season.  But believe me, once the time change happens and it warms up, I’ll be back to my 6am runs.  If nothing else, I get a much more thorough shower at home after those.

It’s snowing!
December 8, 2008

It’s the holiday season and nearly winter, so Sally decided to make it snow. Global warming may prevent snow at home, but here in Sally’s world, it’s a winter wonderland! Enjoy!