Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Makin' Magic Outta Canned Goods - 7

This week's plan is:

Beef Tenderloin with Rice and Broccoli and Squash
  **We discovered the perfect way to cook thick cut steaks! It's from America's Test Kitchen. We used the same method for cooking a whole tenderloin. Check out the recipe here: Tenderloin. If you can't see the recipe, message me and I'll find it for you.
  **The trick is to cook them in an oven at 275 degrees for about 30 minutes (longer for the whole tenderloin) and then finish them by searing them in an oven. It seems backwards, but it's awesome!
  **I made the compound butter that is shown on the tenderloin: garlic, shallots, parsley, butter, salt & pepper.  
  **Doing a whole tenderloin was delicious and much cheaper than individual steaks! I think the whole tenderloin cost $15? if most people in your house like their steaks done to a similar temp. I'd suggest it! A 2 lb. tenderloin would have easily fed 4 of us.
  **Squash just sounded good, so I roasted it in the oven with the meat and topped it with butter and brown sugar... Can't get much better than that!

Spicy Pasta with Sweet Potatoes
  **This was a recipe i found in Better Homes and Gardens. It looked interesting, so I wanted to try it! 
  **This pasta was a little weird, but it grew on us as we ate. I think It would be better if you halved the peanut butter, and increased the cream cheese by an equal amount. It was a little like eating spaghetti and peanut butter. It did NOT reheat that well, keep that in mind.
  **Here's the recipe...  
     1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 3/4 inch cubes (about 2 cups)
     1/2 tsp each sugar, chili powder, and cinnamon
     8 oz dried rigatoni
     1/3 cup peanut butter
     3 oz cream cheese, cut into chunks
     2 tsp Asian chili sauce (Sriracha)
     1 Tbsp soy sauce
     6 green onions, thinly sliced
  1. Preheat oven to 450. Oil a rimmed baking pan and set aside. Toss sweet potato cubes in a bowl with 1 T olive oil, sugar, chili powder, and cinnamon. Spread in prepared pan and bake 20 minutes or until tender. (Lauren's note: These were delicious as-is!!)
  2. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1 cup pasta water. 
  3. In a saucepan combine peanut butter, cream cheese, chili sauce, and soy sauce. Whisk in 3/4 cup of the hot pasta water. Stir over medium heat until heated through. If too thick, stir in additional water. Stir in most of the green onions. 
  4. Serve sauce over pasta with sweet potatoes and remaining onion. Serves 4.
  **This pasta was a little weird, but it grew on us as we ate. I think It would be better if you halved the peanut butter, and increased the cream cheese by an equal amount. It was a little like eating spaghetti and peanut butter. 
Turkey Burgers with Rosemary Mayo and Chips and Salad
  **I love turkey burgers. I'll eat them just about any way they're fixed. I saw this recipe for Chicken Burgers, and just substituted the Turkey Burger patties I had in the freezer. 
 **Technically we had these for lunch on Saturday before I had to work, but they were delicious! I threw some spinach leaves and a tomato on each one, with the Rosemary Mayo, and they were great! 

Hot Wings with Chips and Guacamole
  **Eric came over for the game on Sunday and brought some chicken wings with. Chicken wings might be my favorite food of all time. We tried some new sauces, but the tried-and-true favorite is still Franks Red Hot. And staying true to the commercial, "I put that sh!t on everything!" 
  **Can't beat fresh Hot Wings. 
  **Oh, and I made some guacamole too. 

Bon Appetit!

Sunday, November 14, 2010


"Oh, Kermie!"


Ryan and I were matched on eHarmony in September last year. We met for the first time the first weekend in October. To celebrate our 1-year Meetiversary, we traveled up to Ely for one of his coworker's weddings. We had a great weekend away! What a great way to celebrate!!

We spent a lot of time hanging out by the lake.

We also visited the North American Bear Center. What a great place!

Here we are at Steve & Heidi's wedding.

Endless Summer...

Enjoy some photos from our summer!

We went to Hudson to tour some life sized replicas of Columbus' ships the Nina and Pinta. It was pretty cool! A crew of guys sailed them around the United States stopping periodically to show them off. It was really interesting!
Life size replicas of the Nina and Pinta
Erin and Shirley waiting to go aboard the Nina and Pinta

SJ checkin' out the Saint Croix River

For Dad's birthday Ryan and I spent the weekend in Wausau. Dad and I canned some Chili Sauce (straight from Gram's recipe!) and I made him a birthday pie.
Canned Tomatoes
Chili Relish

Dad's Birthday Pie!

Ryan and I spent quite a bit of time at the State Fair this year...
Here's Ryan with 18 inches of Corn Dog... I'm a lucky lady.
Here's Ryan with is favorite... Pickle Dogs
We've spent quite a bit of time with Zennon and Ava. They were such great helpers on moving day!
Robot Ava


Sunday, October 24, 2010

Makin' Magic Outta Canned Goods - 6

Alright, I know I've been slackin' lately with my meal plans. But thanks to some inspiration from the Totally Together Journal and a pretty decent routine at home, I'm back in the Meal Planning Saddle! My new job has me home in the evenings, so Ryan and I eat dinner together most nights. Here's what we've got going on!

This week's plan is:

Pot Roast with Potatoes and Carrots
  **I made a pretty basic Pot Roast in the Crock Pot. I won't lie, I didn't love it. I don't think it was the recipe, I think I just don't love Pot Roast.  
  **I got 2 roasts in one package, so I think next week I'll cut one up and turn it into Texas Chili. 

Apple Raisin Cake for Bible Study
  **We alternate who brings dessert to Bible Study. This week I took a Betty Crocker gluten free yellow cake mix, and added all of the miscellaneous ingredients to make it into an apple spice cake.   
  **This was my all-time favorite cake recipe back in my gluten full days. I had high hopes for a fall dessert with this GF cake mix!
  **Besides the fact it was raw in the middle, it was a huge success! All of the ladies said it was good enough to share with gluten free and gluten full, alike! 

Corn Risotto with Rotisserie Chicken
  **I hate having frozen vegetables in my freezer. It seems I buy them for a specific purpose, and then never finish the bag, and then they get freezer burned, and you wind up with 6 half-bags of veggies that get thrown away. So in an attempt to use up the corn in my freezer, I stumbled upon this recipe for Corn Risotto
  **You people should know that making risotto is not nearly the pain people make it out to be. I found a great step-by-step tutorial at this blog, and it was well worth the few minutes stirring!
  **With the coupon I had for a Rainbow Foods Rotisserie Chicken, this was a pretty simple, well rounded meal!
  **I'm excited to try other risotto flavors in the future!! 

Homemade Pizzas
  **We ended up synchronizing dinner plans with Erin and Richard this night. So it turned into something of a pizza extravaganza. 
  **We each had our own pizzas with our own toppings on them. We ended up with tons of extra pizza, but nobody was disappointed!
  **I love making pizza so much, I think everybody should do it once a month as a family! Talk about a Money-Saving-Family-Fun-Night! 

Cabbage Rolls
  **I used the filling from the Nye's Pollynaise Room recipe, and the sauce from the Emerill's recipe. And then I changed it a little... these are my thoughts... 
  **You should know that we REALLY liked these. The flavor is there, but there's some things I would change in the technique.
  **I don't want to eat something bad enough to let it cook for 2 hours in the oven, after spending an hour trying to put it all together. That means, the raw rice you used as a binder won't cook all of the way. Next time I will use raw oats (like in the Quaker Oatmeal Meatloaf recipe) and then bake them for just an hour.
  **The recipe originally called for a lot of greasy meat: beef, sausage, pork, bacon. I had 3# of frozen beef, 1# of frozen spicy Italian sausage, 1# of frozen ground turkey. I used equal parts of turkey and sausage. There was a lot of flavor and good texture, but it wasn't too greasy since the turkey is so low fat. I'd use a similar mixture again! I do think you could use any combination of ground meat you have, but I think the sausage is key in bringing the flavor.
  **They're a little intense to make. You have to mix the filling, and steam the cabbage leaves without tearing them, and then stuff them, and make the sauce, and then bake them. They could easily be made and assembled and then put in the fridge for tomorrow, which is probably how I'll do it next time. 
  **The last thing I'd do differently, would be to pour 1 cup of chicken stock over them for baking, and reserve the sauce to top them once they're done. The yummy Emerill's sauce got too diluted while baking. 

Bon Appetit!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

How do they do it?

One of my biggest struggles since getting married is maintaining the household. I can't figure out how moms do it. I have no responsibilities in the home except keeping it together, and can't seem to get it right. But there are other women out there with all of the same responsibilities PLUS many children and a job and a social life. I can't figure out how they keep their house together.

I've gotten some good advice from some ladies in my life, and feel like once we're into our new apartment we can safely start developing a routine.

Erin sent me a link to a blog this week, where the woman made a resolution to use her Slow Cooker every day for a year. It's pretty cool. I've already made a recipe from her list, and have intentions to make another on Sunday, plus another on Monday! And guess what!! Her recipes are Gluten Free! It's like the perfect storm!! Check Stephanie out at: crockpot365.blogspot.com

In exploring her website, I found she has another website called Totally Together for tips and tricks on "how to streamline your household routines so you can have a (somewhat) tidy and tranquil home in just minutes a day." YES PLEASE. She's got links to A Beginner's Guide to a Clean and Organized Home, Meal Planning, The Daily 7 for a Highly Successful Household, and much more! I think anybody could find something helpful on her site! Check it out!!

She also has a book, but I'm having trouble finding it online. Could be useful!! If anybody can find it to buy, let me know!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Excuse me, do you know where the Ladies' Room is?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Playlist: Summer 2010

I've made a summer playlist for as long as I can remember... Enjoy the one from 2010!

Groovy Little Summer Song
James Otto

Undo It 
Carrie Underwood

California Girlz 
Katy Perry

Travie McCoy ft. Bruno Mars

Hip to My Heart
The Band Perry


Could it be You (Punk Rock Chick)

Our Kind of Love
Lady Antebellum

Lady Gaga

B.o.B. and Rivers Cuomo

Why Wait
Rascal Flats

All Over Me
Josh Turner

(sorry there's no video... you can just gaze at his dreamy smile while you listen...)

Stuck Like Glue
Sugar Land

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Independence Day

I was somewhat trapped in my own head this Independence Day, celebrating an internal anniversary between God and myself. But we did have a great weekend with Ryan's family in Eau Claire, celebrating together. Here are some pictures to share!

We decided to try grilling a turkey. We brined it first because we were concerned it would dry out in the grill.
Stay tuned for pictures of the end result!

Miss Ava

Ryan havin' a beer...
We had some fun with fire crackers in the driveway before dinner.
Eric's kids: Zennon (7) and Ava (5)
Dinner time!!
It was worth every minute of effort. Let me know if you want the details of technique. I don't care if I eat an oven roasted turkey ever again!
Ava wanted the turkey leg. It might be the best picture of the weekend!
After we just hung around until dark, when the Fireworks and S'mores came out!

We grilled s'mores on the patio... light off "s'more" fireworks... and watched a huge fireworks display in a neighboring yard! What a great and relaxing evening!
Uncle Ryan wanted to play too!

MaryBeth and Ryan toasting...

Ryan: Maxin' and relaxin'...
Zennon: Two-fisted s'mores...

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Pizza Jackass

Yesterday McClain and I were headed north on Lexington to Erin's house. We were approaching University and saw a minivan stopped with it's hazards on in the southbound lane, driver's door open. Not too far behind the van was a pudgy white guy holding his pants up, running north, away from the car. We both stared out the window as the guy scurried up the street to salvage the Papa Murphy's Pizza that had apparently fallen off the top of his van when he drove away. The pizza was laying unscathed in the left lane.

This scene made me think 3 things:
1. If his pants fit, he could run a lot faster!
2. Are we on Candid Camera?
3. Remember that episode of Jackass where they put the [empty] carseat on top of the car and drive away just to watch people freak out?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Home, sweet home...

We signed on our new house today!!

Ours as of October 1, 2010
Updated address info coming soon!!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Love is Cool

Even though I'm establishing myself in my new job with the Credit Union, I still have been serving part time on the side for a little extra spending money. Last night we had a 50th birthday party for a gentleman, and they went all out. There was a fully catered dinner and dessert buffet, with an open bar, a live band that was pretty good, and a Scotch and cigar bar. They rented full linens and a tent for their back yard with hanging candle lanterns and everything. It was pretty cool.

For those of you who don't know what we do when we say "off-premise catering," we show up with a truck full of equipment and food and set up the party from start to finish, and haul all of our mess back to our HQ.

The party was set up behind their beautiful house in North Oaks... down a huge hill.We had to push our carts and our food and our liquor from the truck down the 2-story grassy hill, without tipping anything, and then push everything back up. It took 2 people on every cart going down, and it took 3 people on most carts, and 4 people on some, to get them back up the hill.

Here's Mona and Paul pushing a cart of glassware back up the hill in the dark...

So the whole day was spent sweating from 3:00 until about 12:15am when we finally clocked out. The 6 of us drank almost 2 cases of bottled water, and all we could think about was going home to a cold shower.

By the time I got home at 1:00 am, Ryan was already in bed and I was going to take my cold shower before I got into bed. When I opened the bedroom door to let him know I was home, what did he have waiting for me??

Oh, yes... timing is everything. What a perfect day for the perfect surprise!

Hello, walk-in-cooler-bedroom.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

An Anniversary

This week is special to me because it is the one year anniversary of the days in which God recaptured my heart and mind and began the final preparations of them for my husband.  He gently stitched my torn and tattered heart back together, weaving in all of the love lessons I'd painfully learned up to that point. He decidely redefined words like "love" and "forever" for me as my mutated definitions had let me down time and time again.  He rebuilt me into the woman I was designed to be, instead of the shell I  had defected into. 

There was a time where I thought I would never recover from my broken heart, and I thought I was in the depths of despair. I now see how God orcestrated the situation of a broken heart to bring me down to zero so that through lifting me up He would be glorified. My heart is still scarred, but finally it is being gently held by the only man that truly deserves it.

To the damaged woman inside of me, I remind: God is good, all the time.
To my husband: I will follow you into the darkness.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Road Rage

Since posting about staying in Eau Claire during my training I've started commuting daily to and from. The days are longer, but they're not as lonely. Plus it gives me some time alone in the car to think. Here's some of the things I've found myself thinking in the last 2 weeks...

--"Next car: Cruise Control."
--"I wish I could just crash my car into other cars sometimes..."
--"Man, I never use my horn, but when I do why do I always find myself in the same situation as the person I just honked at a few minutes ago?"
--"GPS could only get better if it followed up directional statements with affirming statements. 'In point 2 miles turn left, Beautiful.' or 'In point 9 miles exit right, if that D-Bag would get out of your blind spot.'"
--"Wow, Dad was right: Pricks From Illinois..."
--"Seriously State Troopers? Is there so little crime to fight you need to set up 2 speed traps outside of Eau Claire before 9am??"
--"Did Tom Shane just say 'Synthetic man-made boobies'?? Oh! Rubies!"
--"Lady Gaga's new song sounds just like Ace of Bass."
--"It's nice to know I've still got it..."
--"I love seeing guys singing along to the radio alone in their car."
--"I wish when you gave somebody the Stink Eye they could feel it on their body like lasers."

I'm sure none of you have ever felt the same way...

Friday, July 2, 2010

Dear Man-Giant in the blue Geo Metro,

It's hard for me to take you and your angry face seriously in that tiny car, with the tiny "meep meep" horn, even when you lean out of your driver's side window to give me the Stink Eye. I guess I don't know where you thought I should have gone this morning when coming onto the highway with an on-ramp that had no merge area because of the construction. I would like to point out that the lack of merge area was well marked with giant orange barrels and signage for no less than 1/4 mile before. I realize when merging it's my responsibility to come up to speed before coming into your lane, but that just wasn't an option today, and I don't think our situation was the same as the typical "cutting off" scenario. However, thanks for letting me know how I was wrong to encroach on your driving space.

I hope you have a great day, but you should know that next time I will hit you.

Yours Truly,

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Training Wheels

Some of you know I took a job as a Financial Sales Representative with a Credit Union. I'm very excited for this life change. As our marriage started to grow we really began to see that the restaurant world wasn't giving me what I needed anymore. There were weeks where Ryan and I only seemed to pass in the hallway coming and going. As we coveted our moments together (since sometimes they really were just moments) we realized what a strain it was on our desire to grow into Oneness. Every week as my crazy schedule came out I could see the stress in Ryan not knowing where I was going to be, or when I'd be around, or how much I was going to work. We had to schedule in Date Nights, or even time to watch TV together.

This position was offered to me after a pretty cool sequence of events set up by God, and then executed by Ryan's mom (thanks, MB. ;)). Ryan and I spent hours praying that God would lead me to a position, but not just any position. We prayed that God would provide a position that saw value in the skills and experience I had, but wanted to use them in a different way, preferably a different industry. We wanted something that could become a career for me, not just another job. We prayed that when we stumbled upon the position that God would take away any doubt or anxiety we had about it.

My interview lasted almost 2 hours, and consisted of laughing and chatting with the ladies present as if we'd known each other for years. In ending the interview I was told that it could possibly take up to two weeks to hear back about the position. They called me back 4 hours later to say they didn't want to mess around anymore, it was unanimous between the three ladies that they wanted to bring me into their team. They knew I had what it takes to be successful in this position, and they didn't care that I didn't have any true banking experience!

So three weeks later, here I am in training in Wisconsin for the next month. Training is going very well. Today was day 3, and we finally started learning about the products and services we have to offer. It's been pretty fun and interesting. Ryan's mom keeps joking (at least I think she's joking!) about me making it past Day 3. Well I have, and I'm still into it, so I hope that's a good sign! Most of my class is high schoolers, with 2 college students thrown in. I'm the only FSR, everybody else is there for teller positions. I literally have nothing to say to these other girls, and as is always the case with me, the girl I like the least has latched onto me like we're best friends. In the immortal words of my mother, "You don't have to like everyone, but you can't be mean to anyone."

Emotionally this has been pretty exhausting, and we're not even done with Week 1! Thanks to technology I've been able to keep in touch with Ryan just like a typical day. But this is the longest we will have gone without seeing each other since we met. I'll be gone Sunday nights through Fridays, and head home straight from work on Friday every week. I know that this won't kill us, and that it is for the greater good of our family, but it's sad. I'm sad without him.

Thanks to everybody who prayed this job would find me. It is a serious blessing, and I'm very excited to start my new career!
Thanks again to everybody who has prayed for me and Ryan this week (and on into the month). I know it will help us through the frustrating parts. Just like it's training wheels for the job, this is training wheels for Ryan and me too!

Cheers, to a new career!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Makin' Magic Outta Canned Goods - 5

This week's plan (and last week's plan too) is:

Michigan Dogs with Creamy Coleslaw
  **This was a recipe straight off the Rachel Ray show. Ryan and I watched her make it, salivating the whole time! Try them, you won't be disappointed. Michigan Dogs
  **We topped them with shredded cheddar and mustard, instead of the cheese sauce. They were sooo good!

Salmon Kabobs with Rice and Tomato-Onion Salad
  ** Last week I saw salmon kabobs at Rainbow at the seafood counter, I went back this week to buy them. They were spendy, but delish! Three of them were enough for our dinner, plus Ryan's lunch. 
  **Rainbow also usually has steak and chicken kabobs pre-assembled, and with the salmon kabobs were also tuna kabobs. 'Bobs for everybody!
  **I might have mentioned it before, but Ryan and I like to eat BBQ sauce on our rice--I know, weird--but we do! So we sauced our rice with our salmon. Try BBQ salmon filets with rice sometime!
  **I made a tomato and onion salad, with olive oil and salt and pepper. It was similar to that mozzarella salad, but no mozzarella.

GF Potato Gnocchi and Peasto, and Grilled Chicken
  ** My old roommate Bia used to eat cheese perogies with sauteed peas and onions--that's what this meal is like. 
  **A while back I found a recipe for "pesto" made out of frozen/fresh peas (ahem, PEA-sto). I can't find the same recipe online, but when I get home I'll note where it came from. But I had some in the freezer, so we're eating it up!
  **I modified a potato gnocchi recipe t be gluten free (subbing rice/garbanzo flour for wheat flour). So we'll see how they turn out. The substitutions were based on some GF recipes I found as well. The original recipe I found was at King Arthur Flour.
  **I'll probably par-boil the gnocchi (about 60 seconds) and then fry them in oil to finish cooking for a (hopefully) crisp outside
  **I'll also probably throw some sauteed onions into the mix, because I like them, and add grilled chicken breasts to make it more substantial. 
Special Request: Steak with Rice and Asparagus
  ** Ryan wanted steak for dinner. I asked if he wanted anything special with it, or any sauce. NOPE. 
  **What does Ryan want with his steak? RICE. Always rice.
  **Ryan likes all green veggies, so we're having asparagus with butter and lemon. 
  **He's an easy man to please.

Crock-Pot Chicken with Mushroom Sauce
  **I wanted something to throw in the crock-pot to be ready for him after work, since I was at work into the evening. 
  **I used this recipe, but substituted cream cheese for the sour cream (because I wanted something more luxurious), and added fresh mushrooms and onion. I also mixed together the sauce and tasted/seasoned it before I put it in. You never know what you're gonna get flavor-wise with those canned soups!
  **It was exactly what beef stroganoff would be if you used chicken.
  **Neither Ryan or I loved it, but it wasn't bad. He ate it over rice, and I ate the leftovers.

Bon Appetit!

The Collyer Bros.

Per Carole's comment on my last blog, I read about the Collyer brothers. If you are interested, there's a long article you can read about them here. It's pretty f'd up, to say the least, but I couldn't stop reading it! 

If you don't want to read the article, the gist of it is as follows...
Homer Lusk Collyer (November 6, 1881 – March 21, 1947) and Langley Collyer (October 3, 1885 – March 1947) were two American brothers who became famous because of their snobbish nature, filth in their homes, and compulsive hoarding. For decades, neighborhood rumors swirled around the rarely seen, unemployed men and their home at 2078 Fifth Avenue (at the corner of 128th Street), in Manhattan, where they obsessively collected newspapers, books, furniture, musical instruments, and many other items, with booby traps set up in corridors and doorways to protect against intruders. Both were eventually found dead in the Harlem brownstone where they had lived as hermits, surrounded by over 130 tons of waste that they had amassed over several decades.[1]
...Click here if you want to read the rest of this article...

(Thank you, Wikipedia.)

The rest of the Wikipedia article explains more, but I liked the article from the link above better.

Monday, June 7, 2010

My own personal episode of "Hoarders"

I'm sure some of you have heard about our downstairs neighbor, Michelle, (aka Crazy Lady). For those of you who haven't...
Michelle has lived in this building for 27 years, since she was in college, I'm not sure how old that makes her. Ryan and I have only ever seen her in dirty old night gowns with a ratty shawl, or an over-sized denim jumper with a man's button down shirt underneath. She has long grey hair that is either pulled half way back, or into a bun every time. I've always thought she looked like a bag lady and a shut-in, like a "Cat Lady." Michelle started knocking on Ryan's door the day he moved in. She wants to know what he's doing, why he's making so much noise, did he have people going in and out, did they have permission to be here? Sometimes Ryan would ignore her knocking and turn the TV up, or quarantine himself to the couch for a length of time as if he's sleeping, or not home. Michelle started knocking on the door while I was here when we started dating, and I think we became friends. She told me about how she has incredible hearing because she never went to "those rock concerts" like her friends did. She told me about how she has been the "victim" of much harassment and has thus barricaded her front door and only uses her back door, sent all of her mail to a P.O. Box instead of the mailboxes at our apartment, and set booby traps in her apartment so she'll know if somebody was in there while she was away. We haven't ever even seen her window shades open. She has told me about how much she loves her apartment, the old woodwork and fixtures, and has spent years collecting antique furniture and trinkets to go with our old world apartments. She has even gone as far as to not let the landlord remodel her bathroom to have a shower since she moved in when everything was still just bathtubs. She is very particular about her things, and is adamant about protecting her privacy--to the point of not making a phone call without blocking her own phone number.

Through our chats I have come to realize that Michelle is just a very lonely woman trapped both inside her apartment and her own paranoia. I have done what I could to show her Christ's love and kindness. And though anytime Michelle knocked I knew it was going to eat up 2 hours of my day, I actually enjoyed her because I knew that I offered the only social interaction she would engage in for days.

The last time I saw Michelle was when she came up to tell me about confronting the rental agent the day before about some issues she was having with the heat in the apartment, as well as people going into her apartment without asking. She went out that morning to find a notice on her door saying they were evicting her. As Michelle told me about it I thought she was going to cry. This had been her home of 27 years, and they were taking it away from her! I felt so awful for her. Crazy lady or not, she had built a home for herself here.

When Ryan and I came home from San Antonio this week we saw that the windows of her apartment were propped open, as if to air the apartment out--since we know Michelle would never leave her shades up, let alone her windows wide open, we know she's moved out. We stood outside joking about how Ryan should climb up the side of the building into her apartment and let me in from the inside so we could see what it was like. We decided that would be a bad idea, and just tried the apartment door from the hallway instead. This is what we found...

Window propped open to air the place out. It's been like that for at least a week... how musty was it??
You can't see them very well in this pic, but there were several dried flower arrangements.
Dried flowers=dust.

In this picture you can really see how dusty everything was; the floor was so dusty it was almost slippery.

The picture doesn't really capture it, but there was a pile of plastic bags by the door that was the size of a small entertainment center.

There was food left in the cupboards, and her bathroom cupboard/cabinet were full of products, and the kitchen was straight up disgusting. 

Obviously there was garbage everywhere.