Monday, July 27, 2009

My New Trek Bike!

I purchased a new bike recently and it’s awesome! It’s the Trek WSD7300 and it rocks. I'm still getting used to it, but so far I'm liking it. Check out the photos.

Friday, July 24, 2009

The Grater Plater – Does It Work?

The answer is yes, it actually does. As promised, I finally used the grater plater this week when making fettuccine alfredo. I had to grate a lot of parmesan cheese for this recipe and started out using the grater plater. The picture above shows some of the cheese I grated. I ended up not grating all the cheese on the grater plater since I needed so much. I would recommend the grater plater for use in small quantities. If you need a little zest or garlic or ginger, etc., then the grater plater would be great. And it’s easy to clean – just put it in the dishwasher. So, as far as I’m concerned, the grater plater gets and A+!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Winner

Congratulations to Erika! She was the only entrant in the contest for the coffee maker and therefore the winner. Erika, contact me at to claim your prize! Congrats!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Giveaway #2!

I realize I haven’t posted since last Friday. Sorry – there’s just nothing very exciting going on these days. I do have to tell you however that we are having the most wonderful weather I have ever experienced in July! It has been awesome. The 80s in July are unheard of round these parts. I’m sure it will heat up again soon, but in the meantime, I am enjoying the lovely weather we are having.

To make up for the lack of eventfulness in my life, I’m having the second giveaway in as many weeks here on The Chronicles of Nat. This time the giveaway is for a Senseo single cup coffee maker. Check out the product here:

The model in this giveaway is the 7810. Now, here’s the story. I bought one of these last year with my birthday money because I thought I really needed one. Turns out, I didn’t. I don’t even drink coffee that much and I prefer Starbucks when I do. Plus, I already had one coffee maker and didn’t need a second one. So, for over a year it sat on my kitchen counter and was used only a couple of times. Then I get an email saying that the product was recalled. So, I registered my machine and a month or so later I received a brand spanking new one on my porch one afternoon, via Fed Ex of course. I have since sent my old one back, but now I have a new one and since I know I won’t use it, I’m offering it up for grabs here on The Chronicles of Nat.

The color of this particular machine is red, in case you were wondering. I love red and you are welcome to send me gifts of red at your convenience. All you have to do to enter is post a comment on what you like or dislike about coffee. If you dislike coffee, well, enter anyway and then you can give it to someone as a gift if you win. It will be like the gift that keeps on giving or something like that. If you don’t have anything to say about coffee, just say hello and consider yourself entered. The contest will end on Thursday at 7:00 a.m. Central time, and then the winner will be announced. Best of luck friends!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Harry Potter: A Review

So, last night I took a slew of kids (well, three) to see “Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.” Man, that’s a long title to type. As I’ve mentioned before, I am a firm believer of reading a book before seeing the movie. As it turns out, I’ve read all the Harry Potter books about 100 times (well, maybe just four or five). These books are THE BEST! If you’ve never read them, you are missing out on one of life’s great reads! And that ain’t no lie. I realize that these books are geared toward children, but come on people; everyone has a kid in them somewhere.

Anyway, let’s get back to this movie review. So, my best friend Jackie and her son Troy came along and the three kids I had with me belonged to folks I go to church with. I basically stole their kids for the night since I don’t have any of my own.

On a whole, the movie was pretty good. I realize that because these books are so long that the script can’t include everything from the book. So, there were parts missing and parts that didn’t happen exactly the same as the book and a few things that were added. But, overall I think it captured the essence of the book and the dark times of the wizarding world.

I think the actors in the movie did a great job as always. Who doesn’t love Maggie Smith as Professor McGonagall? She totally rocks! The trio of Radcliffe, Watson, and Grint has basically grown up as Harry, Hermione and Ron, and they get better with each movie. Michael Gambon does a nice job portraying the fatherly headmaster, and Alan Rickman, well, no one else on earth would have done as well as he in the role of Snape.

This film added Jim Broadbent as Professor Slughorn, and although I pictured Slughorn as a larger bloke, Broadbent, was amazing and his facial expressions were priceless!

It has been really great watching these characters over the years and it’s always exciting when another Potter movie is released. I will be oh so sad when the last two are over. And while nothing on the screen ever plays out as fantastic as it does in your imagination, this movie is definitely worth seeing in the theater. I myself am planning on seeing it again – maybe even this weekend.

The Chronicles of Nat: Q&A

First of all, I would like to welcome The Chronicles of Nat’s newest reader, Susanne! Welcome, Susanne! I don’t know who you are or where you live, but it’s nice to have a reader other than my three friends who tune in from time to time. As you can tell, this blog has no rhyme or reason; it’s just a collection of non-related events and stories chronicling my odd life.

So, dear readers, Susanne has asked Nat a question about the Grater Plater. And being dedicated to my fans, I’ve decided to answer it here in a post. Susanne wants to know if the Grater Plater that was recently given away actually works. Well, Susanne, I’ve got to admit, I haven’t even tried it out yet. However, I’m planning to make fettuccine alfredo sometime next week and I’ll probably give it a go then. When I do, I’ll be sure to take some photos and write a review. I realize this doesn’t totally answer your question, but I didn’t want to leave you hanging, sister! So, stay tuned for a better answer to your question, I promise I’ll give you one.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Winner!

Well, the Grater Plater contest has ended and we had only three entries! Wow, this blog gets a lot of hits, huh? Congratulations to Erika, the winner of the first official Chronicles of Nat giveaway!

I tried to paste the print screen showing #1 as the winner, but can't get it to work. So, you'll just have to trust me on this one. I don't have any photo software with me here at work, unfortunately.

Erika, please contact me at to claim your Grater Plater.

Stay tuned to the Chronicles of Nat for more stories, surveys and giveaways. Next week there might be a coffee maker giveaway so be sure and check back in. In the meantime, I heading out to see Harry Potter tonight and hope to have a review up tomorrow. Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Grater Plater And A Giveaway!

Who out there has watched “Pitchmen” on the Discovery Channel? I hope you have. It is a really good show. The show is new to the Discovery Channel and I started watching as soon as the season started. At first I wasn’t sure if I really liked it and quite honestly thought Billy Mays was a little full of himself. But, as the season rolled on, I really began to like the show and Billy Mays too.

I found it so sad when Billy Mays passed away recently. It really seemed that he was indeed a good guy and was loved by many people. The Discovery Channel did a tribute to Billy Mays that was very nicely done and in fact brought tears to my eyes. I have no idea if the show will carry on without him, I hope so; but of course, that’s not my decision.

One of the items featured on the show was the Grater Plater. It’s a small plate that grates cheese, zest, garlic, chocolate, ginger and other things and it’s triple glazed so nothing sticks. It’s the plate that grates.

Now, I’ve never been one to buy things advertised on TV, but after watching several episodes of “Pitchmen,” I came to realize that Billy Mays and his production partner, Anthony Sullivan (who is also on the show), only pitched items that they truly believed in and had tested in the field. After all, who doesn’t know about Oxi Clean these days?

And so I got suckered in as my dad would say and I bought a Grater Plater and the next thing I knew, I had bought two. After all, you get the second one free; all you have to do is pay the processing and handling fee. And so dear readers because I have two of these Grater Platers, I am offering one to you as the first official give away here on The Chronicles of Nat. It also comes with a Roll N Peel and a Gathering Brush.

If you would like to know more about the product and see a demonstration, go here:

If you want to check out the “Pitchmen” episode, it’s episode #9. I couldn’t find a link on the Discovery Channel web site, which leads me to believe the show may not be coming back.

At any rate, in order to enter the contest, all you have to do is leave a comment. You can say something about Billy Mays, the Discovery Channel, “Pitchmen,” something you’ve bought from TV, or anything else for that matter. Just leave a comment and the lucky winner will be chosen using’s random integer generator. The contest will end at 7:00 a.m. on Thursday, July 16 and the winner will be announced then. Thanks for reading, and good luck!

Friday, July 10, 2009

My Sister's Keeper: A Review

Who out there has read “My Sister’s Keeper” by Jodi Piccoult? Raise your hand please. Wasn’t it an awesome book? I had a hard time putting it down. It was very gripping and really tugged on the ole heart strings. Well, if you read then book, then I beg of you, don’t go see the movie. You will probably be disappointed.

I am a huge proponent of reading the book before seeing the movie and yes, I know this usually ends in heartache and disappointment for the reader. Believe me I know; it happens every time, without fail. There are always a (very) few exceptions. “Of Mice and Men” with John Malkovich was simply wonderful – John Steinbeck would have been proud; and I like the “Harry Potter” movies. I realize that there are a lot of things left out of the Harry Potter movies, but let’s face it; we’d be in the theater for seven hours at a time if they included everything, so I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt – more on that in the next couple of weeks. So, yes, I know I will be disappointed if I read the book first, but it’s just this thing I have and I can’t stop it.

So, back to the original topic; “My Sister’s Keeper.” I loved the book and was really excited to see the movie. While watching the movie, there were a few things that were changed, but nothing life shattering and I was actually enjoying myself. And, then the ending came. I was bracing myself for what I knew to be the ending and it didn’t come. In fact, the ending was entirely different than the book. I realize that authors sell their work for truckloads of money, but have a little dignity and make these folks at least have the same ending as your book. Overall, the movie was really good. It was sad of course, but it followed the book rather closely, except for the ending, which again was quite disappointing. So, if you loved the book like me, you might want to wait for the rental.

Until next time…

Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Culprit

Well, folks, I think I found the garden thief. Have a look.

It would appear as though this little rabbit is the one who has been eating my tomatoes. Even the netting won't keep it out. I haven't seen it for a couple of days - ever since I snapped this photo. Maybe it's camera shy and won't come back. Here's to hoping.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Making Pickles

Last Friday, my mom and I set out to make dill pickles. The recipe is from my aunt and they are usually quite good. After they are made, you have to let them sit for a few weeks before you can eat them, otherwise it’s like a mouthful of vinegar.

It's my mom.
My dad also helped out.

My dad.

You will need pickling cucumbers, dill, vinegar, water, salt (I used kosher salt), peppers (if you want them hot – I used jalapeƱos), mustard seed and garlic. Typically fresh dill is used, but there wasn’t any at the store, so we used dill weed, which is found in the spice section. Either way is fine.


The other ingredients.

You will want to cut up your cucumbers and put them in jars. We cut some spears and some chips as they are called. Then you add to the jar dill, garlic, mustard seeds, and peppers. Don’t ask me how much because I don’t know. Just go with whatever makes your skirt fly up.

Here are the jars with cucumbers and other ingredients.

While you are cutting things up and stuffing them into jars, bring 2 quarts of vinegar and 1 quart of water and ¾ cup of salt to a boil. In case you don’t remember, 4 cups equals one quart.

You will also want to boil your jar lids and rings.

Once the vinegar, water, salt combo is at a roaring boil, carefully pour into the jars. Then seal the jars with the lids and rings. Even though the jars themselves did not enter a hot water bath, the lids will still “pop,” or seal shut.

And voila! Pickles.

As mentioned before, you will want these to sit for a few weeks before you eat them. But they will be good, I assure you!

Make sure you have some good help! Here's me and my dad.

The finished product.

Monday, July 6, 2009


As always, when my family has a gathering of people, I am tasked with making and bringing the coleslaw. This Fourth of July was no exception. My dad was given a head of cabbage by a friend and he passed it on to me to use for this year's coleslaw. I thought I would share with you a photo of the largest cabbage I have ever seen in my life. Hope you had a nice holiday!