Thursday, December 31, 2009

Crops be damned

I have a moment to catch up. Christmas was wonderfully quiet and relaxing. MIL did not call to check on our plans until the 22. Hubby explained that he was working Christmas Eve and Christmas night and that Christmas day he would be sleeping. She came over with FIL to drop off presents to everyone Christmas Eve morning. Hubby said anytime after 8 was fine. Gee, thanks! The night before we took the kids to see Bright Nights in Springfield, MA. The light display was awesome. Now, I am an early riser but before company came I wanted to run the vacuum to pick up the tumble weeds left by the dog and clean the bathroom. I also thought it might be nice if I was showered and dressed prior to their arrival. With a nap in the afternoon I was all set for Christmas Eve.

The evening we spent at my girlfriends open house. She has ham for dinner and I bring my scalloped sweet potatoes. Plus we had pasta, veggies and dip, cheese and crackers and homemade cheesecake. We were home early so hubby could get ready for work. The kids went to bed with no problem and Santa was able to unload the presents under the tree.

Youngest crawled in at 4:45AM. She was wide awake and talking nonstop about how she thought Santa's evil twin brother (didn't know he had one) stole Christmas but it must have been a bad dream because she thought she saw presents under the tree. After the third time she asked what time it was and should she go back to sleep I suggested we get up and make the biscuits for breakfast. She sipped hot cocoa while I cooked. The only dilemma was I told her she could look but not touch and she had to wait until everyone was awake and Daddy was home (at 7:30). Daddy finally arrived and presents were open. Kids were happy. My parents came for breakfast - baked french toast, cheddar biscuits and sausage gravy. Then we were all off to my brothers. A few hours there and two swims in the indoor pool and we headed home. Daddy had set up the new wii before going to bed and game day began. We even had son playing with the family.

I received my wii fit and am now addicted. I even let my crops rot in Farmville to play the wii. Good thing I enjoy it because after all the measurements and calculations the wii fit gave youngest the body of a blue snap line and I look like a FAT umpa lumpa. OK, I know I have not been as regular as I should be on the treadmill and I am not as slim as I once was but really my character is almost round.

Last night was son's fifteenth birthday. He wanted stuffed bread for dinner. Instead of making it we took everyone out to dinner instead. We came home to double chocolate mocha trifle for his birthday "cake" of choice.

Tonight hubby goes back to work - on a full moon, New Year's Eve in a snow storm. Fun first night back for a cop. The kids voted for our traditional New Year's Eve appetizer party. They each picked a couple appetizers and I will soon be off cooking up a storm. We have deviled eggs, bacon wrapped scallops, steamed mussels, shrimp cocktail, pigs in a blanket, taco dip, buffalo wing dip and chips, meatballs, and mozzarella sticks. Oh, and their is a little trifle left over.

Blessed New Year's to you and your families.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Shoes and Christmas

Last week when I brought oldest to get new jeans youngest said her shoes were a little tight. We looked for new shoes and she kept looking at sneakers. Do your sneakers fit? Yes, well then we can wait to buy new ones. So, in the midst of Saturday morning chores I had youngest pull out all of her shoes and try them on - all tight. Off to the "mall" (more like a shopping center) we went - coupons in hand. Almost forgetting that this is the week end before Christmas and a big snow was predicted that night. The girls and I laughed at the traffic that jammed the roads. We talked while waiting our turn. Well, youngest who was wearing a 6 1/2 turns out to be a size 8 now. Hello, a little tight? She now has new sneakers and a cool pair of black boots that can double as snow boots.

It was oldest's turn to cook last night. Steaks on the grill and homemade onion rings. Yum! It was a recipe from Barefoot Contessa. I'm thinking tonight is a chicken pot pie kind of night.

I'm thinking MIL is as miffed at me as I am at her. Other than a generic Christmas card we have not heard from her. Hubby says he is going to wait and see if she calls. He is predicting a phone call around the 23rd. I'm thinking he can field the phone call and I can go on my merry way.

Christmas Eve we will go to my girlfriends open house - casual enough to go in pj's if you want. She always makes a ham and I bring my scalloped sweet potatoes. Christmas morning we will open presents when hubby gets home from work then my parents will come over for breakfast. Baked french toast that has spent the night soaking in cream, eggs, vanilla and cinnamon and cheddar biscuits with sausage gravy will be the stars of the show. This will get my parents to my brothers house after 10. I could care less if my parents show up at 5. I'll take my shower when they are here but, my SIL would like some quiet family time opening presents and be showered and dressed before my parents arrive. She said if we could hold off until 10 she would be happy. After breakfast I'll tuck hubby into bed and we'll make our way to my brothers for a few. Of course, I am a morning person like my Dad and my best memories were of all my grandparents spending the night and being there when I woke up. They looked pretty funny - my brother and I were up at the crack of dawn and they had just gone to bed around 3 after playing cards most of the night. We didn't leave milk and cookies but a highball and cookies.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Mashed Potatoes

Yesterday was one of those long, long days at work. I didn't sleep well the night before and I had a lot to do and concentrate on. By the end of the day I was wondering out loud how much tequila I might have at home. On the way home hubby called and said to stop by my girlfriends house to pick up supper. Wohoo! She had col slaw, mashed potatoes and turkey & gravy. She was given the leftovers from where she works and had more than enough for her family. It was great and was about all the cooking I could handle. I settled for a glass of wine and going to bed early to recover. My son called the mashed potatoes institutional. What? They were real mashed potatoes. But, as hubby pointed out I never make plain mashed potatoes. That was the recipe I was asked for this Thanksgiving. A little tough as I never make them exactly the same way twice. Here is what I made for Thanksgiving.

10 lbs. red potatoes, cubed
2 sticks unsalted butter
8 oz. (or so) shredded smoked gouda
salt and pepper
1 can evaporated milk

Boil potatoes until tender. Drain. Put in bowl on top of butter and cheese. Let sit covered a few minutes. Add salt and pepper. Mash. Add milk until the consistency that you like.

I never peel my potatoes - who wants to and the skins are good for you.

I use whatever cheese I have on hand.

You can make mashed potatoes a head of time and put in a double boiler and cover or what worked great this year - add a little extra milk and put in the crock pot on low.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Why is everybody stressed

Every December I chuckle to myself as everyone around me stresses out. Christmas comes the same time every year. You have an entire year to plan. There is such a thing as a budget and saying no. You do not have to do...... if it stesses you out.

The best present I bought this year - the one that gave me the most joy is for someone I may never meet. When I got my hair cut the salon donates money from each hair cut to the soup kitchen. They also had a giving tree. Tags were stuck to the tree with a name, age, and an item they would like. Some brought tears to your eyes as all the children wanted was a pair of shoes. I picked a tag for a young girl and bought what was on the tag and a few more things. I hope she enjoys it. Merry Christmas Thomasina!

I got a lot done today. I dropped off my present at the salon, I stopped at the health food store for odds and ends and oil for my lotion. I made toner, exfoliating scrub and lotion ( to replace the moldy batch). I paid the bills and went to the bank for the fire department. I stopped by my aunts new condo. It is really nice. She was ironing curtains while my dad hung the curtain rods. My uncle sat and smiled. We took a coffee break hence the reason I am up and awake at midnight. I forgot she uses real coffee - it was so good though. Grocery list is made and New Year's Eve planned.

Each year we skip dinner on New Year's Eve and I have an appetizer party in the living room for the kids. They wanted to "picnic" in the living room again this year. They each picked out two appetizers. They watch movies and eat and I cook. We all have fun. The cooking helps me stay awake until midnight. And at twelve we toast using my best champagne flutes and sparkling cider.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Mold

I delivered four gift bags full of my products to a girl at work. She purchased them for her kids. We opened them up to look and it was a good thing - the moisturizer had mold growing on it. I've never had that happen before - though I have heard it could happen. I pulled the jars from all four bags and will be making a new batch this week end. Better today than on Christmas morning. Yuk! The weird thing is I'm using a jar from the same batch and it's fine.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Good News

Hubby and I were actually home and awake at the same time. We were able to talk about Christmas. He said no matter if he takes the day off or not he wants to stick close to home and does not want to go to his parents. Yeah!

Big breakfast at home. Play with our gifts and our kids. Stop by and see my brother and his family. Nice dinner at home. Ahh!

My Christmas party for work was nice. Almost everyone in the office came. They had Young MC and two other hip hop rappers from the 80's as entertainment. Not my thing but I remember the first two groups. The third - ugh! But even after they switched to the DJ they continued with the rap. The young group from the warehouse enjoyed that. The rest of the people left. My hubby (and I) were disappointed that at no time was there a slow song we could dance to.

Hubby's Justin came for dinner last night. I taught him how to make meatballs. We had spaghetti with my homemade sauce, a hug toss salad, garlic bread and molten lava cakes for dessert.

My Justin called and we set a date for January.

I was so tired this morning that I went back to bed after making lunches. When it was time to get up and wake up youngest hubby said he would put her on the bus and I could go back to sleep. I slept until 9:30 which is totally unheard of. It felt good. Hubby had even put our laundry in the washer while I slept.

He really is the best.

Back to work tomorrow.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

holidays and clutter

I realized just how frustrated, annoyed I still was with my MIL when I talked to my girlfriend. I was like a dog with a bone and chewed that until very little was left. I realized that this Thanksgiving was the straw that broke the camels back. Each year she manipulates and causes stress and this year just really brought it to a head for me. And to top it off my dear hubby is petrified of rocking the boat with mommy dearest and says nothing. NOTHING! A little, hey mom do you know how much you .... hurt Kim's feelings, frustrate (the hell out of) her, make her feel incompetent. Something! I mean he doesn't have to tell her the down dirty swearing like a sailor rant she causes.

Youngest has been to the dentist. Christmas gifts are completely bought and wrapped. Well, my presents are still arriving. Hubby and I have turned into my parents. I have no idea what the electrical/paintball/tool stuff is that he wants. And he would spend full price on the books I want (the 1967 red corvette convertible and 6 burner viking range will have to wait until we hit powerball). So, when hubby said it would be easier for him to buy his own stuff I suggested we do just that. Now mind you I would be buying these books any way (and he his stuff) we just wrap it and hold it for a few weeks. We combine the Yule/Christmas celebration and have really, REALLY stuck to a budget this year. It has been way overboard in years past. Though I must admit mild compared to those around us.

Years ago my brother gave me Thanksgiving until death do us part, he took Christmas and Mom has Easter. He knows I love to cook, he has the small children and many Easters my parents are still in Florida. Since hubby and I were married (5 years ago) we have celebrated Christmas with my brother a week end before or a weekend after Christmas. With the kids visitations with bio and hubby working most Christmases it has worked out well. Many times I have gone to MIL alone (same for Thanksgiving too).

Not this year. Bio is nowhere to be seen. Yeah! My nephew and niece are 5 and 2. I am going to my brother's on Christmas. The kids are at the perfect Santa, magical age. Hubby is working Christmas Eve and Christmas night. He will arrive home and open presents with the kids and go to bed. MIL said we are more than welcome to come to their house. No, nope, nada, I don't freakin' think so, I thought. I said we'll see.

I went to my pagan group and talked about traditions. I love this group. Christmas held such warm fuzzy memories of family and friends for me growing up. With visitations, work and no consistency I have lost that feeling. My girlfriends Christmas Eve open house has become the highlight. Friends, food, casual, no pressure or expectations. I am taking that back this year. I have said no to the Christmas party that has lost its joy. I have excepted an invite to a Yule gathering on winter solstice. I am going to spend time with my kids and my family.

We also started talking about cleaning our houses. Removing the clutter and becoming clear. Ric, bless Ric, says he douches a room. He removes everything - washes from top to bottom and then puts back only the things that should be/need to be there. The rest finds a new home in the house, is tossed, recycled or given a way. Love it! I do that far less dramatically. I start with one wall, closet, shelf, etc at a time and do the same thing. Hubby and I just took a whole pile of items that have outlived their usefulness her to the tag sale room at the dump (transfer station). Maybe someone else can use it. It feels so good to eliminate stuff.

Friday morning my hubby finished work for the week. After the dump run he took me for breakfast. He then puttered around the house and I went for a massage. I also had my nails done for tonight's Holiday party for work. I'm usually not thrilled with manicure results but this was the best manicure ever. Yeah! And then hubby took all of us out to dinner.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Vacation accomplishments

So, Monday I did a little shopping for myself. I baked a batch of cookies for the live burn drill at the firehouse. Tuesday I did a million (or three or more) batches of laundry, wrapped all of the holiday presents, decided I wasn't a scrooge after all and put up the Christmas tree. I was able to get a hair appointment and am so happy. The last hair cut was NOT working. My hair dresser is no longer cutting hair and I am trying to find a new one. This one may be it. She only charges $10.00 plus $1.00 for the food shelter. We had turkey soup for dinner and I made a batch of beer bread to go with it. Then I was off to the full moon dakini practice. What a wonderful end to the day. And the moon - she was beautiful!

This morning I finally (finally, finally) got hubby to help hang the picture frames. After he crawled into bed for his daily slumber I cleansed the entire house - white sage, rattle and singing bowl. I really concentrated on the kid's rooms and had a lovely chat with Spirit.
This afternoon I have to take youngest to the dentist and then I have a fire department meeting tonight.

Monday, November 30, 2009

left overs and chores

Leftovers are gone. I didn't have enough turkey to make the lasagna so tonight I am making it with chicken. Last night I made a pot roast and potatoes dauphene (mashed potatoes mixed with butter and ground almonds and baked). I thought they might enjoy beef for a change and hubby's Justin was coming for dinner. So, a batch of double chocolate pecan cookies were baked for dessert.

This morning I downloaded and ordered pictures from youngest's field trip. I made a trip to the store and purchased picture frames for the family photos. I also bought my new food processor. Mine is ancient and I can no longer replace the shredding blade that broke once again. I've been waiting for the right price and finally at 50% off I made the splurge.

The thanksgiving decorations are all packed away. I'm enjoying a day free of decorations. Tomorrow I will put up the tree (scrooge here was out ruled - I wanted to skip a tree) and a few other festive decorations. I also plan on wrapping, wrapping, wrapping. A solid hour and that chore should be done.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Napkin Rings

I don't picture myself as crafty. I don't knit or crochet like my mom. I don't sew (that is what safety pins and duck tape are for). Well, there was that one time, in Girl Scouts... I made a reversible patchwork apron. That convinced me that a good tailor is worth their weight in gold. Hence the reason I proposed to my hubby when I found out he sewed. He thought I was joking. But, my "craft" room is filled with paint, buttons, beads, ribbons and all sorts of things. I have never had to buy anything for the kid's school projects.

I think sometimes I'm just cheap - well, frugal. I love going to craft fairs but the prices sometimes.... I often come home and recreate something I saw. So, when I decided I wanted matching napkin rings for Thanksgiving I decided to make them. I fell in love with some at my favorite kitchen store and $3.00 each doesn't sound like a lot until you multiply it by 25 and add tax. So, a trip to Michael's during their big half off flower sale and $5.00 and 26 napkin rings later here are the results. I had the wire and floral tape at home.







Saturday, November 28, 2009

new look

I couldn't take the pink any longer. I love cooking and saw this cute design and couldn't resist.

What's cooking?

So far the leftovers have morphed into turkey croquettes. I used turkey and the left over wild mushroom and cornbread stuffing. Ground those together with some egg and cream and formed them into patties. A little breading and I fried them up and served them with gravy. Yum! Today I tackle the turkey soup. The kids have all been asking for the soup. It's really easy. I just simmer the carcass for hours. I strain the broth for the soup. Pick through the bones and add the meat back. I chop up carrots, celery, parsnips, onion, potato and sweet potato and anything else I can chop along with a few herbs and let simmer. For dinner tomorrow I'm thinking turkey alfredo lasagna with spinach and feta.

Last night I went to a poetry reading of a friend. It was wonderful. She had a friend host it with tea and cookies. The cookies were out of this world. I asked for recipes. She is going to e-mail me. But, two of the recipes come from The Spice House. My favorite was the curry and cardamom cookie and you can find it on there website.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Post Thanksgiving

Everything is cleaned up and put away. It is cleaner now than a week ago as I cleaned oddball things in preparation of the holiday. I spent the morning having breakfast with a friend, the afternoon with my hubby and tonight I am going to a poetry reading.

Thanksgiving went well. I say that with some hesitation. MIL told me she was bringing the creamed onions (among all the other dishes she insisted upon bringing). Creamed onions are a staple in my family for the holiday. I must of had a look of horror on my face as I set up the buffet and opened the cover to the onions because she quickly explained that they were boiled onions like Dad likes. Oh, I said, if I had known I would have made creamed onions. We can add cream to them if you want. No, that's OK. (Yuk, I thought!) She also brought an extra dish as she always does. An olive and celery tray. Hmm, I never would have thought to have an olive tray. Oh wait, it was already on the table.

And the looks MIL and SIL and BIL gave me whenever I talked. OK, I'm brutally honest and sometimes say things a little odd but hey, that is me. The big no no was when they were debating which was easier to raise boys or girls? I said they both sucked. Jaws dropped and the conversation was over. What I meant is they are both difficult and challenging in their own ways and it depends on any given moment which is easier. And they don't like that my family jokes and teases each other. I guess we are supposed to be freaking nice nice all the time. Hey, we are real. So, our affectionate greeting to one another is hi, uglier than me. The appropriate answer to this by the way is, ain't nobody.

Cooking for 25 is fun for me. Cooking and hosting the in-laws - not so much. I think next time it will be 25 friends.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

I'm awake before everyone else. I'm sipping a cinnamon laced coffee (decaf of course). I'm enjoying the quiet peace of the morning. Everything is prepped. Times are set for putting dishes in and out of the oven. I am on vacation until December 8. Life is good. I have so much to be thankful for - my husband, my kids, my parents, my friends, my health. I love and am loved.

So to all my dear bloggie friends - I am thankful for you and your support. I wish you a safe, happy, healthy Thanksgiving full of love and laughter!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Surviving Thanksgiving

I am an organizational freak - I get that from my Dad. We are two annal peas in a pod (I say this with love). 24 people (25 now - oldest's boyfriend is coming too) for a sit down dinner is a joy for me but I know it strikes fear in the hearts of many.

First make a menu. It can be very simple. I've found most people like simple good food. Determine the quantities needed - about 1 1/2 pounds of turkey per person if you want leftovers, 1 potato per person with an extra 1 thrown in for good measure (unless they are really small potatoes then add a few more). One batch (or dare I say can) of cranberry sauce is enough. Write out a list of ingredients needed for each recipe. Check your pantry and then make a grocery list. If you haven't done so already get your turkey NOW! It takes a while for it to defrost in the fridge. Make room in the fridge for your turkey. If you are really panicked have family members contribute a dish to the meal. Or find a good bakery and buy some of the menu items. I prefer they just bring the wine but, hey that's me. I also make a list of what needs to go in the oven or on top. What can be done on the grill or in the microwave. I only have one oven and it can be a juggling act. Not enough fridge space - if you live where it is cold try utilizing the hatchway or porch. Get creative.

Determine the seating - do you have enough? do you have tables and chairs? Do you have plates and cups for everyone? If not you need to get these. I'm lucky and have access to tables and chairs. I've been collecting plates and now have enough for 30 people. You can use paper (I think I am the only one who really cares). You can mix and match - hey pull out your Christmas dishes or the stuff you received at your wedding. Go for it. I have my mom bring extra silverware.

Look at your menu and see what you can prep ahead. I have a three day list. Cranberry sauce and batch one of ice cream on Monday. Peel and chop root vegetables these I roast on the grill. Tuesday I make the second batch of ice cream and the cornbread for the stuffing. Wednesday night is the big prep night. I make my pie(s), the stuffing, the scalloped sweet potatoes and prep the turkey. Take a deep breath, relax and get a good night's sleep.

Thursday I put the turkey in the oven. When that comes out I heat all of the sides. The root veggies are on the grill. With the oven and grill full I can concentrate on the stove top dishes - mashes potatoes and my creamy Brussels sprouts. Mashed potatoes will keep really well in a bowl placed over simmering water for hours. Make sure the bowl does not touch the water below (double boiler idea). I was told that they also stay well on low in a crock pot. I am going to try that this year.

I also utilize my hubby and kids. They each get jobs - cleaning, setting the table, lugging chairs, helping cook - whatever needs to be done. I try and have all prep dishes washed and put away before guests arrive. That way I can sit back, eat a good meal and enjoy my company. Dirty dishes will wait and I have no problems piling them up once the dish washer is full. I have Friday to clean. Luckily when I host someone (usually my MIL or my hubby) does the dishes and I just have to put them away.

I love Thanksgiving because it is about family, food, comfort and giving thanks. My stress comes a month prior when my MIL tries to take this away from me but hey, that is another post.

Have a blessed Thanksgiving everyone!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Horseradish Cranberry Sauce

1 cup water
1 cup sugar
12 oz. bag fresh cranberries
pinch thyme or lemon thyme
2 Tablespoons prepared horseradish


Bring water and sugar to a boil. Stir in cranberries. Turn the heat down and simmer until berries pop, liquid reduces and the sauce thickens. This takes about 20 minutes. Stir occasionally. At this point stir in the thyme and horseradish.

I make my own horseradish. Peel the root. Chop up and put in the food processor. Grind until it is the size you like. Mine is chunkier than what you buy in the store. Put it in a jar and pour organic cider vinegar over to cover. This will keep in the fridge for.... Not sure we use about a quart every two months.

Count Down is On

I thought when youngest was done with soccer there would be more free time in our schedules. Not! Two more "work" days until Thanksgiving/vacation. Yeah!

Spread sheets and time lines are filled out for the next few days. I only have 24 for dinner this year. I was at the grocery store when it opened this morning to avoid the crowds. I came home to a house full (hubby and kids) waiting to help unload. I asked that they unload and bring to the appropriate parts of the house and leave it for me to unpack. I wanted to rotate stock and group things by recipes for the next week. That was a huge help. While I was gone hubby had the kids clean their rooms and bathroom. He vacuumed up and downstairs. Ah!

The kids all have friends over now. Mexican brownies are cooling for dessert. Chicken pot pie for dinner.

I'm ahead of schedule and actually have been relaxing this afternoon. Christmas cards are addressed and the Christmas letter is written. Sugar scrub is made for a special order. I have four gift bags of my products to make for a Christmas order. Most of the product is made. I need to make a batch of toner this afternoon. I need to make more lotion but I'm waiting for the ingredients I ordered to arrive. Oldest even asked for a refill on the lotion. I'm not actively selling but I make things for people through word of mouth.

Oldest's car is insured and registered. Hubby and I brought it to our mechanic to check it over completely before she drives it. Not long now until she has her license.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Catching Up

What a busy week - again.

Board of Ed meeting due to the bus contract bids. The vote went with what the parents wanted.

Fire explorer's meeting. This is the third month in a row that only oldest has shown along with the advisers. The captain can't be bothered. Nice example coming from the assistant chief's son. They wanted a discussion about a Christmas party. Too many explorers turned 18 this year and the membership has taken a nose dive. I'm sure it will come back up (it always does). With so few members and none coming to the meeting I believe a Christmas party is out. I did joke that we should tell the others we voted to fly to Key West for a week end and oops they're too late to come. LOL

Thursday I went with youngest and the sixth grade class to the Tsongas center in Lowell, MA. It was a great field trip. The kids learned all about mill workers with hands on activities.

This morning I took son shopping. He needed new shirts as his were too small. He HATES shopping. I explained that if he wanted to pick out his clothes he had to come. Five long sleeve henleys, three t-shirts and we were back in the car in 11 minutes. He is now off on army maneuvers with his friends.

Youngest asked for bio's phone number this morning. I was curious what she wanted to tell her. None of the kids ask to call her. Well, she was playing her DS and was stuck on a level and wanted input from big brother on how to get to the next level.

It is a rainy gray day. I've paid the bills, read my e-mail and completed most of my holiday shopping.

Oldest is off to a birthday party tonight.

I am counting down the days until Thanksgiving. One to prepare the meal and two that means I'm on vacation. I work two days the week of Thanksgiving (I usually work three). My boss seems to think that means I have free time on my hands. I'll be jamming to get everything done before I leave and scrambling when I return. But that week and a half off will be oh so good.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

soup review

The bacon cheeseburger soup was pretty good. Oldest thought son should have added more vegetables. The soup could use them but then it would not be a bacon cheeseburger soup but a beef and vegetable soup. It had hamburg, onion, garlic, chicken broth, diced tomatoes, cheddar cheese soup, relish and Worcestershire sauce. The hamburg, onion and garlic were cooked in the bacon fat from the bacon cooked and reserved for garnish. The toasts were slathered with a mix of melted butter, mustard, Worcestershire sauce and garlic powder. Then they were topped with swiss cheese and broil until starting to brown. The toast was really good.

Oldest is off to breakfast with her boyfriend (and family). It is for a fund raiser for the ambulance. He is then spending the day here. Son is trying to arrange going to the movies with a friend.

I'll be doing laundry, balancing hubby's check book and hanging out. It's a nice relaxing week end.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Computer to do list


It's been a day spent on the computer. Well, first I walked three miles on the treadmill. But, aside from harvesting my crop on Farmville I have paid the bills, made up fliers for the fire department fund raiser, sold some product and ordered pictures.


We had family portraits done in September. After picking up the disc I needed to decide what to order. Bio sent money for us to send her an 8x10 of each of the kids. We were to send the best picture. Wait, then she said to have the kids pick out the pictures to send. Oldest picked hers. The other two said they didn't care. So, her pictures are in the mail. Our pictures are ordered and so our are Christmas cards. Here's the family photo I went with.


I read through all of my e-mail. Now, I just have some cd's to copy.

Son is making supper tonight - bacon cheeseburger soup and hamburger bun toasts. The recipes are in the latest edition of Paula Deen's magazine. I'll let you know how it is. Son loves soup and easy recipes. This fit both criteria.

Once I finally get off this thing (I want to catch up on my blog friends too) I'm making banana bread and something with apples.



Oh, and last night the whole family watched the latest Ice Age movie together (even son). Wohoo!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Peace

Today people every where are blogging for peace. I yearn for peace on earth. I also yearn for something brilliant to write and a solution to bring it about. If we each do our part it is possible. May you bring peace to your corner of the world.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

And so it goes

Wicked step mommy makes them clean and Daddy takes them to the bike trail today. Who's the hero?

Monday, November 2, 2009

Cleaning as Promised

When I heard of the four day week end for my kids I told them to buckle up for some cleaning. There idea of clean and mine are two different things. They think if you see no clutter that it's clean. Wrong. I printed out there list of chores for there rooms and gave them their assigned areas in their bathroom. I found the list for them to check off saves me a lot of time checking and rechecking their rooms.

I started on my bathroom from ceiling to floor. This included cleaning out the linen closet and medicine cabinet. Laundry was started. The first floor dusted and vacuumed. The kitchen and bathroom mopped. When the kids finished upstairs they thought they were done. No! If I'm still cleaning so are you. The kids pitched in and the stairwells were vacuumed as well as the play room. Window frames, door frames and ceiling fan blades were washed. Plants were watered, compost bucket emptied, trash and recycling buckets emptied.

As soon as the floors dry I will start on the kitchen counters. And with hubby just arriving home I see a dump run in the near future.

It feels so good. Now that the really heavy stuff is cleaned, closets hoed out and refrigerators cleaned I can concentrate on cooking for Thanksgiving and leave the spot cleaning to the family.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Long Week

I spent the first three days as an accountant and the last two days substituting in the 5th grade. Sickness has run rampant in the school. Other than son with the sinus issues everyone else in the house has stayed healthy in spite of being exposed time and again. I contribute this to plenty of sleep, good food and all the herbs I've pumped into them. I started everyone on astragalus root when school started.

This morning we are off to youngest's soccer tournament. Oldest is spending the day with her boyfriend and son is helping with the haunted house at the fire department tonight. My girlfriend and I are taking her son and youngest trick or treating and then we are off to an open house hosted by friends.

BIL sent me a note. After making plans to come down for Thanksgiving his work schedule changed and he must work on Friday. With only having the one day off the five hour ride one way is too much to make in a day. I don't blame him - I wouldn't drive that either.

I limited MIL to three dishes to bring for Thanksgiving (this is two more than I'd like her to bring). She wanted to bring more as well as the tables and chairs and..... I wouldn't invite that many people to my house if I couldn't handle it. This is NOT the first time I have hosted this group and I have all I can do from screaming why don't you just bring the flippin' turkey and mashed potatoes too. Of course, if she did that I would go to my parents and cook for my family and let them do what they want at my house. I'm really hoping that hubby is working next thanksgiving. When he works I have Thanksgiving on Saturday or Sunday and then MIL is happy because she can host it on Thursday at here house. In the past that has meant the kids were at bio's and I went to her house alone.

The kids are off from school Monday and Tuesday for teacher in service. I see a whole lot of cleaning going on.

Yesterday was hubby's birthday. We are once again the same age. It is a whole 27 days that he is younger than me. He wanted spaghetti with meat sauce, Italian sausage on the side and garlic bread. I made a a golden butter cake with maple butter cream.

And today is my dear friend Rose's birthday. Happy Birthday you beautiful Goddess sister!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

apples and cooking

Sunday the girls and I went apple picking with friends. I'm not sure what they like more picking apples or the hot apple cider donuts. I think it's the donuts.

We came home to find son asleep on the couch. He slept through dinner. 103.2 degree temp. It was down by morning but I kept him home from school much to his disapproval.

Tonight I took a few of those apples and worked them into an apple cobbler. Yum! I also tried a new recipe from Big Daddy's House - smothered pork chops. It is a keeper. I also baked a batch of chocolate chip cookies to mail to hubby's Justin who is away at school.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

And most important

11. You do not have to give birth to be a mom!

What I know for sure

Oprah lists this every month at the back of her magazine. Annie picked up the challenge and put it out to her blog readers. Here is what I know for sure.

1. My parents love me unconditionally.
2. I love them.
3. I love my husband.
4. My husband loves me ( and sometimes I am still surprised by this).
5. I love my children and wouldn't trade them for anything in the world.
6. My children love me (though they may never admit it out loud).
7. When my world crashes that is when my true friends appear.
8. That age is just a number.
9. That education comes in many forms.
10. That cooking makes me happy.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

A week in review

After all the hullabaloo about Thanksgiving the drama is over. Hubby call MIL to tell her we decided to continue having it at our house and whoever could make could make it. She goes oh, I call your brother and the dogs will be fine in the garage so we will all be down. Maybe she should have called him first, or maybe she should have called us back. Either way life is good. My new dishes arrived and planning is in full swing.

I have survived Girl Scouts, subbing for the first grade class and the elementary school Halloween soc hop (aka. the scream fest). Youngest was thrilled to go "dance" with her girlfriends. I even managed to get on the treadmill three days. I stayed up past my bedtime and grocery shopped Thursday night. I have the rest of the groceries to get this week end sometime.

Today is off to closing day of soccer in the rain. I'm not sure why they call it closing day - next week is tournament games. Youngest will receive her trophy. In sixth grade they receive a trophy for participating. It doesn't matter if they have played one year or six. I think it is silly. A certificate would do. They don't receive anything for winning the tournament. Tonight she sleeps at a girlfriends house. Friends dad told both his kids that if they really, really cleaned their rooms they could each invite five kids to sleep over. Call me a mean mom but I don't care if she spit shines it - ten kids for a sleep over is NOT happening. Friend's mom didn't think so either - she's going out tonight and leaving dad with the twelve kids.

Oldest's boyfriend came for dinner last night. He is much, much, much better than the last one. Nice kid. She will out grow him rather quickly. I think the attraction is he is smitten and not intimidating in the least.

I need to call MIL. She wants to invite our oldest son for Christmas. She will pay for the flight and have him stay with her for the week. She wants to know if we mind. We don't mind. I'd be shocked if he left bio to come here. And we love him but we can't have him stay here. He is way to disruptive to the household. Son still hangs up on him every time he calls. I can't leave him alone with the other kids. It is really sad. I have let the guilt go. It is what it is. He's 21 with a maturity level of an 8 year old and one night is more than enough.

I feel like I woke up Monday morning and haven't stopped yet. Maybe next week.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Rainy Sunday

Hubby and the kids headed out in the cold rain to play paintball. I finished my little pity party and decided to proceed as if MIL had never called. I headed to temple in the morning and then stopped to pick up the disc with our family pictures. Darcy did an awesome job as usual. Now I just have to decide which ones I want to print.

I had a big pot of hot cocoa waiting for my warriors. Then I made fried chicken, mashed potatoes and butternut squash for dinner. I had put a dry rub on the chicken the day before so it was full of flavor.

Today is laundry day and then girl scouts and soccer practice. I'm making shepherd's pie for dinner.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Thanksgiving

When I was little Christmas was my favorite holiday. Both sets of grandparents were there as well as aunts and uncles and friends. It was so much fun. As I grew up I loved picking out presents for people and wrapping and all the pretty bows and ribbons. As people's appreciation of a pretty wrapped gift dwindled and the hoopla of Christmas came on the holiday held little joy. Plus as I grew to love cooking and feeding people my favorite holiday became Thanksgiving. In divvying up the holidays among my family my brother gave me Thanksgiving until death do us part. OK by me.

I have the basic guest list and menu on the computer. I keep notes on how many people came and what quantities of food I need and so on. With hubbies schedule I've had Thanksgiving on a few Sundays. Last year we were able to have it on Thursday. My mother-in-love consented to letting me have the holiday because my sister-in-love was hosting her in-laws and my BIL was staying home. This year I asked if I could have Thanksgiving. She said yes. I've been joyfully planning ever since. Both SIL and BIL are coming this year with their families which means a guest list of 30.

Paper plates are OK for a picnic but not for Thanksgiving. Did I mention I have an obsession for things to match and look pretty. I have service for 22. So, this morning I went and ordered service for 8 more. I printed out the invitations and put them in the mail. I printed out the menu to review. I went over logistics with my mom. With that many a second turkey would be needed - could I come put one in her oven that morning. I even worked out what people could bring since they all insist on bringing something even though I ask them not too. Except for Aunt Debbie who is thrilled I want to cook and brings a nice hostess gift instead. Thanks for getting it. My family is pretty good to. They know how much I LOVE to cook. Mom always brings the rutabagas. Since I turned 18 I no longer have to eat them and I refuse to make them. Others however enjoy them so mom indulges them.

Then the call came while we were at youngest's soccer game. I was to call mother-in-love back about Thanksgiving. Have I mailed the invitations yet? Yes! I just bought dishes too. Well, BIL is coming and bringing his 3 dogs and ...... Well, it's OK we can just move the whole thing to my house. Your family is more than welcome to come. Will they? Well, my parents would (go any where) but, my brother probably won't. Well, I'll call BIL and see. We'll just move it here and it will be fine.

Fine? Fine???? I don't flipping think so. Nothing like putting me in a no win situation. I can't make people choose sides. If we stay home and host my family then my kids don't get to see their cousins. I don't get to see the family. If we go I don't get to cook or have the family here. The biggest joy I get for the whole holiday season is shot to h e double hockey sticks. I was so frustrated I could cry, no wait I did. Poor hubby, he doesn't know what to do. He was annoyed because he knew I asked weeks ago if I could host it. He knows how much I look forward to it. He knows how blasted pissed off I am. But, he doesn't want to start a family feud (and neither do I) and he has no idea what to do. Other than hug me and let me cry.

Am I a big baby, crazy, inflexible, wrong I ask? No says hubby. Are you sure? Yes, you asked weeks ago and Mom said you could host it. Uggh!

Friday, October 16, 2009

I'm Back

The farm was wonderful. Barb had the week end off and we talked and talked. Saturday we went to a museum in Syracuse and saw a few Monet's among other art work. Sunday we went to the salt museum. It used to be a big salt producing area and the museum told/showed the history. It was pretty cool. We visited an awesome garden center and some shops. It was so wonderful to get away and to catch up.

I came back to three days of work and night meetings. Today I'm off and there is snow. I'm making bread to put on top of the french onion soup that is simmering a way. Another friend is coming for lunch.

And maybe this week end I will catch up on all my blogs. I miss reading about all my friends. Hope its been a good week. Stay warm.

Friday, October 9, 2009

I'm off to see

my BFF at the farm. The trip that has been postponed since February is here. Yeah! And to top it off Barb has the week end off as well.

Hubby has the week end off and the kids are home with him. This week end is the Riverton fair which they should enjoy. And Daddy I'm sure will buy pizza one night. Today he is at the elementary school for fire safety day. Youngest is so EXCITED! She has on a FD t-shirt and sweatshirt. She got up at 5:15 this morning to make Daddy a lunch so he could eat with her. It is so damn cute.

Oldest has a boyfriend and son has a girlfriend. It is so nice to finally see them acting like normal teenagers. Son has spent hours on the phone with GF. His buddy told oldest , shh I think son likes ... Really, like we couldn't figure that out. Too funny!

This morning I turned the overripe bananas into cookies and made a batch of gluten free cookies to take to Barb. I've paid the bills and I'm off to pack and grocery shop. Then I'm outta here. I'll be back some time on Monday - maybe.

And Obama won the Nobel peace prize. It is definitely a good day. Enjoy your week end everyone.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Sleepy Sunday

Between the cat in my face and my hubby's snores (he was over tired from that double shift) I didn't sleep well Saturday night. Mother-in-love called to say happy birthday and she was so sorry she didn't have my card out in time. Her and father-in-love wanted to come down and drop it off. I suggested they come for dinner. She brought shrimp cocktail and cheese and crackers. I made chicken pot pie with a full rainbow of veggies and we had some of my birthday cake for dessert.

I took the girls for hair cuts in the morning and son went with hubby to rope rescue practice. I spent the afternoon reading in the sunshine room. The spare room is painted bright yellow. As tired as I was I stayed up and finished my book. I can't walk a way (or sleep) when I am that close to finishing. I read True Compass, the Ted Kennedy memoir. I enjoyed the book. It was interesting to read his view on the events in his life both professionally and personally.

Hubby, born and raised in Massachusetts hates Kennedy. If you ask him why he can't give you a single reason. This annoys me. He bad mouthed the book the entire time I read it. He has not read it and I'm sure never will. Do I agree with all of Kennedy's politics? No. Do I think he always made the right choices? No. Does Kennedy? No. Kennedy's passion and strong family ties comes through and I admire him for that. On the other issues we can agree to disagree. Talking to MIL I see where hubby gets his no discussion of politics attitude. MIL says her other son and his wife don't talk politics either. What a shame. You should be able to discuss differing views.

I won


Check it out, I won this wonderful tea towel through Mrs B's 31 days of hallowen from Tea Towel Creek.


Sunday, October 4, 2009

On the fourth day

Mrs. B is at it again - check out her 31 days of halloween and all the cool give a ways.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Because Someone is going to ask

and they really should.


Double Chocolate Pecan Cookies

3 Cups confectioners’ sugar
¾ cup cocoa powder
½ tsp salt
1 cup chocolate chips
1 ½ cups chopped pecans
4 large egg whites, room temperature

Preheat oven to 325°. In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, cocoa and salt. Stir in chocolate and pecans. Add egg whites and stir until incorporated (do not over mix).

Drop dough by spoonful on parchment lined baking sheets. Bake until cookie tops are dry and crackled, about 25 minutes.

Post 2 today

21 years ago I awoke on my 21st birthday. I wasn't out of bed yet and my mom told me that my Grandma Richards had passed on. I was sad and honored that she gave me this gift. My grandma is with me every day. Some days I can feel her presence more than others. She was my hero - still is. She led an incredible life. She was full of love, laughter, spirit and mischief. She had courage to live life on her terms. I love you Grandma - big hugs!!!!!

Post 1

Can you tell I've been really busy?

Monday I was off from work and managed to get the pantry cleaned out. The office still awaits but the bulk of my room is now clean. My pantry is also the depository for my camping gear, unused dishes and other sorted items so this is more than just rearranging canned goods.

Tuesday and Wednesday I worked. Wednesday hubby took youngest to her soccer game and I stopped home long enough to change and grab a bite to eat. I was off to the fire house for our officer's meeting.

Thursday I had the day off. After putting youngest on the bus I headed to DMV to renew my license. I was in and out of their in minutes. The picture actually looks OK. I then spent the day in the kitchen - my favorite place to be. I was making beauty products though. I made a batch of what Rosemary Gladstar calls miracle grains. I call it an exfoliating scrub. It is gentle enough to use as a cleanser or it can be used as a mask. I add my own little twists to the basic recipe. I made toner, sugar scrub, a batch of lavender and lime soap and a batch of orange shampoo bars. Shampoo bars are a new "product" for me. I was inspired by a class at the women's herb fest. I can't wait to test them out. Soap (and shampoo) must dry for at least four weeks before using.

After cleaning up the kitchen I decided to try out a new gluten free cookie recipe I found. It is a keeper. The kids loved them. I enjoyed an evening with friends and they all asked for the recipe. They are chocolaty and chewy and just plain yummy.

As I put yet another mason jar in the bathroom (filled with my scrub) I thought to myself that I should buy some pretty jars to put my products in. On the way into the gathering with my friends I was handed a beautifully wrapped birthday present. When I opened it at home it was a beautiful canister with a spoon. Even better than I had imagined.
I never know - should you open presents when you get them or wait?
Any way, thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!


Friday hubby worked evenings over time and then turned it into a double working the midnight shift. I came home from work tired with half defrosted chicken to fix up. Back into the fridge the chicken went and I loaded the kids into the car. Portabella's here we come! I had fettuccine carbonara with grilled chicken. Some time you just have to splurge. I came home put my jammies on and snuggled up with a good essay.

Monday, September 28, 2009

low key week end

Friday night hubby and I went to dinner at his cousins.

Saturday youngest's soccer game was canceled. Oldest and son had the homecoming dance to attend. A friend's mom was driving them there and I picked them up. Saturday I spent working on the closet.

Yesterday youngest said - I know we have no money but can we go race go carts? I told her if she could find something that was free we could go. I'm getting a little tired of running all the time and entertaining children. At their ages they should be able to entertain themselves or at least come up with some ideas of what they might want to do. They rotated between TV, play station, my computer and reading. I baked three batches of cookies so I could mail some to a friend at school.

I also started to tackle cleaning "my" room. It is divided into my office, craft area and pantry. It is also the catch all room. The craft area is now reorganized and some stuff eliminated. Hubby complained that I filled the trash can too much. I better have him empty it now before I start on the other areas. The pantry is next followed by my office. Paper breeds and I dread the office cleaning. Normally I am super organized but with paper for me, the kids, the fire department and whatever else it is out of control in what seems like minutes. Besides the trash I've been filling the dining room with items for the dump. I'll have to go soon or we won't be able to walk in there.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

A new closet

My walk in closet was perfect for one person. I never had to bundle up clothes with the seasons. Then hubby and I got married. I had to split the closet with him. My dad and I had gone through the entire closet with just the right shelves. Hubby needed more drawer space and so I lost part of my hanging racks. Clothes had to be put in totes with the changing of the seasons. This is sometimes a difficult feat as hubby is usually sleeping when I am home. At first I had the right side and he had the left. I'm 5'4" and he is 6'7". That lasted a day or two - now I have the bottom row and he has the top. As I cleaned the closet today hubby heeded all the complaints and we moved the shelves around. It is now much more accessible. And I really purged. I filled two hefty bags to the brim of clothes to give a way and another bag full of clothes for the trash. I even parted with numerous pairs of shoes. I can't tell you how good it feels and looks.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Start of A Four Day Week End

Today hubby and I are both home. Our schedules have been so out of sync lately I was beginning to wonder what he looked like. He has errands to do - like go to the dump.
I have grocery shopping to do.

Tonight we go to his cousins house for dinner. The kids are staying home. I'm bringing a lasagna. His cousin is making a salad and brownies for dessert. I made a batch of cookies and cream ice cream to top them. His cousin and girlfriend were so cute - the kids are welcome. I appreciate that but we have them 24/7 a night of adult conversation without little ears listening is heaven.

I have the sauce for the lasagna simmering on the stove. Two batches of ice cream are made. The kids are having lasagna and ice cream for supper.

Oldest picked up her class ring Wednesday night. And get this - bio sent a money order for half of the balance due. Oldest must have told her that we were making her pay her mother's half. Bio also sent a money order towards class pictures. We laughed about the money orders - we had told her no more checks because they tend to bounce.

When bio tried to snatch oldest and whisk her off to Arizona more than half the letter was about class pictures. She never gave us a change of address (still hasn't). She was going to make sure we received the order form for oldest and we were to send her the order form for son and youngest. The pictures were a really big deal. I suppose when you plan on never seeing your kids again it might be. We didn't go through the school for pictures - never will again. My girlfriend takes the best pictures.
Pause for a commercial break - she is at Signature Photography and if you need pictures taken check her out.
Any way, bio wants an 8x10 of each of the kids. She first asked that we pick the best picture and then she said she told the kids to pick the picture they wanted her to have. I'm telling you now those are two totally different pictures.

Of course when the letter arrived hubby and I were both nervous about opening it. Hubby finally had me open it - big chicken. What a shock to get money. Ah, but it was for oldest and pictures. The other may get nothing but she would come up with a million dollars if she had to for oldest. Not that I'm complaining - just shocked.

Youngest's soccer game tomorrow was postponed so we have a week end free. Well, almost free. Oldest and son are going to the homecoming dance Saturday night.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Pay It Forward - Rewards




A while back I responded to a pay it forward craft give away. I was blessed to receive my craft present in the mail yesterday. Martha from A Sense of Humor is Essential made earrings and a necklace just for me. They are beautiful. The stones represent my family's birthstones and the pearls are for the month of my wedding anniversary.


I'm still making my crafts to give a way. And I still have a couple of comments open if you would like to join in the fun and receive something made by me.


Saturday, September 19, 2009

Week in Review or Tidbits that I remember

A sliver of a moon, cool mornings and crisp fall air.

Youngest played her first soccer game of the season today - it ended in a tie. The ball was actually passed to her and she actually knew what to do with it. She's come a long way. Now that she gets it she wants to quit. We told her she had to finish out the season.
One of the girls in her class takes ballet - has for years. She is in the nutcracker each year.

Youngest thinks she should quit soccer and take ballet and be in the nutcracker and wear toe shoes. This all sounds wonderful but, I tried to explain that they would not be in the same class, that it would be years before she could be in the nutcracker and wear toe shoes and we make too much money to get free lessons. I did say that once sov=ccer ended I would try and find a reasonably priced class for her to try it. My fear is that she wants to please this girl more than take ballet.

Hubby went to open house with oldest at the high school. I thibk she was excited about showing Daddy the school. She received her CMT scores which were on line with the students her age. This is a vast improvement over her last CMT scores where she was below average. Not that I take much stock in these bubble tests as a whole but her improvement and confidence were definately reflected this time.

Son has decided that police explorers is not for him. He thought he would actually get to do police work. As explorers they fall under the child labor laws of the state and don't do much. He wants to join hubby on the rope rescue team. We explained that he would have to join the fire department to do that. He has agreed. He didn't want to join the fire department to begin with because the rest of us are on the department and he wanted to be different. This was the one condition for him to quit the police - he had to join something.

I'm making a dent in my to do list. Bathroom is scrubbed from floor to ceiling. Cobwebs are gone and the first floor is dusted. I need to copy a few CD's for oldest and I'm waiting the arrival of my order from Mountain Rose Herbs so I can make more soap and beauty products.

In spite of the freezes I've experienced in farmville - (I think they have worked out the glitches) I have managed to move up to level 20. The game is addicting but I have managed to ween myself down.

I even skipped lunch with the girls at work to go to the balance program. It is a nutrition program that work sponsors. The information is really good. A lot of which I am doing already and echoes the angel way of eating. And I even got my but back on the tread mill. The hardest part of the treadmill is getting on. My schedule changes so much with the kids that I find myself making endless excuses as to why I can't fit it in. Then I took the girls shopping - oldest needed new jeans. I saw myself in the three way mirror. Now there is a reality check. Wow!

Besides the jeans I also bought her a dress for the homecoming. And youngest who tagged along managed to get one more outfit out of me. Sales and coupons reduce my will power.

The Last Wild Witch


I just read Mrs. B's review on the The Last Wild Witch by Starhawk with illustrations by Lindy Kehoe. The book sounds fabulous and the illustrations are fabulous. And if that isn't enough she is giving a way a copy of the book. Visit her site for the entire review and pictures.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Long list

I have a long list of items I'd like to accomplish today. Checked a bunch off including laundry and ordering more soap supplies. My neighbor offered me some fresh goat milk and I see an experimental batch of goat milk soap in the works.

Then hubby called and invited me to breakfast. To heck with the list - there are far more important and fun things to do. He finished work this morning for his three days off and I go back to work tomorrow for my three days on. He works nights and I work days - makes for a challenge trying to see each other.

This afternoon I pick up my cousin from the airport. She is spending a week with her mom and dad (my auntie DoDo and Uncle Johnny). Friday DoDo and Johnny celebrated 65 years of marriage. DoDo is in the processing of cleaning out the house they have spent 63 years in. Uncle Johnny suffers severe back pain from an old work injury and the medication has taken its toll on his mind. Some days he is bright and clear and other days.... She has sold their house and bought a condo. It is brand new - she was able to pick out the colors, carpets and counter tops. It is all on one floor and in a 55 and older community. It will be so good for them.

Monday, September 14, 2009

So glad the kids are back in school

It was a clear crisp morning which soon turned into a delightful day - warm but not hot. I paid the bills, cleared the sink of dishes, vacuumed and started the laundry all before hubby arrived home at 7:30. I walked youngest to the bus and after some cuddling with hubby I went out and planted my flower bulbs. 60 crocus bulbs and 60 assorted daffodil bulbs went in around the deck. I also weeded as I went. Ah, the anticipation of blooms in the spring.

Then I gave myself a pedicure.

I had asked hubby if it would be bad if I went to the movies this afternoon and arrived home after the kids. He replied, "who says you have to tell the kids where you have been?" I went to the book store first to pick up Ted Kennedy's memoir and birthday presents to send to Seth. The movie started later than it said on line so I headed to Michael's craft store. I want to make napkin rings for fall/thanksgiving. $3.00 a ring doesn't sound bad until you multiply it by 22. I found bunches of flowers half price. I can cut the bunches up and wind the flowers into rings. Total price should be under $6.00.

Then I headed to the movies. Julie and Julia. It was wonderful. I had read the book Julie and Julia a few years ago - long before the movie. What I didn't realize is that it was also based on the book Julia's years in France (or something like that) I had read that as well. I love biographies and if they involve food that is even better.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Better Mood

After soccer in the rain I did a little laundry and chilled on the couch. Oldest and I went to our fire department appreciation dinner. She's made friends there and was off in her own direction and I connected with the women. We laughed so hard. We also swapped child rearing stories which makes one feel not so alone.

I woke up on my own this morning - no alarm - no kids crawling in. That makes for a much more rested feeling. So after harvesting in Farmville on FB (I am so addicted but weening myself down) I sit and sip a cup of coffee.

Today is hubby's fire department picnic at the beach. It is chock full of lots of food starting with hot dogs and hamburgs for lunch and ending with steamers, lobster and steak for dinner. There is also clams on the half shell for son and I to enjoy.

But first, temple ended its summer hiatus last week and I couldn't make it because of the family picnic but today I will go and reconnect with my Goddess Sisters. It is good for my soul.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Rain & Yucky Stuff

This morning youngest woke up and crawled in to see if I was awake. I was then and not really ready yet. She wanted to know what was happening with the opening day of soccer. It happens rain or shine. So I spent a few hours watching soccer scrimmages in the rain. Well, part of it - my girlfriend brought her easy up tent that we sat under while her son played.

Hubby was using our bathroom this morning so I had to use the kids bathroom. I try not to as they are the ones who keep it clean. Any way .... I noticed someone had been bored while doing their business and took their pocket knife to the wall. A series of little knife points in the wall. Do I sound really annoyed yet? Go back and read that in a really annoyed trying to stay calm type of voice. So an hour this morning was spent with son crying. The tears don't work for me. I don't know why I did it. Yada, yada, yada. Is it school? No. Home? No Mom leaving? NO!!! Little hot there. I just get pissed anytime someone mentions my mom. Really, why? Then son tries to say it is because hubby didn't let him go see Uncle Jim before he died (two plus years ago). Maybe because we thought it was a ploy for bio to kidnap the kids. But, that is another story. So, after tears and venting and explanations and all that (and I managed not to yell and let hubby do most of the talking) the spackle is drying. Then son will be sanding and painting the bathroom. We did discuss many ways he could take out his frustrations rather than damaging the house.

Did I ever mention how much I hate bio? That 7 months after her departure we are still dealing with the repercussions. That for the rest of my children's lives the poison she has inflicted them with will continue to seep out when you least expect it.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Weedin'

I came home from work the other day to discover hubby had weeded my garden. He wanted me to check out the other gardens and let him know what could go. Yesterday he weeded some more, removed over grown brush and made life much nicer for a few trees we want to encourage growing.
I went to get dressed for work and there was an "oooh sexy" note stuck to my suit. A "good morning beautiful I love you note" inside my cell phone and another note in my wallet. He is just so sweet sometimes.

Kids are adjusting well to school. I'm adjusting really well. Last Friday I had a lunch date with a friend. It was good to share and laugh. Hail to the PPP. Saturday I went tag saling with a friend and then out to lunch.

Monday youngest and I went clothes shopping. It seems the jeans that fit her just a few weeks ago now look like capris. For the first time she actually cares what she is wearing and is trying to match. She even picked out a few skirts and a scarf to match. My baby is growing up and looking pretty good.

Today I am off to the grocery store. The family is getting a little tired of chicken which seems to be all that is left in the freezer.

And..... after missing my trip to the farm back in February because bio tried to snatch my kids I finally have a new date to go. Hubby is off columbus day week end and I am headed north to spend a week end with my girlfriend who actually has that week end off as well. Yeah!!!!!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

First Day of School

Oldest a junior, son a freshman and youngest 6th grade

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Back to school

Youngest came home from her first day of school and asked if she could start shaving her legs. She claims she is just sick of the hair but I suspect that her friends are now shaving.

Son and oldest came home with a bazillion things to be signed. We wonder why kids are so irresponsible - maybe because as a junior in high school mommy has to sign that she has read the syllabus.

My new tent arrived. After the rain issue at the WHC and the fact that my tent is some 30 plus years and I'm sick of crawling into a tent I can't stand up in I decided I was going to buy a new tent. Next day I get an e-mail from LL Bean that they are having a sale on all of their camping gear. Woohoo! It was sunny and beautiful so I son and I set the tent up. Youngest spent the night in the tent along with all of her webkinz.

I tested out two recipes from food network magazine. Aaron Sanchez's Mexican brownies and Ellie Krieger's double chocolate brownies. And drum roll please...... the Mexican brownies were preferred by 4 out of 5 family members. Son said as long as they were brownies he did not care. And Ellie's were really good don't get me wrong but.... you test them and let me know.

Hubby took me for breakfast and then he washed my car. Ah, the sweet sound of the school bus and silence.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Life, Liberty and the pursuit.....

I found a new blog (thanks to Mrs. B) and I like her writing. Plus she has a really cool thing going on - comments for cans. Who says one person can't change the world. Check her out, leave some love and feed a hungry person all at the same time.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Pay it forward craft give away

I am playing along with a Craft Giveaway with dear Martha and I invite you to join us.

The first 5 people to respond to this post will get something made by me, especially for you.

This offer does have some restrictions and limitations:

I make no guarantees that you will like what I make but I hope you will.
What I create will be just for you.
They say I have a year to get it to you. But I promise it will NOT take that long!
You have no clue what it's going to be. It’s a surprise to both of us at this point.

The catch? You must re-post this on your blog and offer the same to the first 5 people who do the same on your blog.

school

School starts tomorrow! Yeah! I love when school gets out and I can spend some time with the kids but summer vacation is too long. The kids are bored and starting to get on each others nerves and mine.
Son starts high school. He'd never admit it but he's nervous. The high school is in the same building as the middle school. He's been taking classes in the high school. He is off to the ice cream social with hubby tonight for orientation. Once he finds his home room and gets his locker I think he will be fine.
Youngest is planning her outfits for the week. She asked if she could borrow one of my skirts. I could only wish one would fit her. This is a first for her. My baby is growing up.
And oldest has been chomping at the bit to get back to school. That was me growing up. Even as a kid I wished summer vacation was only two weeks long.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

vegging out

The past two days I have vegged around the house. Well, I did do all the laundry, dust, vacuum and clean the bathroom. I also supervised the kids in cleaning their bathroom. Then I rested. I can't relax in a dirty house.
I accepted an offer from friends to play farmville on facebook. OK, now I'm addicted - planning out when to harvest my crops and helping friends to earn experience and level up. I'm already up to level six with seven in my sights. This is worse than tending my fairy garden.
Yesterday I made a loaf of pepperoni bread. Hubby and the kids were fighting (in a playful kind of way) about whether it should stay home or go to work with hubby. I served it with dinner so hubby would not miss any of it. They finished the entire loaf at dinner to make sure they didn't miss a slice. I also made my "the works" potato salad. It is loaded with all the goodies you would put on a loaded baked potato - sour cream, chives and bacon. Son especially loves it and I need to make a triple batch just to have left overs. He wants me to bring this to the family picnic next week. I joked that he would have to get at the end of the food line if anyone wants to try it.
Today mother and father-in-love come for breakfast. They just returned from 17 days in Alaska and have presents for the kids. MIL is bringing a blueberry buckle. I made a ham and broccoli stratta.
Tonight my parents come for a fondue. We grew up having these for really, really special events. I'm not talking chocolate or cheese but boiling oil and cooking your own dinner. Hubby has experienced one with my brother and sister-in-love but this will be the kids first. I waited until I thought they could enjoy the experience and be patient enough. Mom is bringing steak, shrimp and Caesar salad. I made the sausage balls ( a mix of sausage, sauerkraut and cream cheese), sweet and sour sauce, breaded cheese cubes and a blackberry pie (my dad's favorite).
I consider prepping all this food vegging out by the way.
Hubby just called and asked if I wanted a mocha latte (decaf of course) from Dunkin Donuts. He is headed home from his last day of work. And after asking my schedule for the week invited me to breakfast on Tuesday after we put the kids on the bus for their first day of school. Have I ever mentioned how much I love and adore him?

Saturday, August 29, 2009

My new look

Let me know what you think. Thanks!

Goddess Gift



This beautiful Goddess was gifted to me by my friend Rose. She hand crafts these and many other delightful items.

WHC

OK, this event was just too exciting to stop blogging about. Plus, I finally downloaded all of my pictures. Did I mention that Mz. Imani became friends with the 13 indigenous grandmothers and that Flordemayo asked to come to the conference? And she was welcomed with open arms and full hearts.


Mz Imani


Circle within a Circle


Our teachers



Click to make sure you see the rainbow. This really sums up the whole event.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Women's Herbal Conference

Yeah, I had so much fun at the conference. I have next year's dates (august 27 - 29, 2010) all blocked off. I attended my first conference four years ago and I have no intention of missing one. This year their was a record 575 women in attendance. For more info check out Sage Mountains website.

Oldest and I headed out Friday morning in the clouds. We arrived right at 10 when registration started. We set up the tent while the sun was still shining and headed for check in and to buy t-shirts. If you want a t-shirt you must arrive early and shop early (like in the first hour for any selection). T-shirts in hand we checked in and received our packet of classes for the week end. We looked over that while enjoying our picnic lunch.

Opening circle started at 1 and the first class was at 2:30. Mz. Imani was there with her drums calling us together and raising the energy.

Oldest is in "circle within a circle" for girls 13 to 18. Her classes are all planned out. Which I sometimes envy as I choose from 11 different classes each time slot. Friday I attended Love your liver with Tammi Sweet and Using Kitchen Herbs as Analogs for Wild Native Medicinal Herbs with Tammi Hartung. I've been considering taking anatomy and physiology at the community college and if Tammi Sweet taught the class I would sign up immediately. Oldest had belly dancing and the art of felting. The rain came down during the second class and dinner had to be eaten in the cafeteria instead of on the lawn but it cleared up by night fall. Dinner choices were lasagna and salmon. The nights entertainment included Katrin, Rising Appalachia and Kellianna along with Mz. Imani and the heartbeats. We were in curled up in our sleeping bags by 11. We woke to a full rainbow.

Saturday we were up early and showered. Oldest and I visited over coffee before breakfast and looked at the classes we would be taking. I took Safe Cosmetics with Susan Hoffman and learned a few new tricks to apply to my soap making, Tools of Assessment:Reading the Body with Margi Flint (I've taken this before but it is worth taking repeatedly) and Healing through Song with Cloe and Leah Smith (from Rising Appalachia). Me singing - who would have thought. Oldest had prayer bundles, hoop dancing and moon cycles. During "free" time I watched Numen:The Nature of Plants a wonderful documentary on the healing power of plants. I would highly recommend seeing it. By this point it was raining - OK torrential down pour and oldest and her friends played in the rain. The rain was a blessing to the girls visited by the henna queens as they were able to wash that henna right out of their hair from the water pouring off the roof. It was a fun show to watch. Can I say they call it free time but it is packed with dozens of options - from films, to classes, to henna to cordial tasting. After dinner and the rain subsided a little oldest and I moved our still dry sleeping bags into the car. Everything else was wet or damp and it looked like more rain was coming. We slept dry and comfy in the back of my car with plenty of room.

Saturday night was filled with music, stories and dance. It was after midnight before we crawled into the car. Sunday we were up early and started the day much the same way. Oldest was cold and decided to skip sweat lodge and attend Early Christian Mystics and their Creative Feminine Theology taught by Candis Cantin with me. While waiting for breakfast we had a wonderfully in depth conversation about religion, spirituality, beliefs. I ran into Katie who organizes circle within a circle and she commented how much oldest has opened up in the past year. The WHC is soooo sooo good for her. The sparkle in her eyes, the friends she has made. Yahoo! My last class was Signs of the Times: Astrology for Health with Phyllis Light. It was a class on folk astrology and how it is used to plant crops and aid in diagnosis. I also bought the CD for Susun Weed's class Favorite Herbs for a High Energy Life. I listened to this to and from work on Monday and loved it. They tape all of the classes. Some people use a lot of hand outs or the white board and you can miss so much. I knew Susun Weed doesn't do this and that the CD would help me make up my mind on what class to take. Oldest had their closing circle/class. Then it was lunch and closing circle. Ten minutes after we left the rain started again.

We stopped for dinner on the way home and then it was unpacking and hanging everything to dry. The ride home was filled with song as I bought the latest CD's by all the performers. This is Katrin's best CD yet. And it is Friday and I am still excited. The classes, the women, the energy is just amazing.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

catching up

The carnival was followed by work and early nights to catch up on some sleep. Then oldest and I were off to the Women's herb Conference in New Hampshire for the week end. It was amazing as always. I will blog more about that later. The kids start school September 1 and I have my fall cleaning all planned out. I have not blogged or read any blogs in almost two weeks. I feel so disconnected. I will be catching up slowly over the next week. Hope all is well with my blog friends.

Friday, August 14, 2009

2 nights down, 2 to go

Wednesday was slow in the beer garden - it always is. I was going to bring a book to read in the ticket booth and wish I did. The first hour I was there I was busy helping set up tables and chairs. I brought peanut butter and cowboy cookies.

Thursday we slept late and I made a big breakfast - bacon, eggs and toast. Then the girls and I headed out to pick up the t-shirts for the carnival and grocery shopping. The last grocery shopping trip I just bought the bare essentials and gave the rest of the grocery money to SIL for the kids food at the cape. This was a big trip. Pork chops and cole slaw made from the cabbage in MIL's garden and back to the carnival. Son came to spend some time in the dunking booth. Oldest works the food tent and I was back in the beer ticket booth. It was busier than Wednesday - which doesn't say much. I had to shut off my first person in ten years. Usually the beer pourers toss the customers out. I actually had to tell one woman I would not sell her any tickets. She was sloshed when she got here. Pissed at me she left for the bar.

Two more batches of cookies baked for tonight. Astragalus root capsules made. Laundry in process. Hubby is taking a nap and then we are spending the afternoon at the beach. Tonight is fireworks and hubby will bring son and youngest to see. Oldest and I will be working. Son didn't volunteer for the dunking booth tonight so he could ride the rides. I asked if he was paying. No - then I guess you won't be riding the rides. Tomorrow afternoon kids of the department ride for free. That is in my price range. He thinks rides are fun only at night (at carnivals) and he wants to go to his police explorer picnic tomorrow. Sucks to be him. Friday is our busiest night so tonight should be fun. I would much rather be busy than sit around.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Set Up

Last night was set up for the carnival. All the kids wanted to come. The two youngest thought it would be fun. Well, it is in a team work hard work kind of way. We unloaded the fence and posts from the trailer, set up the tables for the beer, unloaded the ticket booth, pounded in stakes and zip tied the fence to it, we moved tables and chairs. We were dripping wet with sweat and came home to water and cold showers. The kids and hubby had the last of the cake. I put my feet up and read for a few minutes. Hubby tucked youngest in. I contemplated making the climb up the stairs when she came running back down to kiss me. I slept sound.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Kids are home

The beach was a lot of fun. A few hours in the sun and surf and we headed to Mystic Village for some shopping and ice cream. We both bought some nail polish at Del Sol. Everything in the store changes color in the sun. White t-shirts with a black design suddenly are full of color in the sunlight. The nail polish is light indoors and changes to a vibrant hue in the sun. What fun. As I removed the hideous green from youngest's nails this morning I repainted them with my new sun kissed color. She was all excited when I took her outside and they changed color (even in the drizzly rain). Oldest is using it when she comes home.

Thursday nine Goddesses met around a friends fire pit. We called the quarters, blessed the full moon, sang, ate and laughed.

The kids called to say they wouldn't be coming home until Saturday. As much as I missed them I was excited because that meant hubby and I could go out Friday night. Friday morning I was went for an oil change and a few errands. I came home to an empty house. Hmm? Hubby called a little while later to see if I could help bring drinks and sandwiches to the fire call. A dump truck full of asphalt had tipped over near the resivour. No one was hurt. Instead of meeting my girl friend for tea ( I am so sorry I didn't call) I was feeding the crew. That night hubby and I went to the Gilson to see Johnny Depp - um I mean Public Enemies starring Johnny Depp.

Saturday I woke to a crisp, clear beautiful fall day. Oh, wait it's still supposed to be summer. Maybe that will arrive this fall. Any way I went to the memorial service for my SIL's father. I sat in the Catholic church and lightening didn't strike. Even my dear sweet aunt leaned over and whispered that one day she would go up for communion to see what the priest would do. LOL I have - years ago. I told one taste of that wafer going to the roof of your mouth and sticking like supper glue and the idea would pass. For all of those Catholic's out there - if it works for you - I am happy for you. It just does not work for me. But, that is a very long rant which I will spare you at this time. I have been to many beautiful catholic services - none in this particular church.

SIL called to ask if I could pick the kids up a little early. Youngest had developed a really bad head ache and was crying. The kids were ready to come home. They had a great time and chatted the whole way home. Son must be getting ready for a growth spurt - I'm pretty sure all he did was eat. And for supper he ate enough for three (or four) people. I baked Annie's mocha midnight cake as a welcome home. They loved it. Some down time on the couch a youngest felt a lot better. Some sinus meds and 13 hours of sleep and she woke up good as new.

This week starts carnival week. Monday set up. Wednesday to Saturday carnival and Sunday clean up. The kids are so excited. Me, not so much. They all want to help set up. Son wants to sit in the dunking booth. Oldest works the food tent because she is an explorer. Youngest has been talking for months how she can ride the rides for free at the matinee. She even told bio that she has wanted to go to the carnival for years and she/bio wouldn't take her but, Kim is. Fireworks are Friday night and the parade is Saturday. Hubby's rotating schedule works out that he will be off the week end and can take the kids. I will spend all but Saturday night in the ticket booth for the beer garden. Saturday I put wrist bands on the marchers for the free beer garden ( as I know most of the firefighters). Then it will be back in the ticket booth. I like the plexi glass between me and the beer drinkers (drunks).

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Wednesday

Mother-in-love really enjoyed the Wizard of Oz. She thinks maybe we should see Wicked again to catch all she missed. Twist my arm. The Warner did an awesome job with the play.

Monday afternoon I was looking forward to coming home from work and jumping on the treadmill and then maybe to the beach for a quick swim. Hubby even had the treadmill already to go for me. Not! I received a call - carnival committee meeting. The last meeting before the carnival starts on the 12th.

Last night though I came home and jumped on the treadmill. Hubby went and picked up Chinese food and we made a little picnic out of it.

Today I am off to the CT shore with a friend. I'm hoping the rains hold off until late this afternoon. I will be home in time for supper and then off to the fire house for a meeting. Hmm, I'm beginning to see a pattern here.

Hubby wanted to know what I am doing Thursday because he was invited to go jet skiing with the boys. Go, have fun! I'm working and then going to a full moon fireside. Yeah! We are both excited.

I'm keeping track of my kid's vacation at the cape via facebook. They've been to the beach, the cape cod potato chip factory and a whale watch so far. Sounds like fun.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Lazy Sunday

Hubby and I spent the afternoon at the beach, came home to a nap and then headed to the parade. The kids left a message that they arrived at the cape.

This morning he is at rope rescue training. I'm going to pay the bills and maybe hit the beach with a book for a couple of hours. This afternoon I am taking my mother-in-love to see the Wizard of Oz. She has never seen it. I found this out on our way to see Wicked. I think she'll enjoy it.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

A week with just Hubby

Sister and brother-in-love are on their way to the Cape today with their three kids. They asked if our three could join them for the week. Hubby dropped them off yesterday. The kids are so excited. I get to spend some time with my hubby, I don't have to shut the bathroom door or wear a robe (it's the little things) and they get to visit some place new. I am so excited for them.

We had his cousin EC and his girlfriend for dinner. They brought a yummy green salad and I made sausage stuffed mushrooms to start, fillet mignon and baked stuffed shrimp, hobo potatoes and for dessert carmel pecan blondies topped with my homemade vanilla ice cream. I was well past 11 when they left. We were so busy talking we lost track of time. I was only awake because I had real coffee for breakfast followed by a coke with lunch. Hubby fell asleep long before me which is really strange. We ended the night by setting our next dinner date. Next time I'm cooking and bringing dinner to EC's house. They left with a bag of goodies. I packed up leftovers for EC and blondies, soap and lotion that I made for girlfriend. I need a better name than girlfriend. Hmm? I really like her. She has still not met his mom - the infamous Aunt D. EC had told Aunt D she would not meet her until she could promise to be nice and hold her tongue. Any way, no sour notes to an awesome evening.

Today hubby and I are going out for breakfast. It is my favorite meal to eat out. I find cooking breakfast so tedious. Tonight Hubby is marching in the firemen's parade. I've opted to watch the parade rather than march. It has been far too long since I've been able to see a parade.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Link to Recipe

Recipe for blueberry soda

The end of my Four day week end

Youngest went to school and son and I went shopping. He loathes shopping but he needs sneakers. Armed with a $5.00 off coupon as well as a 15% off my order we headed out. The sneakers he liked were on sale pretty cheap. We then both bought a pair of sun glasses. Mine disappeared.

I then dragged him to the next store. He is now set for school with pens and supplies. I bought him a new MP3 player. The one he has bio bought him. He can download 20 songs. For under $30.00 he now has one that will hold 600. He is going on vacation with my sister-in-love's family and I thought he might need to tune out occasionally. I then picked up each of the kids a digital camara. They are so cheap now. They came in three different colors so I don't even have to label them. I just printed out their packing list so other than batteries they should be good to go. They leave Friday for a week. Hubby and I are trying to determine how many dates we can fit in with both of our work schedules.

Oldest finished mowing the lawn today. She also emptied the trash and changed over the laundry (thanks Mrs. B). The rest of us headed out to weed. Youngest runs the buckets to the compost pile and I can weed full steam ahead. Son joined us and was none to happy. He is glad I'm going back to work tomorrow. Oh, but wait I have a list that hubby can follow. The girls will weed the hosta bed and son will turn over the compost pile. When we all chip in we can accomplish a lot in a short time. Again we cooled down at the beach. Son didn't want to go so I put him in charge of finding a recipe that involved shrimp and whatever we had in the house. Almost 90 degrees outside and he picks a stew, shrimp orleans. It was a rainbow meal with plenty left over for lunch tomorrow.

Weeds

The good thing about not weeding as often as one should is that it really, REALLY looks good when you are done. Youngest and I weeded the front flower bed as son weed whacked and oldest mowed the lawn. Son and oldest dragged their feet and so instead of working in the cool of the morning we worked in the high noon heat when youngest returned from school. As a reward, just as much as for me as for them we went to the beach to cool off. The water felt so good. An hour later and the thunder rolled in, the sky grew dark and the winds picked up. We headed back home refreshed. Before son finished his shower the rain was once again coming down.

Supper was pasta and home made tomato basil sauce, meatballs and garlic bread. I also made blueberry soda. It was really easy and the girls loved it. Hubby said he didn't like the carbonation (um, it's soda). I'm not a big soda carbonation fan myself but it did come out really good. Son said it didn't taste like blueberries. What? It was one third blueberry syrup made with fresh blueberries and you were getting little bits of blueberry in every sip. Why he just say he didn't like it than make something up is beyond me. I think the real issue was it didn't come out of a bottle. Oh well, more for us. And I think the rest of the syrup I'm going to drizzle over the banana ice cream I made.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Saturday Fun

The rains poured down Friday night but cleared to a beautiful sunny afternoon. The wedding was beautiful. The couple and their friends are awesome. Youngest came with me and before everyone arrived we mixed and mingled. We played ladder ball with the kids. We tried the gazpacho the bride's brother made. It was a pleasant afternoon. They found me through the town's website. Apparently it lists all the justice of the peace in town. After further googling they picked me as I seemed down to earth being an herbalist and all. That is so cool. I guess I'll have to google myself and see.

After the wedding I took the girls to the beach. Son was in a snit all day. I made all the kids do their fifteen minutes of cleaning before they could do anything else. Bad Mommy! And wait, it is a new day and a new fifteen minutes. The other reason he didn't want to go to the beach is that it was block party day sponsored by the women's club. He saw the sign and thought it was a women's only day. Sometimes I wonder. The beach was jammed as you didn't need a beach sticker to get in. They had a DJ, a snow cone machine and pop corn.

We ended up sitting behind some firefighters from New Hartford. One saw oldest drawing and asked if she could draw a picture of his friend, Mushy, sitting in front of her. She did and it came out really good. It will be hung at the fire house for a while and be the brunt of some fire house humor I'm sure. He found out I went to school with his chief. When he said his last name I realized I knew his dad. His dad (until he retired) worked with my first husband, Birdie. He LOL and asked what is wrong with Birdie? We joked back and forth and had a water fight before we left. The girls had a great time and I haven't laughed so much in a long time.
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