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.


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.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Week End Begins

Last night hubby's Justin came for dinner. We have two that grace our table and hubby refers to his cousin as my Justin. He comes next Friday with his girlfriend. The Justin's live alone and do not cook much so, I take great pleasure in fixing them a home cooked meal. And the plastic containers left from Chinese take out make great to go packaging. It doesn't matter if the container returns. Though if it does I promise to refill it. Last night was "roasted" (in the crock pot) chicken glazed with rhubarb chutney, mashed cheesy potatoes and glazed carrots. For dessert we had warm (from scratch) chewy gooey brownies topped with home made coconut ice cream. OK, I spoil every one who enters my doors. Friends laugh - the first time they come to visit I ask if they have any food allergies or any foods they hate or love. I love to cook but it is no fun if your guest won't or can't enjoy the food.

Today I have the pleasure of performing (for lack of a better word) a wedding ceremony. The couple are coming in from different parts of the country for an afternoon picnic ceremony. It is very casual and sounds like it will be a lot of fun.I love being invited into peoples lives for a brief moment and sharing such a happy time. Katie and Chris - here is to a beginning of many blessed years to come.

Tomorrow the girls and I go see Seussical (the musical) at the Thomaston Opera House.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


I whisper to the kids (sometimes loudly) that they are spoiled. No, I'm not youngest argues. Hmm! New clothes, favorite foods, someone to take them to the beach and the library, buying books for no reason.... spoiled. And I love doing it. Youngest said that Hubby spoils me. How's that I say. He gives you hugs and kisses. Oh, then I guess I am and so is she.

The kids loved the mock accident. They asked to participate again if they have one. It was a school bus accident and they had 15 victims. Both kids were dead. Son was decapitated. Originally they gave that to oldest but she said that was a little to creepy. Ya think.

Today I was at work and hubby and the kids went to the beach. Horrid life these kids have. I asked what they cleaned in their fifteen minutes (I ask that they spend 15 minutes a day cleaning something in the house) blank stares. Tomorrow we'll do it. Spoiled, I say, spoiled.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Singing in the Rain

What else can we do? All it seems to do lately is rain. It works for me today. I had a little too much sun yesterday and anymore would surely result in a painful burn. This morning I dropped youngest at the bus and oldest and I went shopping. I returned the shirts that I bought for our family pictures and found ones that we liked better. Oldest didn't really need anything except sneakers but with clearance racks and an additional 30% off she made out pretty good. We also hit the book store as we were waiting for Bob's Store to open to buy jeans for son. As we skipped breakfast I bought us iced coffees and muffins at the coffee bar. Oldest also left with a new book - Resurrection - the latest in the series she is reading. Then we actually found jeans to fit son. The manufacturers assume if you have a 34 length that you are fat. But, Levi's actually had a 30" waist with a 34" length. Guess who he takes after? (Hubby is 6'7") Any way I bought one pair. After seeing that they fit well we will order him a few more pairs. Hubby gets his on line pretty cheap which is good since he needs a 38" length.
I was home in time to pick youngest up from the bus. After lunch the kids and I headed to the library. Youngest is on a military kick and traded in her book on Navy Seals for a one on Green Berets. Everyone was happy with books in hand. Son even managed to find one.
Then it was home to make a batch of coconut ice cream. That was served on top of the blond brownies I made last night. We did have dinner first - a chicken alfredo lasagna.
Now Hubby is off to a fire department drill. It is a mock tragedy involving a bus. Oldest and Son have gone along to be victims. And tomorrow starts hubby's three days off and my three days of work.

Where I've Been

Wow, it's Tuesday already. Last week hubby came home telling me that Toby Keith and Trace Adkins were coming to CT on Friday. Do you think we could get tickets? A few hours later the phone rings and my boss offers me six free lawn seats to the concert. Way to call it in I tell him. We took the kids to their first concert. They were so excited. I had never sat on the lawn before and was told it was a lot of fun. Maybe, if you were drunk, stoned and 21. The majority of the lawn never sat down, never stood still, never watched the concert - they just walked around bumping into people and texting their friends. Next time we will pay for regular seats. It was nuts. A great experience as it reinforced to my kids why they don't want to drink. I don't care that the seats were free or even if I had paid the $20.00 fee - I want to see the concert. Why else would you be there? Obviously it was more to be seen than to see.

Saturday we headed to the New England Air Museum. They were having an open house in conjunction with the Air National Guard and the Fire Academy. It was free. The national guard had gun demonstrations and their helicopters, planes and firefighting apparatus on view. You could also sit in them. They had plenty of people on hand to answer questions and show you things. The fire academy had the kids smoke house. They also set up a 1 1/2" hose for the kids to try and put out a fire. The air museum had a few planes you could sit in that are not normally open to the public, demonstrations, talks and a make your own rocket for the kids. It was a great day. And to top it all off my girlfriend from the farm were down with her husband and nephew. The kids had fun and we got to catch up.

Sunday I went shopping with a friend in the morning. Our shopping trips are much more about visiting and walking alone - no kids, no husbands. I got back at lunch time and took the kids to the beach. We spent Monday afternoon at the beach as well.

In between I managed to fit in countless loads of laundry, grocery shopping and cleaning out the kitchen cabinets. I also removed everything from the kitchen counters, washed and reorganized. I put away some gadgets I don't use often and was able to make a lot more counter space. And tomorrow I go back to work after my five days off - maybe to relax. LOL

Monday, July 13, 2009


Yesterday the kids and I went to visit my Aunt & Uncle. I had to drop off the money for oldest's car and some paperwork. We visited over ice tea.

When I asked the kids what they wanted to do youngest of course said the beach. Son, said maybe we should go to a museum. Really, son said that. So, the kids checked the places we should go board I have tacked up. We fill it with anything that sounds interesting and then highlight the items as we visit them. Off to Springfield to the Springfield Museums and Dr. Seuss memorial garden. Admission gets you into four museums and the garden. There was a history museum with a toy soldier display, two art galleries and a science museum. We paid extra for the grossology exhibit. This was an interactive exhibit where we learned about snot, burbs and farts. It was a lot of fun.

Today, I was off for my breast ultra sound. The joys of having dense breasts. I have a cyst that they want to look at in another six months. Mom used to get them all the time so I'm not worried. Plus, it's not painful like the ovarian cysts I get monthly. That being over we'll head to the beach as soon as youngest gets out of school at noon.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Summer Days Blurr Together

Thursday I dropped oldest off with her Aunt so her and her cousin could babysit. I also made cowboy cookies for to take along, brownies, mint chip ice cream and potato salad. Dinner was Hawaiian kielbasa from the crock pot, potato salad and a broccoli stir fry. We followed that with brownie sundaes.

Friday I met a friend for lunch. We ate and talked and had a wonderful time. It had been far too long since our last visit. I really need to make a point to get together more often.

Then I took youngest to the beach. She was in the water the entire time we were there. I swam and read and enjoyed the sun and sand. I called her in so I could get supper ready and before I burnt to a crisp. Even with SPF 50 my chest is a little red.

Then it was home to get the fixings ready for make your own pizza night. Four very different pizzas were cooked and enjoyed. Youngest and I headed to Riverton for the free Friday night concert series. Riverton seems like it is its own town but I know it is part of Barkhamsted. Mad River Crossing was playing - a combination of folk songs and gospel. Youngest made friends with one of the band members sons and the played with his Nintendo while listening to the music.

Saturday I got some work done. I also loaded more music on youngest's MP3 player. I then downloaded and ordered pictures of vacation. The kids each picked the pictures they wanted for their scrapbooks and what they wanted me to send to bio. I still need to order prints for the family album. I resisted throwing a picture of hubby and I in bios set. Youngest did pick one out with her Daddy in it already. And bio's strict rules is that she wants no pictures with Kim or Dad in them. But, as I thought about it - it was our family vacation and Hubby and I are present in everyone of those pictures whether we are visible or not. Isn't the photographer somehow in the photo? So, I ordered the prints and had them mailed directly to her. Mean wicked step mommy would never allow the kids to take pictures and send them to her. For less than $5.00 I made the kids happy and proved bio wrong once again.
And it was sunny out again - yeah! Off to the beach with youngest. Son wanted to take a nap as he rode on duty with his dad the night before. She swam, I read a little and swam a little. The Auntie called saying cousin was not feeling well - could I pick oldest up a day early? So, I called youngest in from the water a little while later and we headed back to Becket. Becket is the half way point and we all get to visit with grandma (mother-in-love) which is always a joy!
We got home late for cooking so I made it a leftover night. Now the fridge is clean and the pork tenderloin can marinate a little longer.

Auntie and family are going to the Cape the first week in August. They invited all three of our kids to join them. They have three children as well. Win - Win! The kids get to see cape cod and hubby and I get to see each other. Yeah!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Better Day

I stuck to decaf today. I'm not sure if it was the my boss knew I was flipping out or that my co-worker explained that my clients were not being worked on but she finished the bank reconciliations herself and I was able to devote an entire day to my own work. I am off now until next Tuesday. I did bring a little bit home to work on in my free time. LOL

I'm off to a fire department meeting with the girls. Hubby is off with son to his police explorers meeting. I need to connect with my sister-in-love about dropping off oldest for the week end. She is going help her cousin babysit their youngest cousin. I'm trying to arrange that son goes paintballing on Saturday. Hubby will be sleeping and that will leave just me and youngest. Hmm, the beach and the movies maybe.

In the midst of my rant I did come home to four loads of laundry washed, dried and folded. Hubby had worked on the brakes of oldest's "new" car and he has spent two afternoons at the beach with the kids. It was almost three days but the thunder boomers put a cabosh to that.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Coffee and Work

I work three days a week. Since I took over for the fired dude I have four days worth of work. And four days it was what I was working and the extra money was really, really nice but summer is here. School is out and I am going to enjoy my kids. I came back from vacation to a neat pile of work. Neat only because I left a big box for my co-workers to deposit it into. It is sorted and filed in an organized fashion in hopes that I may complete it before their next period ends. My boss who has way to many jobs and duties and whose newest helper just gave his notice because he wants to be a CPA (he can't balance one account but hey, it's nice to have dreams). One co-worker is here every other week as she goes through chemotherapy. And one girl was out yesterday for a funeral. My boss is stressed. And I am wonder woman. Her clients period ended and I am entrusted to balance their bank accounts. I do this every month and every month I am annoyed. I still have not caught up from vacation. One clients fiscal year ended and all I did was shove his paperwork in a LARGE envelope. I haven't looked at a thing yet. And yes, I can work from home. But, last week end I needed to make a dent in cleaning my house before it was over run with dust and cobwebs. I had grocery shopping to do. This is almost an all day affair especially since it had not been done in a month. I also had family obligations. So, nothing was done over the week end. I can bring stuff home this week end and force myself to spend time on it. Probably in the wee hours of the morning before the rest of the house wakes. I'm only half way done with my cleaning chores and I have not weeded or dead headed a thing. And I'm sorry I missed the circus of a memorial service today as I was going to take notes for the gala event I have planned in case bio kicks the bucket. And you guessed it - I had full octane coffee this morning. One cup at 6:00 and I still feel like the energizer bunny. I even came home from work and walked on the treadmill. Did I mention I have a ton of stuff to do at work and not enough time to do it. Uugh! Oh, and the flipping bank did not balance. But other than being frustrated that my clients are on the back burner life is pretty good.

I talked to my girlfriend from the farm last night. She had much to celebrate. She just passed her test and is now a certified pharmacy technician. This involves a raise as well. Yeah!! As she was telling me about all the things in her life I was excited. When she asked me what was new I simply replied the same old stuff. I later wondered is that true? I'm busy with work, kids and volunteer work. I meet regularly with groups of my girlfriends. But, nothing new. Hmm, what is the spark that's missing? Or is that just a lot of little things are going on every day and I just don't have one big event to relate. I think that is more the case.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Family Picnics

July 3, my nephew turned 5. Yesterday we celebrated his birthday with family and friends. There was the trampoline,the pool and food. And in the middle of opening all the presents my nephew actually stopped and paused in awe of mine. It feels good to get it right now and then. Youngest bounced and swam her way into a sick tummy. A little nap and she was better in no time at all.

Today we are going to hubby's family picnic. Hubby gets off from work this morning and can actually go. His brother and family are coming from Vermont and his Aunt is here from North Carolina. I LOVE his family. The tortellini salad is made and the apple pie is in the oven. In all there should be about 40 of us gathering.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

July 4, 1906

103 years ago the greatest women to ever walk the face of the earth (in my humble opinion) was born; Getha Sarah Weed. She was born at home in a little town not far from here. She was proud of her swamp yankee roots. A family line I can trace back hundreds of years to England.
In 1926 she married and added Heath to her name. She was graduating from nursing school. Her diploma hangs on my wall. She was also 6 months pregnant with my Aunt(Godmother). When Heath came home with VD - a sure sign that he had not been faithful - she divorced him. My Aunt stayed with her paternal grandparents and Getha worked as a nurse in New York City during the week to pay for my Aunt's upbringing.
In 1938 she married Paul Louis Richards. In 1940 my father was born. Grandma continued to work as a nurse (locally now). Her and Grandpa worked hard and played hard. I have the photo albums to prove it. They had wild costume parties, mortgage burning parties and their silver anniversary. These all took place in their basement with the make shift bar. My parents wedding reception was also held there. She was always dressed in the latest fashions. My mom tells the story about how before route 8 was open and it was still in construction Grandma drove around the barriers to use the new road. My mom panicked and asked what she was doing. This is quicker she replied.
Just before I was born she was forced out of nursing. The laws had changed and they were going to make her retake all her tests. This crushed her.
Growing up she was so much fun. She helped my brother and I build a swing in the big willow tree behind the house. She had a fold down ironing board in the kitchen. My brother and I would set that up as a bar and make Grandma drinks (ice tea).
Grandpa passed when I was in junior high. After that I would mow her lawn, clean her house and make sure she took her medicine. When I went off to college my brother took over.
October 3, 1988, was my 21st birthday. I woke up to find that Grandma had passed in the early hours. I feel blessed that she chose my birthday. She is with me to this day.
So, today instead of dwelling on this "nations" Independence. The birth of a nation which comes on the near obliteration of another. I instead celebrate the birth of my Grandma Richards.

Friday, July 3, 2009

My sons

Seth will be 21 in September. He has the maturity level of an eight year old. Son does not like talking to him and hangs up whenever he calls. For one Seth calls him Tug. It was a nickname son had as a baby that he has long out grown and a name he loathes. Bio still calls him this. Last night son was up late watching a movie with permission from hubby. Seth called at 9:45. Click. Then Seth leaves a message on the machine. "Pick up, I didn't call you Tug - I was talking to Mom, pick up, what are you afraid to talk to your big brother, chicken - cluck, cluck, cluck. Fine I will hang up and call back until you pick up."

Now our household goes to bed rather early. It was unusual that son was up or at least not in his bedroom. It was more unusual that I was awake. The phone is turned off in the bedroom so I barely hear it ring. It was after this that I picked up the phone. Seth explained that he wanted to talk to son but he keeps hanging up on him. Gee, maybe he doesn't want to talk to you ( I thought). I said, "he's in the middle of a movie." Then Seth asks what the girls are up to. Youngest is sleeping. Then the light bulb goes off and he realizes that it is late here. Well, have son call me in the morning. Now, I will give son the message but I will not make him call his brother. And I will not play the answering machine message for him - that will only piss him off further. Understandably so.

And bio talked to youngest this week. Want to know how I know? Not only was it on the caller ID but youngest had a nightmare and crawled in bed with me.