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


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.