Monday, August 30, 2010


The Tiger saga has garnered way to much press. And really who cares how his golf game is doing besides his sponsors of course? But, I just read that the newly divorced Elin took the divorce settlement money and is donating it to a mental health clinic for children. She believes children are the biggest victims of divorce and wants to put the money to good use. Three cheers to her. She has handled herself with grace and dignity through this whole sordid mess and she has truly come out on top. I wish her and her children the best.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Taco Night

Yesterday was grocery shopping day. Hubby was working evening overtime and would not be home for supper. Two kids wanted tacos and one pizza. Since I really have to be in the right mood for pizza tacos won out. We had tacos, Spanish rice, "refried" beans and loaded nachos.

I experimented with the beans and was really happy with the results and so were the kids.

In a little bit of olive oil I sauteed some minced shallot and garlic. I added a can of black beans that I had rinsed well. I poured enough chicken broth just to cover the beans. I put the lid on and cooked them low and slow until the broth was absorbed. The beans started to burst and were oh so creamy.

The spanish rice I made with a brown rice blend, onion, garlic, chicken broth and salsa. At the end I stirred in a can of pigeon peas.

Today I'm making spicy fried chicken and baked potato salad. Both I can prep ahead of time.
At 4 we meet at the reservoir for family photos. People laugh because I always buy matching shirts. It's the Libra in me. I like things to match - my socks, my underwear, my dishes and our shirts. And as much as people laugh they comment on how cohesive our photos look. Oldest will bring a change of clothes for her senior pictures. OMG she's a senior already.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Blueberry Cake

Someone brought zucchini bread to work the other day. The running joke in the office is that it must be good for you because it's a vegetable. Just like cheesecake is good for you because it's a dairy product. Miss Naturally Skinny says "you {all of you} have such horrible diets." Good thing we have partitions and she can't see my facial expressions or hand gestures. I didn't eat any of her bread and either did the girls around me out of principle. Half a loaf still sits on the counter. The guys all had a piece. Maybe because she talks to men much differently. I asked my row mate and second mother if I wore a strap on do you think the conversation would change.

So, on my day off it was rainy and cool and a perfect day to spend puttering in the kitchen. I made lamb chops for supper, prepped supper for the next two nights and made coconut ice cream to compliment the blueberry cake I baked. My mom used to make blueberry buckle. Hubby's never heard of buckle. According to one of the food shows I watch a buckle is just a cake with fruit. So as I was looking through my mom's recipe boxes (she gave them all to me) I found a recipe for blueberry cake. I never found her buckle recipe. That I found in my Grandma's copy of Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook (1962) under quick breads.
A little aside - I always thought my mom was just really supportive of my love for cooking. I started around 12 y/o. I would cook, she would clean. I was in heaven. Then I realized a few years ago (and she confirmed it) she hates to cook.
The cake recipe was not in my mom's hand writing so it must be one of my old neighbors. So, I took the recipe added my own twists and topped it with the cinnamon crumble from the buckle recipe. It's a lovely moist dessert, a fantastic coffee cake and heck if you want to call it a fruit eat it for lunch.
Blueberry Cake
1 Cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
4 eggs, separated
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup buttermilk
4 cups blueberries

Cream butter and sugars until fluffy. Add egg yolks and vanilla and mix well. Sift together dry ingredients and add alternating with the buttermilk. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold into the batter. Spoon half the batter into a 9x13 pan. Wash and dry blueberries. Pour over batter. Sprinkle with a dusting of flour. Spoon remaining batter on top and spread as evenly as you can. The batter is thick and sticky - don't worry if all the blueberries are not covered. Top with cinnamon crumble. Bake at 350 degrees for 55 min.

Cinnamon Crumble
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup butter
Mix sugar, flour and cinnamon. Cut in butter till crumbly.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Monday, August 23, 2010

WHC 2010

I'm back.

The women's herbal conference was as awesome as ever. The new tent worked perfectly. The rains held off until Sunday. The girls had a great time. Both want to go back again. Oldest hooked up with friends from years past. Youngest who thought kids camp sounded babyish and boring made friends and had a great time.

I took some serious herbal classes (ones you could receiving nursing credits for), some fun classes and a wonderful hike to the heron rookery.

The caterer was new as the camp was sold last year. The food was yummy and I have a few things I plan to duplicate in the kitchen.

The music was wonderful with Katrin & Allison, Kellianna and Mz Imani. I added some new CD's to my collection.

I have a signed copy of the newest addition of Margi Flint's book. She was there with her daughter and new grandson. I have never seen such a picture of love as the three of them. They just radiated.

This is the last year at Sargeant Camp. We said our good bye's and look forward to a new camp and making some new magic.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Ready to Go

The bags are packed. The car is packed. I just need to make our lunch in the morning pack up the toiletries and we are off to the women's herbal conference.

Hubby had a meeting tonight. He was worried I might be asleep when he gets home. I am far to excited. This makes my fifth WHC. It will be oldest's 4th and youngests 1st.

The energy there is unbelievable. The high (and I'm not talking chemically induced) from the event lasts for days if not weeks.

And I'm finally caught up at work. I never recovered after April vacation before taking July. I finally have my new client on maintenance mode instead of set up. Whew! Big sigh of relief. And with four months left in the year I'm looking at how I'm going to use my PTO (paid time off) that I've saved all year.

And hubby mentioned taking just me to the Cape. He arranged for the kids and Sammy to spend the week end at Grandma's. So I need to book the hotel. We'll be going in October when the tourists are gone.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Son, boyfriend and.....

My son doesn't like boyfriend - not even a little bit and he doesn't try and hide it. Boyfriend wants to cook for us one night. I said to just let me know what ingredients he needs. Son is worried he will try and poison him (hide the drain cleaner has been his mantra).

I don't care for boyfriend but he is not a bad kid and I don't fear for our safety.

Oldest was back to job hunting today. She hasn't been having any luck yet. Just keep looking.

Two weeks until school starts.

Two days until the women's herbal conference. Yeah!!!!!!!!!

Hubby actually took the week end off from work to spend time with son all on his own. They have plans to hit the army navy store and Hooters. Hubby plans to take him to the Springfield Armory and the Smith & Wesson Museum. And Saturday a group of state police are having a paintball war that they are invited to.

And even though school supplies are ready and new clothes have been bought I'm not in a rush to send them back yet. We've been busy having fun.

Monday, August 16, 2010


Since we went to the Cape and told oldest to step away from the phone boyfriend has not hung out here. He broke up with oldest when we got back and said he was stressed about handling school and her. He hasn't started classes yet. I'm not buying the whole story. I think the parent pleaser sensed (finally) that he wasn't pleasing the parents. Hey, if I wanted you on my vacation I would have invited you.

Boyfriend unfriended me on facebook. I'm heartbroken. No more instant messages as 5 AM. I'm a morning person - a solitary enjoy the quiet wee hours morning person. I don't feel the need to converse with any one at that hour least of all my daughter's boyfriend.

So when she asked if she could hang out with him Monday, Wednesday and Friday I said, "sure he can come for dinner." I'm learning - answer the question you want to hear and not the one that is actually asked. My hubby and kids are great for that. Which means they are not really listening to you in the first place. I, on the other hand was listening and altering the situation - evil manipulator that I am. So, tonight boyfriend is coming for dinner.

Yahoo! Do I really want to spend time with him - NOT!!! I do it because she needs to spend some time with her family. And since I just saw the videos of his family BBQ I'm not sure his parents are what I would call adult supervision.

One video was of boyfriend, boyfriends dad and BillXP jumping over the bonfire. I'm not talking a small campfire either. Now, I'm not a total party pooper - an 18 y/o not realizing this is unsafe is one thing but dad joining in. First thought - was he drunk? Next thought - is he just stupid. Third thought - thank the goddess I didn't let my daughter go to Canada with this family. This went along with the can I stuff my buddy into the trunk of my car video.

Any thoughts my blog friends.

Saturday, August 14, 2010


It was grocery shopping day and son's girlfriend came for dinner. She told him she missed my cooking and that they would hang here this week end. Son loves ribs and my baked potato salad so that's what I made along with cole slaw, baked beans and a flour less chocolate cake. The cake was a new recipe and a hit with chocolate lovers. The ribs I rubbed with Neely's dry rub mix and let sit in the fridge for the afternoon. I cooked them on the grill low and slow and then basted them with BBQ sauce. I was asked for the sauce recipe (it changes a little each time but here goes).

BBQ Sauce

drizzle of olive oil
1 onion chopped fine
3 - 4 cloves of minced garlic
2 cups homemade marinara {loaded with chunks of peppers, onions, eggplant and squash}
you can use ketchup instead
3 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 small can diced chilies
2 Tbsp chili powder
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1 cup strong coffee

Drizzle oil in pot. Cook onions until soft. Add garlic cook one minute more. Add remaining ingredients. Cook until sauce is thickened 15 - 30 minutes. It was really chunky this time because of the marinara so I put it in the food processor.

Thursday, August 12, 2010


I don't remember my locker combination being a big deal. It has caused major anxiety in my kids. Oldest and son not as much. Seth just refused to use his locker. And youngest has been having sleepless nights. Hubby took her to school today to practice. Piece of cake. Now she can sleep and so can I. I will take her again before school starts.

I'm actually almost caught up at work. I have a small list of financials that need to go out but... I'm waiting on information from my clients. I'm more in a hurry to issue their financials than they are to receive them.

I'm off until Tuesday. Tomorrow is hair cuts with the girls. Grocery shopping at some point. Son's girlfriend is coming for dinner Saturday. She misses my cooking and eating as a family. I really, REALLY like her. Sunday is my family picnic at my parents house. And hopefully Monday will be beach weather.

And in 8 days I'll be headed to the WHC. I'm a little excited - can you tell.

And I'm not sure what bio has told the kids but obviously they are not going to see her for the month of August. Lying sack of poo! How do you do that to your kids? Thank the Goddess she's there and they are here - loved and safe.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Camping Out

After the heavy, heavy rains last year at herb fest I came home and bought a new tent. The one I had been using was from high school and I couldn't stand up in it. The new one I can stand in, has more room and a porch on the front. It also said it was water proof in several different ways.

Youngest and I set it up in the yard this week end so I could see how it worked. I also wanted to test out the new air mattresses.

Youngest slept out in the tent alone last fall (in the front yard). This year she would only sleep out if I did. So, Sunday night the two of us camped out. We read by lantern light (gotta love LED's).

She's been climbing in with me at night again. It comes in spurts. I can't tell if it is because bio lied once again about visiting or if she is nervous about school starting. I know opening her locker is really worrying her. We're going to take her up before school starts and let her practice opening the locker.

And in less than two weeks I'll be at the Women's Herbal Conference with both my girls. I am so excited!!!!!!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

What's new?

That question goes right along with what are you doing now?
How do you answer that? And does the person really want to know or care. They talked me into crashing my class reunion last night. It was interesting. I went with friends that I see fairly regularly and enjoy talking to so that was fun.

But, people who never talked to me in high school, people I haven't seen since are giving me hugs and telling me how great it is to see me. Really? Why? I find it rather surreal.

Then sitting back and watching the interactions - I felt like I do selling tickets at the beer garden. I'm watching all these strange drunk people. Only this time I know most of their names.

I did catch up with a few people that I have connected with via facebook and that was nice.

My ex husband actually came over and talked to me with out turning white or stuttering. Finally he's past that. About damn time.

And then I wonder if it's me. I see all of these people hugging, laughing, dancing and making small talk. They appear to be having a great time and so thrilled to capture something from this reunion or a little bit of their youth and I just feel disconnected from all of it. Or is it that even though I enjoyed high school I've moved on. I'm not unhappy with my life or my age and don't feel a need to relive or go back to that place in time.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

some things you just don't do

If you get separated from your spouse do NOT continue to live in the same house. My hubby goes on more domestic calls that involve separated spouses still living together.

Enter my cousin - sweet dumb sap. He deals with depression and alcoholism. He has been unemployed for the past year and the drinking has escalated. His wife of 24 years can't take it anymore and has filed for divorce. Cousin is drinking to the point of blacking out and he is extremely paranoid.

First his son had to call the cops because he started to get physical. Arrest one.

Then wife had to call for the same reason. Arrest two.

Restraining order put in place. He returns home four days later (on his birthday) drunk and tries to get in. He breaks a window in the process. Now it as arrest number three and moves into the felony stage (violating a protective order and burglary 3rd degree). He spent almost a week in the hospital before moving him to the jail. Bond is set high enough so that no one will bail him out. And right now he's getting sober so we agree this may be the best place at the moment. His lawyer is trying to get him into a rehab facility that will count for jail time. That is really what he needs.

The good news. His parents who haven't talked to him in five years (another long story) finally reached out. They talked to the wife and the lawyer and are planning a trip up as soon as he can have visitors. Yeah!!!! I can't tell you how much of a tole this strained relationship has put on his psyche.

**** On another note - Sammy is completely back to herself. She perked last night when my Dad came. He always brings fireballs for the kids and dog biscuits for Sammy. She hopped right up and ran to my Dad. This morning the dog tags were once again jangling and she ate, drank and went outside with no help on the stairs. ;o)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Time a way

We spent three days at the Cape. Lots of food and family time. The first morning I had to tell oldest that the phone goes off. I didn't invite boyfriend on the trip because it is a family trip. I'm not one of those modern mom's who has no problem with texting non stop and talking on the phone while you are supposed to be with us. He'll have to wait. The rest of the trip went really well.

So, we get back and boyfriend breaks up with her. He's stressed and not sure how he can date and go to school. Maybe not need to spend 24/7 with oldest for starters.

Today they talked and are back together. Gee, and I was getting excited that I didn't have to go to the bonfire/picnic and meet his family. Son's response was, "that's bad news." I didn't say anything about the break up or getting back together other than it is her decision.

On another note I'm watching our dog Sammy really close. Sammy stayed at Grandma's while we were away and ate something she shouldn't have. She didn't want to eat this morning and could barely stand. Tonight she drank, ate and is walking a little. Son carried her down the stairs to do her business. She's improving slowly. Poor thing. She's 15 and this took a lot out of her.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

want a teenager?

I'm giving two away free. OK, maybe just one. Son seems to get it - a little any way. I need to know where you're going, when, how are you getting there and back (am I driving) and will you be home for supper. Pretty basic stuff. Since oldest has a boyfriend her glowing head has been up her arse.
There is a big difference in making food for three or six - would it be too much to ask if I knew how many for dinner?
Yesterday hubby and I laid it for oldest and son. A little common courtesy. And while we are at it - while you are under our roof your priorities will be school, work and then boyfriend. And frankly he is getting to be a little much. I can't live without you. I have to see you every waking moment, I canceled going on vacation with my parents to be with you.
Yuk, can I puke now.
I though maybe I was just getting old - son assures me that in this case I am right on target. Boyfriend really annoys him as well. And when my parents came to visit out of the blue my mom said I never acted like that (the glowing hang on every word boyfriend says).