Monday, December 27, 2010

Bad Santa or Weird Christmas Tales

Ok, got a few here. Not to be a bitch, but hey, I'm a feel like bitching. I spent the entire season (yes the season isn't over) trying to be kind, but if I can't kvetch to you guys, then who can I do it to?

Nog for your Noggin

We've been expecting bad weather on and off for Christmas. Of course, since we only get the "B" team news-wise locally (our little town is an afterthought), all the dire predictions came to naught. But trying to stock up on holiday provisions, I asked Hubby to go to the store on his way home from work.

Me: Can you pick up one of those half-gallon jugs of egg nog? The Aspiring Adult really loves it, and I'd like to have some on hand (the onliest people who like egg nog in our family is me and the AA).

Hubby: Sure!

A couple of hours later, after he comes home and puts all the groceries in the fridge...

Hubby: They didn't have any half-gallon jugs, and I think I got everything they had left in the store plus a little extra, just in case.

Me: You're the best!

The next morning, I look in the fridge, and there are 8---yes 8! quarts of eggnog in the fridge. Low-fat, old-fashioned, regular and Southern Comfort-style.

Me: Honey, why in the world did you buy 2 gallons of eggnog?

Hubby: I didn't. I bought a bunch of pints to make up 1/2 gallon, just like you asked.

Gah! My ass is going to be really huge by the time the holiday is over.

Weirdo Regifters

I'm all for regifting. Totally.

One relative sent us a bunch of puzzles, which really isn't our thing. I don't feel guilty regifting them on to another family member who is a puzzle-freak. Of course, they are completely unopened and unused when we send them on. Some years ago, my birth mom was gifted with an I-pod, and passed it on to my oldest son, because she wasn't interested in it, and he was.

Perfect regift!

Hubby's half-siblings are quite a bit older than he is. Some of their children are closer to his age then his siblings are. He insists on sending each of them a personal present every year, because he is THE cool uncle.

Anyhoo, his older half-brother is quite well-off. Not Bill Gates wealthy, but better off than your average bear. He started a company in college, turned it into a company that was prevalent on the east coast, sold it to a larger company for a mazillion dollars, and now dabbles in teaching at a few Ivy League colleges between spending time in Paris, on the Eastern Seaboard, and in Pennsylvania.

So this is the weirdo part.

Over the years, between Hubby's 1/2 brother and two 1/2 sisters (and what we've sent their adult children) we've all exchanged some really thoughtful gifts. Not really pricey, but with recipient in mind.

His half-brother and wife have regifted us with some really weird shit.

Frequently at holidays we've sent friends Harry and David's stuff. So I'm a little familiar with it.

Apparently Hubby's brother and wife get quite a bit of it, because they pick out what they want and send the rest on to other members of the family, like us. We'll get 2 half towers of treats. ;-)

Not complaining---all my guys will eat it---but it's weird.

A few years ago, Hubby's brother sent him a Playboy Bunny keychain, all wrapped up in a fancy box. What----did he have it in his sock drawer for years and think Hubby was 20? What decade is he living in?

So this year, they sent me a lovely square vase made of heavy glass. It was dirty and had dead flies in the bottom. I think sis-in-law cleaned out her knick-knack closet.

Yeah, I'm all for regifting, but WTF?

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

I called my irascible ex-FIL, who I've bitched about here on this forum to make sure he got his gift in the mail. We sent him an assortment of Irish Cheeses, and it's perishable, so I wanted to make sure he put it in his fridge. God forbid we give him food poisoning.

Long story short, this man is a good part of why I divorced his son. His own children want nothing to do with him (he was a controlling and abusive father) and have moved far far away. The only family he has in these parts are my kids. Because he's their grandfather, I've worked hard over the years to have a civil if not friendly relationship with him. He's worked hard too---to try to be a good grandfather, but sometimes he slips into some bizarre and inappropriate behavior.

Anyhoo, when I called him, he asked if he could drive up to take the boys out for a snack on Christmas Day. Nevermind that nothing is open up here. He wanted to make a four-hour round trip to see his guys.

I guess that meant he was alone for Xmas.

So I did the only thing I could do. I invited him for dinner.

Luckily, Hubby was on board. Nobody should be alone for Xmas.

The next day he called and asked if he could bring along a couple of friends. I called Hubby and told him we needed to pick up a few more pounds of prime rib (Hubby's Xmas specialty). We would have been able to stretch it for one more person, but 3?

On Christmas Day, our guests parked in strategic places in our driveway, mindful of the other cars and drivers' needs to get out. Instead of parking on the street, ex-FIL plonked his minivan right in the entrance to the driveway, blocking the egress entirely, making it a necessity to move his vehicle if anyone was ready to leave.

And our luck being our luck, he couldn't get the freaking thing started when the first of our guests had to go. So a bunch of people dressed in their Christmas best had to push the behemoth up the hill to the street.

Where it promptly started.

Oh, and he didn't bring his friends either. But that's ok. More leftovers for us!
So any weirdo Christmas tales of your own?

Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Holidays!

Hope you all have a very blessed season.



Friday, December 17, 2010

Santa Loves Me

A few months back I wrote about my '92 Caddy Seville and how much I loved it (mice and all). Hubby has been trying to get me to upgrade for a few years now, but I've been having none of it. A couple of times a year he tries to show me newer Caddies on the websites of local dealers to see if I like something he's found. The conversation always goes like this:

Me: What color is it?

Him: Gold/Silver/White/other non-color

Me: No.

This has gone on for quite awhile. He feels guilty about my old car, and I have to reassure him that I'm perfectly satisfied with it. Even though the next time it will need a major repair, it will probably cost more than the car is worth at bluebook value.

Finally, exasperated, he asked, "What exact specifications would you have for a car you're going to drive for another 12-13 years?"

Me: A V-8 engine, like the one I have. A color like blue, or green, or black or red. Oh, and cup holders (amazingly enough, my Seville was top of the line for that year, but didn't have cup holders. Go figure).

Well...Santa loves me. He really loves me. I feel like Sally Field, who as we all know, holds a very weird and special place in Santa's heart.

This beauty has more buttons than I can figure out what to do with. It's fully loaded and does everything but wipe my heinie. I'm going to need diagrams. But boy-oh-boy, it is smooth. You can barely feel it shift gears and it drives like a rocket.
It has heated and cooled seats---something I'd never even heard of until recently. It's a 2006, the last year they made this model in front-wheel drive, and the previous owner took meticulous care of it. Except for one tiny crack on a tail-light, it looks like it just rolled off the showroom floor.

Hubby has become so enamored with this car that he offered to arm-wrestle me for it. I threatened to slap an Obama bumper sticker on the back so he'd be too embarrassed to drive it (he's a staunch Repub). LOL

Thank you, Santa Baby. I love you too!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Bling for Everybody!

Last week while I was disappeared, our Collaborative Craft Studio participated in our first Holiday Home Show Tour Boutique.

For those of you who are new to my blog, a couple of years ago I started an informal art therapy group for myself and for adults who have developmental disabilities or mental illness as well as for family caregivers. We primarily worked on Christmas ornaments for fun. A few of our members took some of our creations to a craft fair, and made a good amount of money.

And a collaborative craft studio was born!

Today we employ 10 people. We have a private studio space, and for those who prefer to work out of their homes, we pick up and deliver supplies so they can work at their own pace. Every ornament we have is created by several sets of hands---from the quilting, the beading, the ribbon toppers, the photography and more.

My dear friend KL flew in from out of town a few weeks ago to get a break from her life, work on ornaments, update our website and help me with the Boutique show.

It rocked. Although the turnout wasn't what was advertised, we kicked ass in sales.

One very kind lady who was impressed with our wares asked us if we would come and give a talk at her group about our non-profit. I told her that we don't accept grants or government funding and that we are very FOR profit! Not to be unkind to her, but many think that any employment specifically designed for people who have disabilities must be involved with a non-profit organization.

People who have disabilities working a real job that provides cash and capitalism. What a concept! ;-)

In addition to what we sold at the show, we signed up a few gift shops who loved our stuff for Easter and next Christmas. Everyone was very nice...well almost everyone.

One ignoramus said to KL, "I don't believe disabled people could turn out such a professional product, so I'm not buying because you're frauds".

She was like, "Hello? I'm a person who has a disability! Whatevah!"

I wish I had been able to introduce this person to Cindy. She was the prime creator of our minis, which were the hottest sellers of the weekend, and she has Down Syndrome. We sold over 100 of them.

Anyhoo, we're almost sold out for the year, but it's not too late to get an ornament or two. They're perfect for that little gift for a friend, a relative, a co-worker or even for your own tree. Come pay us a visit!

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

The REAL Pantry Challenge

Sorry I dropped off the planet, but things have been really hectic around here, and I've been just pooped.

Remember about a month ago when I did a challenge about creating stuff from all the lonely crap from gathering dust in the pantry? Well--ahem--FINALLY, here are the results.

Thank you so much for everybody who participated. Your ornaments from our
studio are on their way!

Bonnie sent this in (and boy does she crack my sh*t up!):

Ok, I am the suckage at pictures, so I have no picture at this point. (I am trying to get one for this, if you reallllly need it). And I have no blog. (Dude, you have no blog). However, here is my Tuna Noodle Glop Casserole:

Tuna Noodle Glop Casserole

2 cans cheap-beapo tuna in water, drained.
1/2 bag of noodles, boiled (it was a bit too many noodles but I couldn't bring myself to put the lonely last 2 ounces back in the cupboard, so I omitted vegetables in order to make everything fit in the pan)
1 can cream of chicken soup (could have been cream of asparagus, chicken won the toss)
2 to 4 tablespoons dried onion pieces, measured by the 'shake the container until it looks good' method
1/2 soup can water
1 cup plain yogurt
what was left in the bag of sharp cheddar cheese shreds - somewhere between 1/2 and 3/4 cup
2 good dashes Worchestershire sauce - about a teaspoon
1 pinch powdered thyme
8 chopped up green olives.

While boiling the noodles, mix everything else together in a large bowl. Add the noodles. Eyeball it to decide if it will fit in the chose pan. Spray Pam on 8x8 ceramic pan, pour in noodle glop, cover with foil, bake at 350 degress for half an hour. Remove foil and bake another 10 minutes because it just looks too wet. Enjoy.

It was actually quite good; the combo of a bit of olive and the cheddar cheese dressed it up nicely.


Kikilia from Mulberry Summer contributed a fantastic-sounding breakfast casserole. It's got smooth, creamy, chewy and crunchy all in one all in one dish---like a party in your mouth!

Okay- I didn’t take a picture of my creation though… but here’s what I made.
A “breakfast casserole” using garlic croutons, eggs, milk, cheese, butter, and roasted red peppers.

I took one package of garlic croutons- had originally bought to make a salad which never happened about 20 years ago… okay maybe a month ago…and added 3 eggs, some milk, about 10 oz of cheese that was leftover from making tacos- so it was the shredded taco flavor stuff, and a jar of roasted red peppers that I bought on a whim. Have had them ages and never could figure out what to do with them.

Put it all in a 9 x 9 pan, dotted with butter and baked at 325 until done.

Dark Angel sent this in from her blog Inner Dreams:

vegan bits-and-pieces pasta

tomato sauce - used once for lasagna and then ended up at the back of
the fridge
remains of a packet of macaroni - found lurking at the back of the cupboard
some cloves of garlic - again, scrounged from the back of the cupboard
unidentified ground herbs - bought in a bout of creativity and then
forgotten about
various remains of vegetables - left from the previous week's
cooking, as I always cook spacific portions every time
a couple of potatoes - again, left over from the previous week
tofu sausage, spelt and nut burger and a bit of seitan - the result
of my habit of opening a new packet every day.

* crush the garlic and mix in with the tomato sauce, together with the herbs
* steam or boil the vegetables and potatoes -
* boil the macaroni.
* chop up the sausage and burger, add the seitan and stir fry.
* add the sauce to the stir fry.
* add the macaroni and veggies and mix it all together.

Sounds very exotic (I had to go look up spelt and seitan)!

Katie from HappyThought42day sent in this lovely story and recipe:

Ok... I WAS called in to sub most of the week. So I'm cheating a little. About a year ago, I had a sick kiddo. Too sick for me to get out for a desperately needed grocery shop. This meal cleaned out our frige and pantry. Left us with crumbs. And sick kiddo was so sick she slept through dinner. But she woke up in the middle of the night. Why is it always the middle of the night? She was thrilled to find out she had "Shannon Soup" waiting for her! She still loves this stuff. So I had to write out the recipe and actually have to make it once in a while. Next time, maybe I'll throw in that can of artichoke hearts that I have no clue what I bought them for....

"Shannon Soup"

1T olive oil
4-5 carrots, peeled & chunked
4-5 potatoes, peeled & chunked
2 onions, peeled & wedged
4-5 stalks of celery cut into @1" pieces
2 jalepino peppers, seeded & cut very small
6 cups water
2 cloves garlic
1/2 t. pepper
1 can tomato sauce
2 lb. ground turkey, cooked
2-4 cups cooked rice

Saute potatoes, carrots, onion, celery & jalepino in olive oil @ 15 min. Transfer to stock pot with water, tomato sauce, garlic & pepper. Bring mix to a boil, cover, reduce to simmer @ 2 hours. Add turkey and rice & heat through.

Ok... potatoes, carrots & onions are staples here. Celery we keep on hand to turn rubbery and inedible before feeding it to the guinea pigs. Seriously, we should be eating it. But we don't. I have NO IDEA why we had jalepino peppers in our refrigerator. But we did. And they hadn't gone by yet. Tried making this recipe without them and discovered they really are needed to make this edible. Garlic is also a staple here. No problem with vampires. Water... from the tap. Can of tomato sauce was about the only thing left in the pantry at that point. Can you say $300 grocery shop the next time I went??? Turkey was in the freezer 'cause hubby thinks I'm trying to poison him when I use anything short of ground cow. But I love turkey. Rice... leftover. And about the only thing in the fridge once I used up the last of all our veggies. Maybe that was a $400 shop the next day??? Sorry... no photo. It was desperate times feeding a sick kiddo. Who now loves this meal.

Julia from the blog Farfromthesticks sent this one in. Looks scrumptious!

I live in Turkey now but I grew up in New Hampshire. I always have a fully stocked pantry because everything here is handmade. There are not a lot of processed foods sold in the store. Example-- if you want tomato sauce, buy some tomatoes and start chopping. No Ragu. It is much healthier but a lot more time consuming.

In my pantry I have a lot of dried goods like bulgur, rice, bouillon, and spices. In my fridge I always have the staples of Turkish cooking, tomato paste and a spicy/sweet pepper paste. I also always have "hindi sucuk" (a Turkish sausage made of turkey--lower fat than the beef version.) I use it to make omelets on the weekend. I also always have veggies like onions and peppers in stock, for salads and the ubiquitous weekend brunch omelets.

I needed to make a hearty lunch for my husband the other weekend and I had nothing ready and no time to hit the store. Here was the result.

Bulgur Pilaf

In a saucepan I boiled three cups of water, and added a chicken bouillon cube and two tablespoons of tomato paste and two of pepper paste. I added 1 1/2 cups of coarse sized bulgur. While it was soaking up the liquid I stirred in 1/4 tsp of salt, 1/2 tsp of pepper, 1/4 tsp of crushed red pepper, and a 2 tsp of cumin. Turn the heat down on the bulgur until it has soaked up all the liquid and is soft. If all the liquid is gone and it is still a little hard, added more water as needed.

In a separate pan I sautéed chopped onions and peppers and cooked the sausage.

After the bulgur was cooked all the way through I mixed in the sautéed veggies and sausage and served it with a little shredded cheese on it.


Susan, from Susan's Story Corner sent in this big pan of comfort food! Now, this is MY kind of comfort! You can see a photo of her creation here.

I had a can of black beans, corn, and a can of Progresso Santa Fe style soup. i heated some olive oil and garlic in a pan with some chili powder, dumped in the soup, corn, and beans and heated up. i served with some chedder cheese (technically from the fridge, not the pantry) :)

Susan, if you could email me your address, I'll get your ornament sent right out!

Thanks again everybody for participating. Lots of good stuff hiding in those pantries!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

It's So Hard to Say Goodbye

I'm sorry I've been silent this past week, but I just haven't been able to muster the energy to post anything.

My little dog Molly---the one I named my blog address after---is dying, and I'm just heartbroken.

Last summer she started limping. She was getting arthritis in her back legs and spine. It's not really common in Yorkies---but is something that many wiener dogs get as they age. The vet prescribed a round of steroids and they fixed her up just fine for awhile. We had to taper them off to every other day because she has an enlarged heart.

During the last month or so, she stopped eating every other day, corresponding to the times we gave her steroids (they make you hungry). We tried everything---different kinds of canned food with caloric supplements, etc, but she turned her nose up at everything. We started hand-feeding her chicken and turkey a few times a day on the off days---but that only lasted awhile. She completely gave up dog food, and only let us hand feed her sporadically.

A couple of weeks ago we noticed that she had gone completely silent. Always a very verbal dog (whining, yapping, brrrring), it was very disturbing, to say the least. She was still running around--albeit very stiffly--and getting in the middle of everything, but not a peep out of her.

Last week I noticed that her right hind leg wasn't holding her weight and curving underneath her body. She was still getting around, but falling down once in awhile. She didn't seem to be in any pain, and was still eating, so I made a vet appointment, but couldn't get her in for a week.

Hubby was out of town last week for a few days. Molly stopped eating, although she was drinking some water. I tried to hand-feed her---first bits of chicken and turkey, and finally macaroni and cheese. Her tongue kept frantically licking it, and I realized that she couldn't open her mouth. I called the vet and they were able to see her on an emergency basis.

Bottom line---not only has the arthritis progressed rapidly in her spine and back legs, but her right hip won't stay in its socket. She seems to have neurological problems---her reflexes weren't working. I guess on the plus side---she's not feeling any pain because of those neurological problems. The vet thoroughly manipulated that hip and not a flinch or a peep out of her. She just lay passively, unable to get up.

I sobbed through the entire visit, because I knew what the vet would say. With all of the issues, she recommended euthanasia.

I begged the vet to tell me I could take her home, since she wasn't in any pain, just until Hubby could get home and be there. He would be devastated if he couldn't say goodbye, and I needed him to be with me when we put her to sleep. She told me that she didn't think Molly would make it through another couple of days, but doubled her steroid dose and gave me some pain medication with vitamins.

Right after I brought her home, I called Hubby on his cell and left him a message. Don't call me on the road, call me when you make a stop. Of course he called me right away and demanded that I tell him everything. He cried like a baby (gotta love a tender man).

About 10 minutes after I got off the phone, Molly came out of her carrier and started running around. No kidding. She went in the kitchen and pushed her bowl around, like "Hey! Where in the hell is my dinner?"

She still couldn't manipulate her jaw, so my good friend who's staying with us and I were able to feed her baby food with a syringe. Molly just ate it up. And after the double dose of steroids and the pain meds, she's been making her rounds through the house with hardly a hitch in her giddyup, although she's been running into walls and stuff head-first.

Hubby made it home in time. Molly's been somewhat peppy, interacting with the other dogs and us. We've been feeding her every three hours around the clock. It's hard to contemplate putting her down when she seems to have rallied a bit.

She definitely has neurological issues, and this isn't a cure. We don't want her to suffer. So in the next couple of days, we're going to take her to the vet and put her to sleep. My little puppy.

This morning at about 3am, I was holding her in my arms and telling her how much I loved her and how I was going to miss her. She turned her little face to me and gave me one single yap. Later in the day when Big Kid and Kitty came for Sunday dinner, the kid was holding her and she did the same thing with him.

You brought so much joy to my life, Little Girl. Gonna miss you something fierce.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Showing Your Ass

Ever have one of those days where you just embarrass yourself over and over? In my neck of the woods, acting stupid and embarrassing yourself is called "Showing Your Ass".

I've been busier than busy this last week---a dear friend is arriving this weekend to spend some time with us, so we've been picking the place up and getting a room ready for her. The craft studio is facing our busiest time of year---we've got shows to show up for, merchandise to sort, orders to fill, etc. Next week, weather permitting, we're having a mini-family reunion. Relatives from Australia, Maryland and other states will be here, and my mom has arranged that we all have lunch at my house. LOL

So yesterday at about 3:30am, I woke up with a major squawk.

I forgot my mom's birthday. Totally freaking forgot it.

It wasn't a few days ago---it was TWO WEEKS AGO!


Now I'd spoken to her at least twice in the meantime, and she never said a word. WTF was up with that?


As soon as the florist opened, I ordered a big honking bouquet and signed it "much love from your bad, forgetful daughter".

She called me a couple of hours later, overwhelmed by the truckload of blooms that were wheeled into her house. I apologized over and over.

Then she made an admission. She didn't say anything in our conversations about my forgetting her birthday, simply because she knew that I'd NEVER forget her birthday, and was afraid that I'd sent a bouquet, and the card the florist might have left in the screen door had blown away.

Because she'd been spending the majority of her days and nights at her 86-year-old beau's house and wasn't home. Snarf.

She was waiting for me to say, "did you like my flowers?", whereas she wasn't going to come out and admit that she "lost" them outright. Hahahahaha!

Between the time of ordering the flowers and getting the call from my mom, I showed my ass again in a really big way (when it rains, it pours).

Since Big Kid's illness, he calls me a lot during the day. Sometimes he calls 16 times a day. He has a compulsive disorder and an anxiety disorder, so frequently he has to call me when something freaks him out and he needs to get calmed and grounded. Sometimes he has to call me because he has to tell me something utterly trivial (he got to level 10 on some game). Needless to say, it's very disruptive when I'm trying to work.

We've been working with his cognitive therapist to cut down the calling times. Big Kid made a deal with Hubby---Hubby bought him a new computer system with the proviso that he'd cut his calls down to 2 a day unless there was a spurting stump involved.

So he's been making his 2 calls a day. Or what he surmises is his 2 calls a day. If I don't answer immediately, he won't leave a message. He'll just call six more times in a row, over and over and that counts as "one" call.

As if I'll suddenly materialize to answer the phone, since I haven't the first 5 times.

We've been joking that there's some kind of psychic connection because he always calls at the most inconvenient moment.

Like when I'm pooping. Or taking a bath. Or when I'm pooping. Or running up to the top of the road to get the mail. Or when I'm pooping. Or when Hubby and I have a child-free moment and are making the most of it. Or when I'm pooping. Since I actually only poop about once a day (I KNOW!! TMI!!!), it's amazing that he can specifically target this time to call me, since it varies.

All day long I'm home and near the phone, but never a call from anybody unless I'm tied up with the above. Usually pooping. I don't take the phone into the bathroom with me because, well...that would be gross.

Yesterday, after I called in Mom's bouquet, I was um---visiting the facilities when the phone rang. It rang 4 times, and then hung up when the machine picked up. Then rang again. Oh bother.

I hurried the best I could, but couldn't make it to the phone in time. Nothing like the anxiety of an incessantly ringing phone to make it all crawl back up there.

The caller hung up instead of leaving a message. Then the phone rang again. I looked at who was calling and it said "646" which is the first three digits of Big Kid's new phone number (due to his recent obsession with cell phones, the number changes every few weeks).

Exasperated, I pushed the "answer" button and bellowed, "How come the only time you call me is when I'm in the middle of taking a big huge crap?"!!!!

The voice on the other end of the line: Hello?

Me: Big Kid?

Other Guy: Uh, no, this is Erik, Little Guy's van driver. Who's this?

Me: I'm afraid to tell you.

Oy. Yes, it was embarrassing. Yes, I think Erik was wondering if he should actually RETURN Little Guy to the crazy woman with a potty mouth.

What a day! Even my ass is blushing.

Thank you to everybody who responded to my Pantry Challenge. I'll get everything up sometime next week!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Am I the ONLY Person Who Has a Bunch of Crap in My Pantry?


C'mon guys, there's 2 more days for the Real Pantry (I almost wrote Panty there, wouldn't that be revolting) Challenge.

Send me something! I mean something edible! LOL

Rules Here.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Parenting---It's Not for Sissies

When the Aspiring Adult graduated from high school, we made the same deal with him that we made with our other kids. As long as he wanted to continue his education, we'd pay for it. We don't want him to start his life saddled with student loans. When he's figured he's had enough, he just needs to say so, and that's it.

Considering that his circumstances are different than with our other two boys (neither one of them can drive), we offered to let him stay here expense-free so that he could save up his money. The only caveat is that he had to follow the house rules, of which there are only a couple.

1). No phone calls on the house phone after 9pm. Call us old-fashioned, but both Hubby and I were raised to believe that is rude. No call late at night is a good call. It usually means a loved one is ill or there's been an accident. People who know us don't call us after 9pm. At least not more than once. ;-)

2) We have a curfew. 10pm on weekdays and 12pm on weekends. It's ok to call to let us know if you're running late, just call (one exception to the no phone calls after 9 rule). We have 4 very noisy dogs who go apeshit with people coming and going in the house, and since MOST of us have to be up very early in the morning, it's unfair to wake us in the middle of the night.

3) This is not a hotel. We know you have a busy social life, but you still have to come by once in awhile and stay long enough to take care of business. Meaning, the dryer is not the place to store your clothes, and we're not your bitches. Since you're here long enough to mess up the bathroom, you get to come home and clean it from time to time. Oh, and we'd like to see your face at dinner at least once a week.

Hubby and I are not ogres, but we expect the few rules we have to be followed. The Aspiring Adult seems to think differently. He argues that he is now a man and can do whatever he wants.

We counter with, "Of course you can, you manly man. When are you planning on moving out and supporting yourself like a REAL adult?"

So since graduation, needless to say, we've been having some issues.

I don't know if it's because he's been in and out of foster care for a good part of his life, or being a teenager, or having a character flaw, but the Aspiring Adult seems to have a need to feel like he's "getting one over on us".

For example:

One morning Hubby woke up and found that the kid's car wasn't in the driveway. Didn't he come home last night? He went out to get something from his vehicle and noticed that the kid had parked across the street in the driveway of our neighbor's vacation home. WTF was up with that?

He called down the stairs and told the Aspiring Adult that he'd have to move his car, because it was Saturday, and the neighbor's relatives from the city often came and stayed the weekend and would be a bit put out to find his car there. The kid came up, moved the car (backed it down to the side of our house, which was also odd), came in, took a shower and said he was leaving for work. Hubby came outside to catch him sneaking a girl out of the basement. ;-)

Now here's the rub. We don't actually care that he had a girl here, as long as he doesn't make a habit of it. They're both over 18. The girl lives about an hour and a half away, and after their date it would have been a three-hour round trip to take her home and he said he was too tired to make the drive. We understand that. In fact, we'd have preferred they stay here, because we worry about him falling asleep at the wheel.

AND HE KNOWS THIS. He could have brought her in and out the front door. So why all the sneakiness?

Because he enjoys it.

All summer, he's been coming in at curfew, telling us good night, and then going out the basement to hang out with his friends until the wee hours. Some of the time he's been caught, and is completely unrepentant. It wouldn't be an issue if he told us that he was going to stay at a friend's house all night. He could just stay out. We don't require that he tell us who he's staying with or where he's going, so really it's a non-issue. We explain this over and over and he gets it.

He just enjoys being sneaky.

Since he totaled his car, we found out that the week before he had received a ticket for going 60 miles per hour through a stop sign. He is going to lose his driver's license, most likely for a year (he doesn't seem to think so, but then again, he's young and foolish). When we found out, we took him off our insurance as an authorized driver of our cars, because our rates were going to double. Plus, since he's turned out to be such a bad driver (went through two cars in less than a year), we don't want him anywhere NEAR our vehicles.

As a consequence to all that, and since he is a man and all, it is his responsibility to get himself to and from work. If his schedule happens to coincide with times that Hubby and I have to be in town, it's all well and good. If not, then he has options. He could catch a ride with a friend. He could walk a half mile down the highway and catch the bus. He could ride his bike. He could pay for a cab.

Not very palatable options, but options all the same. What isn't an option is expecting ME to be his personal chauffeur. I've done that for years with the other kids, since they can't drive. NOT going to do it for someone who pissed away his license by making a lot of bad choices.

Anyhoo, last week Hubby did what he frequently does---ate a bunch of crap before going to bed. He woke up with heartburn at about 2:30am and went in the kitchen to get some Tums. As he was heading back to bed, lights flashed through the living room window. A car was coming down the driveway.

My car.

Except I was asleep in bed and he knew this because he tried to play footsie with me.

That little shit.

Hubby confronted him, took the keys, and told him we'd deal with it in the morning. In the morning he was so furious that he asked me to deal with it and went to work.

At 8am I woke the kid up (like I was going to let him sleep until noon?). It went like this:

Aspiring Adult: I don't see what the big deal is.

Me: You stole my car!

AA: It wasn't stealing!

Me: Is your name on the title? No. Did I give you permission to use my car? No. That is called stealing.

AA: No it isn't.

Me: Then what would you call it?

AA: I borrowed it.

Me: Borrowing is when you ask someone's permission to use their stuff. Did you ask? No. It's not borrowing, it's stealing.

AA: I don't see what the big deal is. Cars are meant to be used by ALL the drivers in the house, including me. (Is he freaking KIDDING me?)

And round and round we went. I told him he was grounded for a month. When he wasn't at work, he was to be at home. He could continue to stay up all night if he wanted, but if he thought he'd be sleeping in until noon on his days off, he had another think coming. If he didn't have schoolwork to do, I'd find something for him to do. For a month he was going to be MY bitch.

AA: No. I'm a man and you can't ground me.

Me: Then there's the door. Use it. Now.

AA: I don't have to leave.

Me: Look at it this way. You WANT to leave. We allowed you to stay here contingent on a few rules. You've thumbed your nose at them time after time. The only conclusion I can reach is that you no longer want to live in our house. I am supporting YOUR decision. Door. Out. Now.

AA: How am I going to get into town?

Me: You have a phone, and you have feet. You're such a smart guy, I'm sure you can figure it out. Call us when you find yourself a place and you can come get your stuff.

So he left. I felt horrible about it, but there's only so much you can do. Our home is our haven and we don't want to have to lock up our keys and our valuables (we found out with Big Kid that someone who is willing to steal isn't often picky about WHAT they steal). The fact that the Aspiring Adult had completely justified the stealing of my car in his own mind was pretty disturbing.

And before anybody accuses me of being a heartless, rotten person let me say that the Aspiring Adult has a cell phone, a job, a savings account and a couple of credit cards. He knows how to rent a hotel room. He has skills. It's not like I tossed a puppy out of moving car.

He didn't speak to us for a few days. We called and left messages asking him if he was alright and if he needed anything. We drove around town looking for inexpensive places to rent that are in walking distance of his job. We did NOT call and ask him to come back. That ship has sailed.

However, as long as he stays in school and maintains a C average, we'll continue to pay for school and help him out a bit financially if he needs it. He's welcome to come over to do his laundry, get some groceries, and call us if he's in trouble. We love him and he's our guy.

And now he gets to find out what being a man is REALLY all about.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Celebrating a Friend---it's Kim Ayres' Day!

Kim Ayres is one of the first people I met in blogland. I don't remember how I found him, or how he found me, but for the last 4 1/2 years or so I've been fortunate enough to be able to enjoy his writings.

When Debra contacted me about International Kim Ayres' Day, I thought it was a fantastic idea. What a great way to celebrate the friend we've all come to know as a man, a husband, a father and finally an incredible artist! Please drop by and wish him a happy day!

The world would be a much less colorful place without you, dear Kim. I'm grateful to know you. Have a wonderful birthday!

P.S. I'd send you a haggis, but I think that would be just plain cruel.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The REAL Pantry Project

One of the (snarf) bonuses to having an AOL account is the Welcome Screen. It's there to tell us what's hot, what's not, and still employs the same unimaginative dorts that think that putting "Iconic" in 20 headlines at a time is "new and edgy and relevant".

The latest thing that has caught my eye is "The Pantry Project", hosted by Kitchen Daily and features the creations of chef Gail Simmons. It's supposed to incorporate crap you've got sitting in your pantry into gourmet culinary masterpieces.

While her recipes look splendid, I found myself snorting at the "pantry" ingredients.

I think I'm a regular mom (ok, I'm going to say a United States mom. Don't want to offend anybody outside of my postal zone. US moms don't usually stock stuff like Vegamite or kippers or dried shrimp with the eyeballs still on in our pantry). Other than my forays into some international cuisine, my pantry is full of regular old crap staples and products that didn't fly with the guys in my house.

Many of the "pantry" ingredients called for in these recipes are laughable, unless you're squatting in Martha Stewart's kitchen.

I mean who REALLY has stashes of:

Imported tuna in oil (I buy whatever is on sale. Is Bumblebee tuna inferior to imported or what?)

Coarsely cracked balck pepper (What in the heck is balck pepper? Ok, I'm being snarky. I think she meant black pepper). I have regular pepper. The kind that comes out of a shaker.

1 bunch hydroponic watercress, trimmed but long stem still attached (seriously?)

Applewood smoked bacon (uh yeah)

Sriracha (wtf?)

Preserved Lemons (another wtf?)

Do any of you have stuff like this languishing in your cupboards (unless you're Rootie or Werner)? It seems that you just have to go out of your way to buy crap you'd never buy normally unless they're for a specific recipe.

Not really stuff you'd have just sitting around.

The Aspiring Adult came home the other day and raved about the baked apples he had at a girl's house. Asked if I could make them.

Thinking about all random stuff I had in the fridge and pantry, I said "sure, why not?"

Baked Apples

5 apples, diced---3 of them have been stuck in the back of the fridge since sometime in August, because the doods in my house eat the new stuff first. I suppose I should rotate the fruit and put the old stuff in front, but I always forget. I left the skins on, but cut out the bruised spots.

1/2 a cup of butter, margarine, fake bakeable butter, whatever you got going, chopped into chunks or spoonfuls and dropped randomly in the bottom of a small casserole dish.

2 teaspoons cinnamon sprinkle all over and toss the apples

1/2 cup brown sugar, light, dark, doesn't really matter. Mine was dry and solid, so I pounded it into chunks and threw it in.

2 tablespoons (or to taste) white sugar or splenda sprinkled all over.

A couple of granola bars---I used the crunchy kind. They've been sitting in the pantry forevah---since the guys suddenly decided they only like the chewy kind which I think was a year or so ago. Break them up and mix the pieces in with the apples.

5 caramel squares that have been sitting in the back of the cupboard for (dare I say it) at least a couple of years when I attempted to make caramel apples from scratch (big mess, nasty result). They are rock hard.

Bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees. At about the 30 minute mark, take out and stir.

This dessert turned out so well that while I was down here writing it all up, those boneheads ate the majority of it. When I came upstairs, there were like 2 tablespoons left.

The REAL Pantry Project Challenge

I challenge any reader to go through their pantry and whip up some creation. Can be just about anything...entree, dessert, appetizer, etc.

Send to me via email

A picture of it
The text of the recipe explaining where the ingredients came from, why you bought them originally, and why they are sitting around in your pantry
A link to your blog
The deadline is Nov. 1st

A can of ancient tomato soup with crusty goldfish crackers, or a box of Tuna Helper with a can of peas don't count.

I'll post them on this blog and send the first five entries a fantastic ornament from our Collaborative Craft Studio (due to availability it will be my choice).

Get cookin' Snookins'!

Monday, October 04, 2010

It's a Bumpy Road to Adulthood

Oh golly, what a weekend.

Haven't talked a whole lot about the Aspiring Adult lately. He's been busy working two jobs and taking a couple of classes online (His second job wouldn't give him a regular schedule until he'd been there for 3 months, and he didn't feel comfortable scheduling classes he might not make). So far he's got A's in everything.

If you all remember, when he turned 18, we provided him with a pretty nice car for his use, intending to sign it over to him when he started college. He blew out 2 engines in less than 6 months. The first time was because he ignored or didn't know what the oil light was for, the second was because he thought he could treat the car like an off-road vehicle.

We refused to replace the engine the second time, so he had to use some of his savings to buy a beater he could get around in.

Everything's been pretty smooth with that (except he got a speeding ticket).

Yesterday we invited Big Kid and Kitty up for the day. Big Kid was going to watch football with his dad, and Kitty was going to help me sort through some merchandise we're getting together for a large order the studio received. Then we were going to do the big Sunday dinner thing.

I heard the Aspiring Adult's alarm go off at about 6a.m. down in the bat cave. He's very responsible about getting himself up and out of the house for work, so I figured he had an early shift. I was in and out of the main part of the house and didn't see him leave.

Early evening, he hadn't come home or called, and I was getting a bit annoyed. If he's not coming home for dinner, I expect a call for courtesy's sake, and he's not always so good about that. So I called him on his cell. He didn't answer, but called me back about 5 minutes later.

"Are you coming home for dinner?" I asked.

Uh, I'm in my room.


I've been here all day. Something happened, and I didn't know how to tell you guys about it.

"But your car's not here." Uh oh. No car. Not good.

"First of all, are you ok?" I can't believe we're having this conversation on the phone, fer petesakes, when he's one floor below me.


"Were you drinking and driving?"


What happened was this:

He got a call at about 1am from a girl in the crowd he hangs out with. Not his girlfriend. She's still in high school, and was supposed to be spending the night at a friend's house. She had another guy friend who she feared was depressed and had taken some prescription drugs. Would the Aspiring Adult come pick her up and take her to his house so she could check on him?

Instead of doing the logical thing, like telling her if she was THAT worried, she should call 911, or maybe her own parents, he sneaked out of the house (his curfew is midnight unless other arrangements have been made) and went and picked her up. She didn't know the address exactly, but kind of knew where the house was.

So those two fools drove around in the mountains in the middle of the night, where there are NO streetlights, and most of the homes are set way back from the road and you can't see the house numbers. They got lost. Unfamiliar with the terrain, the Aspiring Adult took a curve too sharply, clipped a tree...

And rolled the freaking car.

Thank GOD they had their seatbelts on.

The girl had a bruised chest from where the seatbelt held her in, and went to the hospital in an ambulance. Her mother tried to have the Aspiring Adult arrested, but since her daughter was the one who initiated the whole event, the police refused. There were no drugs or alcohol involved, so he got off with a reckless driving ticket and a totaled car.

And Hubby will get an escalated insurance rate for the next 10 years.


Oh, and the kid who supposedly took too many drugs? He's fine. Apparently he didn't really take anything after all.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Got my rantypants on. LOL I know I do it from time to time, so wallow in it with me, or run far far away.

I'm ranting about Doods. The Doods in my house. Yes, other than the dogs, I am the onliest female in my home, and I don't always understand what in the heck they are thinking.

So somebody help me out.

Pillsbury refrigerated Molten Lava Brownies (2 to a box) were on sale and I had coupons so I bought 4 boxes. All the same. They were stacked neatly on the right side on the top shelf of the fridge.

I wake up in the morning and there are two boxes open with a brownie taken out of each.

What were you thinking? That if you took the second brownie, you'd have to actually walk 3 steps to the garbage can and throw out the box? That the person who takes the first brownie gets a bigger brownie and the other is like, inferior?

WTF is up with that? Just wondering.

Out of all the Doods in my home, there is ONE who leaves the toilet seat up (in my opinion). He has his own bathroom, which is off of our bedroom, and his seat is always up. I don't care...if I have to run to the john in the middle of the night, I already KNOW to check the seat position in the dark. It's his space, I don't complain.

But I frequently go to bed early to read, get up from time to time, and go to MY bathroom and find the seat up.

I accuse the perp and tell him to stay out of MY bathroom, and he blames the other males in our house. I happen to know that they are sitting pee'ers (at least in MY bathroom), but he continues to accuse them.

So I write a really nasty note and tape it to the backside of the seat. About not being such a pig and putting the $#@%$$ seat down.

Guess who gets all offended by it? Not the sitting pee'ers. They've never seen it, because they don't lift the seat up.

WTF is up with all that? Just Wondering.

I don't wear your baseball caps, don't wear your sunglasses, don't use your IPOD cords, can't remember the last time I used your wallets or car keys.

Yet in the morning when you can't find them, a couple of you run around screaming and cussing that somebody "MUST" have moved your shit, because you ALWAYS leave it "insert location".

When I suggest you check the pants/coat/car floor that you used the night before and you find your lost shit, you act like somebody has played a malicious joke on you just to mess up your day.

WTF is up with that? Just wondering.


When I insist it's your turn to do the dishes, and that as good as our dishwasher is, you have to actually soak and scrub some of the dried crap off, you complain about the grossness of the knives and spoons that have been dipped in peanut butter and not immediately washed off. Yes, it turns white and gluey. Yes, it's gross. And yes, you all do it, and expect somebody else to deal with it after you toss it in the sink.

You laugh your heads off when a person describes a fart so enormously wet and windy that it left a couple of corn kernels in his shorts (gah!), but go weak at the knees when you have to touch a spoon that had somebody else's mouth on it.

WTF is up with that? Just wondering.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Crack My Sh*t Up

Ok, truth time here.

Way before it was legal in some states, Hubby used to smoke pot once in a while. He did it as a teen and young man, not so much as he got older. He suffers from migraines, and tried to quit once he could get the migraine meds in a personal shot form some years ago. Didn't work very well at first, and our family doc basically said, "you might want to rethink quitting altogether", simply because he went from one or two migraines a year to one or two a month.

He was committed to quitting because number one, he didn't want to be a hypocrite when we preached "no drugs" to Big Kid (who had and still has absolutely no idea that his dad was smoking pot---he thinks Hubby's a square old fuddy-duddy). Number two is that I am very VERY allergic to something that is in pot.

I have stood in line next to people in Blockbuster or the grocery store who have residue in their hair or their clothes. Just from being near them---my eyes start to get itchy and burny, my sinuses and throat start swelling up. I haven't been to a concert in nearly 20 years. Hubby never smoked it in our home, changed his clothes when he got home and does his own laundry. So the impact on me was minimal. But he quit for good about 8 years ago.

What really ticks me off is that Big Kid was denied Social Security disability benefits a couple of years ago because he told the judge that he smoked pot once in awhile. He has a severe mental illness where self-medicating is the norm and told his doctors that the only time he felt emotionally "normal" was when he was high. He was denied benefits because the judge felt that he wouldn't be bi-polar (or have a panic disorder) if he wasn't smoking pot (although 4 professionals, including their OWN stated that he was very ill and needed assistance).

A year later, our state voted to make medical marijuana legal. :::sigh::: Of course now it's moot, because the kid can barely breathe, much less smoke a doob to make himself feel better.

In our little burg, we now have 2 medical marijuana dispensaries. And now that it's fairly easy to get a card for medicinal purposes, it's been a real eye opener as to how many of our friends and associates (most of them very conservative people) used to be closet pot-heads. Well they aren't in the closet now! I've never met so many people with sciatica in my life. You'd think they all migrated to our town like wounded birds for the healing mountain properties.

The closest dispensary is on the main drag in town, and advertises itself as a "spa and wellness center". It was there for 6 months before Hubby clued me in. I had no idea!

Since it's football season, Hubby and I changed "My day" (I insist that he reserve one day a week for me. Just for me. He works so much and has so many commitments with his other activities during the week that we hardly see each other) from Sunday to Saturday. Yesterday we decided to drive down into the big city and look at used cars. My 18-year-old Caddy is getting long in the tooth and we figured it might be time to trade it in before it falls apart.

We drove past the "spa" and there were a few cars in the parking lot.

"OMG!" exclaimed Hubby. "That's Fred's car!"

Fred? Who the fluck is Fred?

"He's the guy that does my business cards." And then Hubby picked up his cell phone, punched in a number AND CALLED HIM!

"Fred, my man! Getting the big bag of ganja for the weekend, Dood?" (in his best teenage stoner voice)


There was some mutual chuckling and they signed off.

"He said he was dropping off business cards. Uh huh. He doesn't personally deliver them to anybody else."

What the heck was that all about?

Apparently the boys (I'm not going to say men, because this is about as juvenile as it gets) in our small town recognize each other's cars. Maybe it's a guy thing, because I wouldn't know what the manager at the supermarket drove even if he ran over me. And every time they see somebody they know parked in front of the "spa", they all call whoever it is up for a serious ribbing. Really!

I don't get it. A little farther down the mountain, there is an "Oriental Massage" place with visible parking that's been there for about 10 years. As far as I know, they don't call each other up and ask if they got a happy ending. ;-)

This "ribbing" stuff has gotten so prolific that a friend who works in the local gubment called the establishment NEXT DOOR to the "spa" and told them that if they wanted her continued business they would have to deliver, because there was no way in hell that she'd ever park her candy apple red roadster anywhere near the pot place. LOL

I guess these guys have found their "inner child". What a bunch of boobs.

Cracks me up.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Lions, and Tigers, and Bears! Oh My!

After racing home from work yesterday so as to not miss even a single second of Monday Night Football, Hubby did a bad bad thing.

He forgot to close the garage door to protect his beloved vintage car. You know, the one he can only drive for about 4 months out of the year because it doesn't do very well on snow and ice.

This morning he woke to find muddy paw prints on the hood. Apparently a bear came to check out the place for some goodies (thank GOD Monday was trash day, so the cans were empty) and climbed over the front of his car.

What it DID find was an industrial-sized jug of super hot sauce. The destroyed jug with teeth marks was in the front yard. LOL

That little piggy prolly went WEE WEE WEE all the way home!

Oops. Wrong fairy tale. ;-)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

This and That

We got the results of Big Kid's sleep study. He's doing ok and doesn't need the Bi-Pap to breathe any more...just needs to sleep with his oxygen mask. We were at our family doc's office when we got the results. He was pretty surprised that the tonsillectomy gave the Kid enough room to breathe, because he was convinced that the boy was suffering from sleep apnea.

Out of curiosity, he accessed the med records from the hospital and was surprised (as were we) that not only did the ENT remove the Kid's tonsils and adenoids, but part of his palate as well.

Although the results are obviously great, I'm more than a little annoyed. I spoke with the surgeon before and after the surgery, and at no point did he mention removing any part of Big Kid's palate. I went over EVERYTHING the kid signed when he was out of it before signing off prior to surgery, and there was no mention of it in there as a course of treatment.

I feel a little guilty. Although having a tonsillectomy as an adult can be pretty painful, we limited the amount of vicodin the kid was getting (he's been known to drug-seek) and weaned him off as quickly as possible. Having part of your palate removed is a much bigger deal, and I would have been more understanding about the amount of pain he was in. Grrr.

Little Guy has been accepted to a fantastic new program down in the big city. It's a culinary college for people who have disabilities. They even have a working restaurant! He'll be able to take classes in all aspects of the food industry so that he'll get a chance to decide which part jazzes him the most as a future career. As most of you know, he's already a budding chef who has interned at a few places in the last couple of years.

It's a private "college", not state owned, so it's expensive. Hubby and I were planning on taking out a student loan for him, but I was able to secure a grant and transportation to pay his expenses. He's so excited and so are we!


You ever wonder how in the world some authors ever come to be published? Gah!

A used bookstore down in the city runs a 200 books for $100 deal. The caveat is that you have to rummage through humongous packing crates to find your books. They're not catalogued or separated. Me and the boys (gotta have boys to haul the books, you know) spent a few hours down there on a day that was SUPPOSED to be cool, but ended up being 91 degrees outside, and prolly 10 degrees higher inside the warehouse.

I managed to get 100 finally, and talked them into letting me come back on a cooler day to search for the rest. I had to toss aside about a zillion Dr. Phil books (I've never read him, but I wonder why nobody wants to KEEP them), textbooks and self-help books to find goodies. Even so, I threw in about 20 by authors I've never heard of, but looked promising.

Yikes. I'm kinda sorry I did.

The first one started out pretty good. A couple of murders in a small southern town that hasn't had a murder in years. Young sheriff, hunky but a little inexperienced, sexy female FBI agent coming to town because she suspects that the murders are the work of a serial killer who has killed elsewhere.

Ok, I'm on board. It's got me hooked.

Until about the 4th chapter when it comes out the hot FBI agent is a robot from the future.

Blech. Can't suspend my disbelief on that one. I'm out.


Hubby and I decided to take the Activia Challenge. Well, no, not really. It was on sale and I had coupons so I bought a bunch of 4-packs for 88 cents. We like yogurt, and I don't think Hubby and I get enough calcium on a daily basis since neither one of us are really milk drinkers. We've been snickering about the "Bifidous Regularis" for ages----is that even a real word? There's a friendly bacteria that makes you doody?

Well it didn't have much effect on Hubby, but he's always been regular anyway. First cup of coffee in the morning sends him to the john with the New Yorker tucked under his arm. Me, on the other hand---I've always been sporadic at best.

Until I met Activia, that is. Yes, it made me regular. At 2 O'CLOCK IN THE FREAKING MORNING FOR 4 DAYS IN A ROW!!! Every night I woke up feeling like I had an out-of-control freight train full of logs barreling down the old Eisenhower tunnel. It was so bad that I was afraid that if I inadvertently ripped butt in my sleep, I'd wake up in a puddle of my own shrapnel. Yuck. That was it for me.

So how was YOUR week?

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Now on to Switzerland!

Every time we go to European Cuisine (not it's real name)---the place of my infamous depantsing---I order the same thing. Zurich-style veal. Yumm.

After another trip to the restaurant recently, we realized that the 3-hour wait for your meal is de rigueur, because the darn place was practically empty.

I guess they round up the baby cows and kill them on the back porch while we're waiting for the sommelier to stomp on some grapes. The chairs are danged hard too, and designed to give you the unbearable urge to cut the cheese (kind of like pews in church). While waiting for our meal, I had to excuse myself twice to go outside and release the barking spiders. But that's another story. ;-)

I really love this dish, but can't bear the wait, so I decided to try to make it on my own. I looked around on the web, found several recipes, and kind of combined them to make a recipe as close to what I had as possible.

I'm assuming it comes Switzerland or some other spaetzly-eating country because of the name.

Here it is:

1 pound veal (I used scallopinied veal because that's all I could order in our podunk town).
You could also use chicken breasts or thin-sliced pork steaks if you're opposed to the baby cow thing.
1 onion diced
1 lbs sliced mushrooms
flour for dredging
butter (since this recipe calls for a lot of butter, I used Smart Balance 50/50 blend)
2 tbs flour for sauce
2 tbs corn starch
white pepper
2 cups sauvignon blanc (or some other white wine)
2 cups half and half

Salt and pepper the dredging flour to taste. Dip the veal in the mixture and saute in butter. This won't take long if the cut is scallopini. Remove from pan and keep warm in the oven.

Saute the onions and mushrooms. When cooked through, sprinkle with the two tablespoons of flour. Stir briskly until absorbed. Pour in the two cups of wine, pinch of thyme, a little salt and a little white pepper. Bring to a boil while continuously stirring until it cooks down, making a brownish-gravy. Turn the heat down to low/medium.

Stir the cornstarch into the half and half until it dissolves, then pour the whole thing into the pan. Turn the heat back to medium and mix well. Let it simmer until it thickens. Taste it to make sure the cornstarch is cooked through. If it's chalkyish---you need to let it cook a bit longer. If the sauce is too thick for your taste, add a little whole milk or water to thin it out.

I wanted to make spaetzle, but it looked like a lot of work. LOL So I cheated.

Since the ingredients looked pretty much the same, I used a bag of fresh-frozen egg noodles. I boiled them per directions, then cut them up into bite-sized pieces.

Then I sauteed them in butter, nutmeg, salt and white pepper until slightly browned on the outside.

Serve with sauce on the meat, the spaetzley stuff on the side.

This is a very rich dish, and needs a salad and veggies to balance it out. I'd skip the bread course. ;-)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

First Stop---New York City!

So, we didn't actually get to go away. The last couple of years have been pretty rough financially---it's hard to own a small business in a climate that isn't friendly to small businesses.

Things have picked up in the last couple of months, and Hubby has been working 6 days a week. We decided it would be stupid to go away while the work is coming in like gangbusters. My brother has offered his services as a caregiver (he's a former EMT and since he and his girlfriend couldn't afford to get away either, they'd love to come and stay up here in the mountains for a few days) so maybe we can run away for a break in the fall.

But that doesn't mean we didn't make the most of our two weeks! Hubby and I spent late afternoons drinking wine and playing in the pool without kids, rented disgusting horror movies, and ran around nekkid and scared the dogs.

I got a chance to make some recipes I haven't used in awhile, try a few new ones, and make up some of my own too. The best part is that Hubby did the kitchen cleaning after I spent the days cooking, and we took a culinary trip around the world!

Our first stop was New York City!

Why did we stop there? Well, because that's where Barbara Walters films The View. Not that I watch it, mind you, but I really love Barbara Walters' mother's Stuffed Cabbage Roll recipe. I haven't made it in years, because it's a bit time-consuming, but oh-so-worth-it. A friend gave me the recipe when I was a new mother, but I found it online.

Plus I've been doing something kind of nutty lately (maybe will share in another post sometime) and have ended up with about 20 jars of Welch's grape jelly. Had to figure out how to use some of it up. LOL

First up, here is the recipe, which has otherwise been known as "Little Green Fart Nuggets" by the men in my family.

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

The only changes I made? Instead of pouring boiling water over the cabbage, which necessitates using two containers, I just boiled up a big pot and threw the heads in. Then I used two forks to peel back the leaves when they got soft.

The other change I made was to cut up twice the onions needed. I put some in the meat mixture, and put the rest on top (forgot to put them on the bottom until after I had already rolled the little suckers). It turned out better---at least to me---because they got nice and brown and caramelized in the sauce.

The cooking time is long---almost 3 hours, but don't skimp on it, because then the cabbage leaves will be tough.

When they're done? Sheer bliss! They are the most tender, scrumptious, luscious, juicy---ok, I better stop there. It's starting to sound like I'm describing the heroine's boobs in a Nora Robert's novel. ;-)

Serve with rice. Enjoy!

Monday, August 16, 2010

At Last!

Finally, FINALLY going to get a little R & R.

Little Guy's summer has just been awful. With Big Kid in and out of the hospital and staying here to recover, the month of July was a total bust. Couldn't invite friends over to swim (especially Hot Cutie) because of the risk of contagion, and all invitations dwindled as well. Mono has a 4-6 week incubation period, and who knew if Little Guy had caught it?

So he spent the time working and earned enough to pay for a plane ticket out to California to spend 2 weeks with his bio dad. Last week he was away at camp, and yesterday he flew on a plane by himself for the very first time. I'm so proud of him!

Tomorrow, the movers are moving Big Kid and Kitty into the mobile home. It's taken about 3 weeks, but the renovations are finally done. We ended up tearing out ALL the carpet and having tile installed in each the rooms. Although the bedroom carpets looked promising, when we pulled them back, they were very nasty underneath. We put in a new air filtration system, a dishwasher and did some cosmetic work, so the place looks pretty spiffy.

The Aspiring Adult is busy working two jobs and has a social life, so we don't see much of him. Hubby and I are going to try to spend some quality time together, and hopefully be able to get away for a few days.

Until then, I'm going to do some of the things I've been dying to do---master the art of making Chinese dumplings and pot stickers from scratch, learn to make the perfect Chili Relleno, have morning coffee in my underwear....

I'll post some pics. Well, not of me in my underwear, of course. You'd all run screaming from the room after your eyesballs exploded, and wouldn't THAT be a big drippy mess? LOL

See you soon!

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Sometimes You Just Gotta Say...

A Montana teen texted her boyfriend that she was going to crash her car into oncoming traffic in an effort to commit suicide. Shortly thereafter, going 85 mph, she crossed the center line and crashed head-on into another car, tragically killing the pregnant driver and her young son.

She was charged as an adult (17 years old) for deliberate homicide. Right now, the case is being decided as to whether she should be prosecuted as a minor or an adult.

In the meantime, she and her father are suing the estate of the VICTIM for damages, citing that the accused "suffered permanent and continuing injuries, along with mental pain and suffering and the loss of capacity to enjoy life. It cites future loss of income and past, present and future medical expenses. Winter is seeking a judgment against the defendants for damages, costs, pre-judgment and post-judgment interest and other relief deemed appropriate."

WTF? I mean seriously. "Loss of capacity to enjoy life?" Didn't sound like she was enjoying life much when she TRIED TO KILL HERSELF AND TOOK OUT A COUPLE OF OTHERS IN THE PROCESS! Gah!


In another matter, 4 guys rent a canoe to enjoy a river ride. Being dumbasses (or just being doods, take your pick), they come up with the brilliant plan to jump off a railroad trestle that bridges said river into the water.

3 guys make it. 1 does not. He was hit by a train when he tried to outrun it.

Now his mother is suing the railroad and the canoe rental company for damages.

She's suing the railroad company because they couldn't stop the train fast enough.

Uh yeah. Everybody knows you can stop a zillion tons of steel on a dime. It's a train, fer pete's sakes, not a mini cooper.

She's also suing the canoe company because they "knew or should have known" that stupid people jump off of train trestles that go over rivers so they shouldn't be renting canoes.

It seems kind of obvious that critical thinking isn't an inherited trait in that family.

As her attorney said, this was “a tragic death that could have been and should have been prevented.”

Well duh. It prolly wouldn't have happened if the victim hadn't climbed up the train trestle, ya think?



From the "That Really Takes Some Balls" department:

A guy in Seattle admired a totem pole he saw in a park. Instead of having one made for the house he was building, he convinced a crane company that he was the city arts commissioner and was having the 18-foot pole restored. So they took it down and delivered it to his house. It didn't fit in the guy's garage, so he hid it.

Took 8 months and a trip to Oregon to get that sucker back.

WTF was he thinking? WTF are any of these people thinking?

Friday, August 06, 2010


A bloggy friend sent this to me in email:

I know! I know! Straight to hell....

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Touching Base on Big Kid

Big Kid is finally on the mend again after the latest crisis.

Here is the recap:

3 times in the emergency room in a month. First trip to the ER (he was coughing up blood and couldn't breathe), was down in the city, and he was diagnosed with bronchitis. Even though they had his medical records there on hand (from his H1N1 crisis), they didn't do any swabs, blood tests or apparently scope down his throat. Sent him home with a prescription and told him to follow up with his doctor in 5 days.

Admitted to the hospital twice. First time up here at our small regional medical center, four days after going to the ER in the city, and they actually did tests in the emergency room and discovered he had Mono. And his throat was obstructed from swelling of tonsils, adenoids and lymph nodes. Kept him for a couple of days because he was really sick and couldn't breathe. Sent him home with a bi-pap breathing machine and instructions. Second time we took him down to the hospital in the city, where he got a tonsillectomy to make room for his airway.

So here is the aftermath. LOL

I was with him the day of his surgery. He was so wiped out that he was in a hospital bed with just a face-mask and completely unconscious. From the lack of sleep for 4 days or so, I thought, because he was on no medication except for his psychiatric meds. He was so out of it that he turned over and pulled the IV out of his arm and never felt it. Because he was going into surgery in about 5 hours, the nurses decided to wait until then to replace it.

We had to shake him up several times to get him to respond and sign some papers (one was the Hippa form that said the staff could share his information with me because he was an adult). At that time, I informed the nurse that Big Kid was wearing extended wear lens contacts that needed to be removed before surgery. She wrote down on his chart "lenses removed" and then somebody came in and said the surgeon was on the phone and ready to talk to me. So I went to talk to him about the procedure.

The next day in the ICU, after the surgery, the nurse said to me----"I've been reading his chart and the amount of risperdone (an anti-psychotic the kid takes) seems to be high. Can I go over it with you?"

When the kid was admitted, Hubby brought all of his pill bottles so they could write down his meds and dosages. Turns out the admitting nurse misread the risperdone dose and they were giving him twice what was prescribed. And his original dose was pretty freaking high to begin with. No wonder he was practically comatose!

The day the Big Kid was released, we waited all day for the surgeon to sign off. By 6pm, the staff ascertained that the doctor wasn't even working that day, and the on-call didn't have any orders to check the Kid whatsoever. That evening, at 8pm, on a FRIDAY night, as Hubby was checking the kid out, his nurse said, "by the way, Big Kid has MRSA. Here is a handout about it, and you need to follow-up with your doctor."

WTF? Like our doctor has office hours on the weekend?

MRSA is a antibiotic-resistant staff infection that can be deadly. The handout said that 40% of patients in hospitals catch it and that it is very contagious. It explained that people can get "colonized" with it, but not be "infected". WTF does that mean?

After a weekend of quarantining the kid to his room (such an easy task---NOT!), we went to see the doc on Monday. Yes, he had MRSA in his nose and throat. He also had a urinary tract infection. Joy. Got meds for both.

On Tuesday, it occurred to me that the Kid prolly wasn't seeing too well, and asked him if he needed help in putting in new contacts. He said he was fine.


Since the contact lenses were fairly new (in just a couple of weeks, they're 30 day lenses and expensive), we decided to let everything be, since the chance of him rolling them back to the back of his eyeballs while under general anesthetic was practically nil by now.

On Thursday, he woke up with a major oozing infection in both eyes. gah!

During this time, with all the test results, etc, it became clear that Big Kid simply cannot stay up here in our home for extended periods until his lung problems sort themselves out, if they ever do, because of the high altitude. Kitty's home, which is actually her mother-in-law's home, is not a safe place for his breathing issues because of a long-term mold problem (also, the MIL had a cat that has since died that pissed all over everything and no matter what Kitty has tried you can't get the stank out of unsealed hardwood floors unless you sand them down and seal them).

I'm NOT going to co-sign another lease for him in an apartment after the last fiasco, and we simply can't afford to buy a house or anything like that for him.

So we purchased a mobile home in a very nice park where Kitty's parents have lived for the past 25 years. During the last week we've had a crew in there customizing it for his needs (blowing the air system out, tearing out the carpet and replacing it with tile, painting, etc). It's a lot closer than Kitty's house was, so we can get there within 30 minutes if he needs us.

Kitty is going to close down the house and move with him.

We're also in the process of having an assisted-living person come in and help him when she has to work. He can't be home alone for more than a few hours at a time.

I'm just heartbroken to say that our family doc and Big Kid's Neuro-psych don't feel like he's capable of making any medical or financial decisions on his own, due to the damage incurred by oxygen deprivation to his brain.

This is something we're going to have to be thinking hard about.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Rule #15 Don't Let Hubby Take Dogs to the Groomer

With all the drama surrounding Big Kid's latest illness, I had to get Hubby and the other guys to help pick up the slack.

One of these chores was taking the dogs to the groomer to get their summer cuts. Since there are 4 dogs, I scheduled 2 one day, and 2 the next.

This is why you don't let Hubby take the dogs to the groomer. He walked out of the house with a couple of yorkies---Molly-Poo and Stinky Pete--- who looked like this:

And came back with a Chinese Crested and a Chihuahua.

Molly-Foo Young

Stinky Pedro

Guess who spent the night in the doghouse?