31 December 2008

Happy New Year

My New Year's wish for all? Good health. Economic stability. Happiness. I'm so glad I know each and every one of you. You've enhanced my life. I wish you the best in 2009.

30 December 2008

Do you recycle?

Not my usual post, but something I'm passionate about. Recycling. I'm amazed that not every single person does it. It's so easy, and makes such a big impact. I went so far as to don latex gloves after my holiday party and go through the trash. All the paper and plastic plates, plastic cups, plastic forks and aluminum foil went into recycling. I had a bin set up next to my regular trash can, so most of the bottles and bottle tops were already in it. In the end, I had two full recycling containers and many cardboard boxes full of recyclable items. There was no doubt a big party was thrown at my house. Alongside all the paper, plastic, glass and metal was one half-filled bag of actual trash. I was very proud.

My county keeps adding items that can be recycled. Everything can be thrown together in the same bin. If in doubt, recycle it--they sort. Here's a link to my county's recycling program. That's it...I'll get off my soapbox now.

It was great to be at work today. Time flew by. I loved my time off, but realize I missed talking to people. Clients are great. They're there because they want to see you. They know your life, and you know theirs. It's like catching up with friends. I'm a luckie girlie. A tired one too. Later!

29 December 2008

The party's over

Not a real party. Just all the time off I've had. Five days for Thanksgiving and five for Christmas. Lots of time at home. No swimming or walking, first because of no time with all the entertaining I did, then the knee thing. So, I've been a slug. In fact, I just finished a bowl of ice cream. The last of it. Hope Em didn't want any!

I've been putting away the Christmas stuff one area at a time. The mantle is still set up, and I'm not tired of looking at it yet. I have the empty bin nearby, so the putting away will be easy. The Christmas tree is standing, but I hardly ever go in that room. It's all almost back to normal.

Guess what we had for dinner tonight? Yup. The Pioneer Woman's pot roast. Today Emily said I should make it every week. I think she'd get a little tired of it, but I'm glad she loves it. Me too. I need to break out the cookbooks and magazines, and expand my repertoire. At least add lasagna to it.

We ventured out to the mall today. I had returns at Bath and Body Works. We exchanged. Emily had returns at American Eagle, and picked up all new stuff. I glanced at all the sour-looking moms waiting for their kids to shop, and on-purpose pasted a smile on my face. I approved of all Emily chose, thank goodness. We went to Nordstrom's so they could take off the sensor they left on her messenger bag. We set off an alarm at every store we went to! I exchanged a gift from the Apple store and got a clear iPhone case. I was limping at the end, and came home to ice.

Tomorrow it's an 11-7 day. Back to busy. Wednesday will be 10-2, then off on Thursday. I plan to go to Bon's New Year's Eve get-together, then to my parent's on New Year's Day.

And now, I'm getting into bed with my book. And ice.

28 December 2008


It's Sunday morning. The first day with no parties, no plans. I wish my knee was in perfect shape so I could go up and down the basement stairs a zillion times and put Christmas away. I know there's no rush, and it's not like I'm tired of seeing it. Yet. My knee doesn't hurt much, but it's not right. I can do things like take down all the cards, and clean up from around the Christmas tree. And who am I fooling? Of course I'll go back and forth to the basement. There's so many things I wanted to get done on my break from work, yet I can hardly account for my time. Yesterday was spent cooking, relaxing, and then going to a cousin's Hanukkah party in Bethesda. The day before was about the same...movie, cooking, spending time with Kit and then going to a get-together with my book club friends. Not much done on my to-do list in my head. I did install a new security program on my computer. That was on the list. I finally got a lot of laundry done. Today? Laundry is in. I'm straightening up. I will put away the Christmas gifts. I'm making the Pioneer Woman's pot roast. If you've never made it, you don't know what you're missing! Unfortunately, I need one ingredient, but the store is about 3 minutes from home so I can't complain. It just means I need to get out of my pajamas. I haven't seen my daughter since Christmas afternoon. Barely talked to her. She's with her father, and she's been sick. The lack of communication has been hurtful, but I have to deal with it, and I am. I haven't been lonely, just missing what I wish I had.

I'd like to go to another movie today. Maybe when Emily comes home and if she's feeling better? I still can't get Slumdog Millionaire out of my mind.

A balmy breeze is blowing here in MD. The wind chimes are singing their song. It's supposed to be in the mid-60's. Nice.

I just realized I probably have a little post-holiday blues. Plus I haven't been swimming or walking because of my knee. And I've been eating. As I was cleaning up this morning I threw away all the leftover sweets. Good-by to all those calories. Salads, here I come.

If I don't get off the couch, this day is going to slip by. Time to put on some clothes and run to the grocery store. Get the roast going. The day will unfold, and I'll embrace it. Does that sound Zen? Enjoy your Sunday, no matter what you do!

Pot Roast PS

I had the ingredient. Pot roast is in the oven and I'm on the go!

Posted by Picasa

26 December 2008

The day after

I had a wonderful Christmas. A nice leisurely morning, first alone, then with Emily. Relaxed after she went to her dad's, then off to my mother's to cut her hair. Every bit of the tinted hair is gone and she's officially gray. We think we like it. We went to my brother and sister-in-laws for a wonderfully relaxing rest of the day and evening. They were so gracious to have us again after hosting Hanukkah on Monday. I brought my laptop and cleaned it up. Talked a lot. Watched TV, etc....We had a great meal. The new sweet potato recipe I made was a success and I'd make it again. The banana cream pie was a hit as always. I came home and spent way too much time playing Labyrinth on my iPhone.

My plan for the morning? Turn on the TV and catch up on day's worth of newspapers. Send out photos. Relax. New plan? I just showered and dressed and am running out to the 9:45 AM showing of Slumdog Millionaire at Muvico theater.

What are your plans for the day?


Slumdog Millionaire was one of the most compelling movies I've seen in a very long time. It's an independent film with a limited release. If you have the opportunity to see it, don't miss out. I'm going to remember it for a very long time.

25 December 2008


It's been a great day so far. I let Emily sleep a little late. We had breakfast before opening gifts. Different from the past. No cookies and drink left out for Santa. The first year without a Christmas letter from that jolly old man. No dirt by the fireplace. No video of Emily coming down the stairs. No matching pajamas. It was time to move on. We had the traditions, and I'll treasure them, and I have years worth of videos and pictures that I can look at and remember. Time for new traditions. Emily was very pleased with her gifts. The big one was the North Face jacket. That and her American Eagle shoes, Juicy Couture necklace and Found book were her favorites. Her father got here about noon, and I took lots of pictures of them, as I do every year, and he took some of us. My plan after they left was to go to a movie before heading to my brother and sister-in-law's. After some thought, I decided to get back into my pj's, strap 2 ice bags on my knee, and relax with my laptop. I uploaded a few albums to my Facebook site, and here I am. It's just about time to put my clothes back on and head on out.

How's your day?

Happy Holidays from my home to yours

24 December 2008

122 Ho Ho HO

122. That's how many posts are new in my Google Reader. Can we say Way Behind?

I was invited to my brother and sister-in-law's for Christmas. I guess it won't be movies and Chinese after all. I made a streusel-topped sweet potato casserole and a banana cream pie. I was glad to get the invitation and it should be a relaxing day. I wonder if anyone will want to play games? I should see what I have. Emily will get picked up by her dad at about noon tomorrow and spend the day and night with him. That's the tradition. She's been at his house since this afternoon and will be coming home soon.

I was able to get an appointment to see my doctor today after work! Amazing. She sent me for X-rays. Again, amazing on Christmas Eve day. When she gets the results we'll see if I need an MRI. I'm just glad that I got the process started. I'm supposed to ice it, take 800 mg of Motrin every 3 hours, elevate it and wear a brace. I finally sat down about an hour ago. So much for taking it easy. I had to cook and wrap all the presents. I just took the Motrin. Now I need to get up and get the ice. And take this brace off. Ow.

For those of you celebrating Christmas, I wish you a joyful, stress-free day spent with your loved ones.

23 December 2008


Probably too much information, but I was so busy yesterday I had to eat my yogurt in the bathroom while peeing because I was starving and had to go to the bathroom and didn't have time to do both separately. After work I drove 32 miles to my brother's house and had a wonderful time with the family. We stayed till my bedtime :( and I fell sound asleep as soon as I got into bed.

And here it is. Time to run/limp to Borders before work to buy my calendar. Last day for the 40% off coupon. Then it's 11-7 again and just as busy. Two 11-7 days in a row kill me.

My knee is just weird. I'm limping. Can't bend it much. Slightly swollen. Now it makes a clicking sound when I bend it in an area just above my kneecap. But it hurts behind my knee too. I'm hoping and thinking it will mysteriously go away. It was OK working yesterday because I was mostly behind my chair and didn't have to walk much.

And that's it from me. Still no time to read blogs, but I'll get there.

Happpy Day!

22 December 2008

Wah, wah deux

Where's my time? It's supposed to be leisurely now. I'm still rushing around. And something really weird is going on with my knee. I didn't do anything. I squatted for a few minutes at the party, but it didn't hurt. I was fine yesterday. Now I can't walk right, can't bend it all the way, can't put all my weight on the leg. It doesn't 'hurt', just feels constricted and swollen at the same time in an area about 4" above my knee and 4" below. And I have to work today. Wah. I'm leaving straight from work tonight to go to my brother's for Hanukkah. I'll only be 2 hours late. Maybe get there in time to pick Emily up (her dad's bringing her)? I work 11-7 tomorrow too, and 9-3 on Wednesday. Still no plans for Christmas Day, but I'm really fine with it.

Pictures will be coming. Maybe on Christmas Day?

I hope you find some time to relax. I'll be relaxing at work :)

21 December 2008

Party time

The party was fabulous! Pictures and stories will follow. Time to take Emily shopping. I'll be back tonight!

19 December 2008


Anyone can do any amount of work, provided it isn't the work he is supposed to be doing at that moment. ~Robert Benchley

I shouldn't be writing. I need to be working. Making lists. Rolling spinach balls. Glittering tags for the wine glasses. Soft-scrubbing counters. Etc... I plan to take short breaks. I really do have enough time to get everything done, I just need lists to stay organized. I have the tablecloth in the washer. Once it's on the table, the serving dishes can go on. The flowers can go on. It will all be fine.

Gin pointed out that the Chillied Almonds call for unblanched almonds. I checked my package and it doesn't say unblanched. I think that means regular. That's what I use.

The cinnamon chip oatmeal cookies were a big hit at work today. If you ever see Hershey's cinnamon chips, you should buy them and follow the recipe on the package. Just a FYI.

I'm going to make a cheesecake to take to my neighbor's on Sunday. It's my mom's recipe from way back when. I remember everyone loving this cheesecake but it was only made for company. We never got more than a thin slice. Yeah, I know. I had a disadvantaged childhood. I'm excited to have the recipe and it will be my first time making it. Kelly, my neighbor, whom I've spent the last 7-8 Christmas's with is going away this year and will have her Christmas dinner on Sunday. I have no idea what I'll be doing on Christmas. I might be going to the movies and out for Chinese with all the other Jewish people. You know I'm Jewish, right? That's me, the one with the most Christmas-y house. But that's another story.

So, there's a family who lives around the corner from me. A few years ago they built a 'conservatory'. We neighbors call it the monstrosity. It's huge and out of place in this neighborhood. How they ever got it past the covenants committee is beyond us. This past summer they embarked on a huge addition. They extended their basement and built a three level deck. They built a mosaic patio that's as large as the footprint of their house. Did I mention they go all out with Christmas decorations? It's really an attraction. I walked by there yesterday and took some pictures.

Did I mention the covenants committee wrote me a letter saying I have exposed dirt under my deck?

OK...tablecloth is on. Oven is preheated and I'm out of here. For now.

18 December 2008

I didn't cry

It was my day off. That means I was busy, but busy in a measured way. I didn't swim. I'm giving that up till after Christmas. I miss it, but I just don't have the time. I woke up early. Maybe 4:30? Darn that internal clock. I stayed in bed for another hour. Emily stayed home. She had an orthodontist appointment and I knew her teeth would be hurting. I started the morning off by making three batches of Chillied Almonds. They are amazingly delicious. Take my word for it. Every year I plan to package some up in pretty bags to give as gifts. I serve them at my party and eat the rest. I buy the 3 pound bag of almonds from Sam's Club. They come out crispy and spicy and cause an addiction. I only had about 6 nuts today. I was very good.

Chillied Almonds
1 egg white
2 t red pepper flakes
1/2 t garlic powder
1 t chili powder
1 t salt
1 lb. whole unblanched almonds, about 4 cups

Combine seasonings in a small bowl and blend. Beat egg white until frothy in a large bowl. Stir in nuts and coat with the egg white. Stir in seasonings and coat nuts well. Spray a cookie sheet (jelly roll size) with Pam. Spread almonds on the prepared pan. Bake at 275 degrees about 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Cool and store in airtight container up to 3 weeks.

I was so glad I didn't make any stupid mistakes in the kitchen today. I made the Bourbon Meatball Sauce that I got from Kathy years ago. Here's part of the ingredients:

Bourbon Meatballs
2 cups bourbon
2 cans of beer
2 bottles of chili sauce
1 1/2 pounds of brown sugar

Simmer for a long time. I wound up with 6 1/2 cups of sauce after about an hour. Pour over meatballs. I used to make my own meatballs, but no more. I buy the 6 pound bag of frozen meatballs at Sam's Club. They taste as good as home made. I refrigerate the sauce till the night of the party. I went to the liquor store for the beer and bourbon. I wanted cheap beer, not the good stuff I'm serving at the party. Since I only needed 24 oz. the clerk suggested the tall can of Bud Ice. I remembered Andrew talking about Ice beer. George's beer of choice. Alcoholics buy it because it's cheap and maybe has a higher alcohol content?

I made my Chutney Cheese spread. Put together and refrigerated the ingredients for the Spinach Balls that I'll shape tomorrow. I had a brainstorm while making it. I saw something on the Today show about a woman who invented goggles to use while cutting onions. I had to mince 2 onions, which would produce a lot of tears. I wore my swim goggles! What a sight. No way you'd see a picture of that. I laugh just thinking about it. I didn't cry and will use them every time! Anyhow, I measured and put in containers all the dry ingredients for some of the other dishes I'll be making. Same with some of the wet. Did a lot of dishes!

Somewhere in there I took Emily to the orthodontist. She had her braces taken off November 2007, but her teeth are moving, especially the eye teeth. The orthodontist maintained that he thought they looked good, but wanted us to be happy. They look fantastic compared to what they looked like before braces, but I didn't expect them to move like this. His offer was to put the braces back on at no cost. She only had the top ones put on, and he used ceramic in the front. Emily's not real happy, but her boyfriend got braces and 4 teeth pulled last week, and her best friend Melissa has braces, so she's not alone. She's had a lot of soft food today.

For some reason I decided to bake cookies tonight. I have too many bags of Hershey's Cinnamon Chips. They're hard to find, and I think they only come out at holiday time, at least around here. I bought 6 bags a couple of weeks ago, then realized I had a bunch of bags from last year. I need to use them before the expiration date. I made cinnamon oatmeal cookies. Yum. I only ate 2, and I'll bring them into work tomorrow. Some people will be happy. I hope I can stay away from them.

I only work 6 hours tomorrow, and I'm off Saturday and Sunday. Next week I'll work Monday thru Wednesday. Lots of coffee days ahead.

I'm falling asleep. It's been a long day...Later!

15 December 2008

And how was your day?

It's been a day of go, go, go, I'm finally sitting down, and I know the phone's going to ring for me to pick up Emily. At least she's not far away. She's hanging out at her boyfriend's. She called to tell me they're making pizza from scratch. I said, do you mean making the dough with flour and water and all? Yes! I said that's great; you can make it at home now. No, she said. She likes the easy way. Yeah. She's a teen.

I finished all my cards yesterday, then cleaned the table. Then cleaned the house. Everything was ready for my book club. Here's some shots of the gathering...a great time was had by all.

This morning I caught up on bills and phone calls. That took a while. I mailed the cards. Then it was time to shop for an outfit for Saturday's holiday party. I had slacks I bought last year that still had the tags on. I'm like that. I took them with me and found three tops and shoes too. I'll have Emily pick the outfit when she gets home. Finding a new outfit for my party is always very stressful, but now it's done! I visited my parents. My mom had cataract surgery today that went perfectly. I went to two grocery stores to start gathering ingredients for the party. And here I am! Whew.

Emily just walked in. Yeah! I don't have to leave. Time to read blogs!

14 December 2008

Almost there

I'm hosting my book club holiday gathering today. Normally I'd be running around making sure every surface of my house was sparkling. Not so. Yet. My dining room table still looks like this, and I'd really like someone to come over and help me put it all away. Anyone?

I subscribe to www.bradsdeals.com. It's a fantastic site for finding deals. Check out the discount offered at www.restaruant.com using the bradsdeals code, just as an example. I've even gotten a discount for Uggs, and that's pretty unheard of. Just thought I'd pass that along. I just finished some online shopping. Amazon. What I'm really doing is avoiding the table. But I can't. Not if I'm going to move on. So...

Happy Sunday! I hope you find some joy today.

12 December 2008

HSH (home sweet home)

Tonight I finally gave myself 2 hours on the computer. It felt so good to be catching up. I'm not done; I think I have 48 unread posts in Reader. I'll get there. It was a crazy day at work. Just ask Bon. She was there. At one point I was doing 3 clients at the same time. Crazy. It was nice to come home to a quiet, but cold house and just chill. I need a few more hours, but alas, it's Friday night and past my bedtime for a work night. Adios.

11 December 2008


I received this e-mail today and laughed out loud through much of it. I swear I've been forwarded most of these before. Enjoy!

I just want to thank everyone for the educational e-mails over the past year...

Thanks to you, I no longer open a public bathroom door without using a paper towel.

I can't use the remote in a hotel room because I don't know what the last person was doing while flipping through the channels.

I can't sit down on the hotel bedspread because I can only imagine what has happened on it since it was last washed.

I can't enjoy lemon slices in my tea or on my seafood anymore because lemon peels have been found to contain all kinds of nasty germs including feces.

I have trouble shaking hands with someone who has been driving because the number one pastime while driving alone is picking your nose.

Eating a Little Debbie sends me on a guilt trip because I can only imagine how many gallons of trans fats I have consumed over the years.

I can't touch any woman's purse for fear she has placed it on the floor of a public bathroom.

I must send my special thanks to whoever sent me the one about poop in the glue on envelopes because I now have to use a wet sponge with every envelope that needs sealing.

Also, now I have to scrub the top of every can I open for the same reason.

I no longer have any savings because I gave it to a sick girl (Penny Brown) who is about to die in the hospital for the 1,387,258th time.

I no longer have any money at all, but that will change once I receive the $15,000 that Bill Gates/Microsoft and AOL are sending me for participating in their special e-mail program.

I no longer worry about my soul because I have 363,214 angels looking out for me, and St. Theresa's novena has granted my every wish.

I no longer eat KFC because their chickens are actually horrible mutant freaks with no eyes or feathers.

I no longer use cancer-causing deodorants even though I smell like a water buffalo on a hot day.

Thanks to you, I have learned that my prayers only get answered if I forward an e-mail to seven of my friends and make a wish within five minutes.

Because of your concern I no longer drink Coca Cola because it can remove toilet stains.

I no longer can buy gasoline without taking someone along to watch the car so a serial killer won't crawl in my back seat when I'm pumping gas.

I no longer drink Pepsi or Dr Pepper since the people who make these products are atheists who refuse to put 'Under God' on their cans.

I no longer use Saran wrap in the microwave because it causes cancer.

And thanks for letting me know I can't boil a cup of water in the microwave anymore because it will blow up in my face... Disfiguring me for life.

I no longer check the coin return on pay phones because I could be pricked with a needle infected with AIDS.

I no longer go to shopping malls because someone will drug me with a perfume sample and rob me.

I no longer receive packages from UPS or FedEx since they are actually Al Qaeda in disguise.

I no longer shop at Target since they are French and don't support our American troops or the Salvation Army.

I no longer answer the phone because someone will ask me to dial a number for which I will get a phone bill with calls to Jamaica , Uganda , Singapore and Uzbekistan .

I no longer buy expensive cookies from Neiman-Marcus since I now have their recipe.

Thanks to you, I can't use anyone's toilet but mine because a big brown African spider is lurking under the seat to cause me instant death when it bites my butt.

And thanks to your great advice, I can't ever pick up $5.00 dropped in the parking lot because it probably was placed there by a rapist waiting underneath my car to grab my leg.

If you don't send this e-mail to at least 144,000 people in the next 70 minutes, a large dove with diarrhea will land on your head at 5:00 PM this afternoon and the fleas from 12 camels will infest your back, causing you to grow a hairy hump. I know this will occur because it actually happened to a friend of my next door neighbor's ex-mother-in-law's second husband's cousin's beautician...

Have a wonderful day...

I'll write a real post tomorrow :)
I'm finished with the glitter, and amazingly, I'm not covered in it. If you work with glitter, you know it clings to everything. I did the majority of the work last night and finished up this morning. I think I'm done with the artwork. I have to score and fold the cards, stamp the greeting, paste the panel I've been working on to the front of the card, and write my message. I'd really like the cards out on Saturday. Every year I say I'm going to start in July. I'm sure I'll be saying it again next year. I'll put up a picture after I send them out.

I just put a new comforter set on my bed that I bought on the 29th. The package has been sitting on my bedroom floor the whole time. My sister couldn't believe I didn't put it on right away. Maybe I thought this would be one more comforter I'd wind up returning? I'm cleaning my bedroom this morning, so I put it on and I love it. It will look even better with the bedskirt, but I have no time for ironing, so it will have to wait. I'm looking around my bedroom, and wish someone would come over and do it for me, but, that's not happening. I'll get it done. And clean my bathroom. And go to the mall. And meet Bonnie and Karen and Kathy for lunch at 11:00. Then go to work at 12:30. Summer, I don't know where I get my energy. And I never drink caffeine on work days.

A big storm is coming our way. It'll rain all day. We might have an inch of snow tomorrow. Not much, but we had temps in the mid 60's yesterday.

OK, gotta run. Happy Thursday!

10 December 2008


I have so much to do and no time. I've done the dishes, walked 2 miles, gone grocery shopping and it's 8:40 AM. I'm going to work on glittering my cards with the 35 minutes I have before I go to work.

Did I mention I'm having a party this Sunday? And then my really big party the following Saturday night? Busy. So if you see that I'm not around, visiting you like I want, you'll know why.

Have a great Wednesday!

08 December 2008

The day

The swim was actually great. Concentrating on counting must be like meditating. Your mind is almost blank except for the task at hand, in my case: counting. There's just such a feeling of accomplishment when I finish swimming my mile. Today I said "Happy" every time I counted to a multiple of 10. Yeah, I know. Weird. I'll have to add it to a meme if I ever do one of them. My parents weren't home when I called from my car, and I decided that I'd visit my mother on Wednesday after work instead of today and take her out to dinner. Then I called Karen to tell her I was going to the stamping store around the corner from her house and that I needed fish tacos from Ram's Head. I picked her up, and went outside my box a little and had a Reuben. Delicious. We went to the stamping store afterward, then I dropped her off. I came home, and the rest of the day flew by. I worked on my cards. Probably spent an hour just cutting around evergreen sprays. Finally decorated the tree with Emily. Watched part of a movie and 2 TV shows with her. Made dinner. And here I am. Day is done, and it's time for bed. I'll spend a few minutes reading my Fine Cooking magazine, then it's lights out.

Wah, wah

I'm off, kicking and screaming, to the pool. I really don't want to go. I want to stay in my cozy house and continue working on the things that need to be done here. I don't want to drive to my parent's afterward and visit. Really I don't. But, I'm going to do it all because it's the right thing. So there. I'll just have to be extra productive when I get back home.


06 December 2008


It's early on a Saturday, and I have 20 minutes before work. I love having extra time in the morning. It's freezing outside; in the 20's. Karen, are you walking today? Brrrr. I've been wimpy and doing my inside walking DVD. Don't know if I'll ever brave the elements and walk outside when it's cold. I admire people who do. I see them and think, aren't they freezing their butts off?

I had Botox yesterday. I think the last time was in August. I've gotten so used to having the lines between my brows gone that I don't know if I can go back to how they were. Seriously, they were the first thing I saw when I looked at myself in the mirror, and I hated them. They weren't worse than what a lot of people have, and most people said they didn't even notice mine. Still, they bothered me. I'm a paying customer now, and it's expensive. For now, it's my indulgence. My guilty indulgence.

Well, time's up. Off to work to make the world a little more beautiful.

Happy Saturday.

PS. 778 = the number of posts I've written

05 December 2008

Only time for a peek

Sorry I'm behind on reading your blogs. I've been very busy. Here's a peek at what I've been doing:

Making Christmas cards

Decorating the house for Christmas

Now it's time for work. Rush, rush, rush...

Happy Friday!

04 December 2008

I'm taking a break from my cards. The computer is like a magnet. I know it's there, and I can stay away for a while, but it's like the cookies. You just want more. The cookies are gone, and I've been working hard on making my cards. I went to the aquatic center, just in time too. I got there at 10:45 and there was a sign on the door saying it would be closed from noon-3 for some sort of repair. I was dressed and out of there at 12:05. The swim was easy. I did math the whole time. To amuse myself. I think I've written about it before. On lap one I count my strokes by 1's. Lap 2 by 2's. Lap 3... you get it. I count in groups of 5 laps, so on lap 6 I start over. I swim 36 laps. The water was a little cold today until lap 9. The goosebumps went away. I was refreshed and ready for the rest of the day when I walked to my car.

I put more lights up on my deck this morning. I also bought a 100 foot outdoor cord so I could run it from my deck to the lights in front of my house. The outlet there couldn't handle the wattage and blew the circuit every time the lights turned on. I was checking out my roof, and think I'll just run some lights along the front gutter that I can easily reach with an 8 foot ladder. I won't get on the roof and don't want to pay to have it done.

I got my oil changed at Jiffy Lube. I really need my 60,000 mile service, but I was long overdue for the oil and it couldn't wait. I had some hidden money in my car, and the technician found it and brought it to my attention. It could have easily been stolen. I thanked him for his honesty. He told me my repeat business is important to them and they pride themselves on their customer service. I think I'll make a call to the manager and let her/him know about this employee's honesty.

I'm listening to Christmas music. I just love it. I'm working on my cards. And I better get back to it. Magnet, let go!

03 December 2008


I've been meaning to throw out the Vienna Fingers. Ditto with the DoubleStuf Oreo cookies. I even considered leaving them out for the poor squirrels. Well I don't have to worry about that anymore. I must have eaten them, cause they're gone. They've disappeared. I didn't know they'd wind up attached to my hips when I bought them. What kid doesn't like those cookies? What mother likes to waste food? Regrets? I have a few.

Plans for tomorrow? Going to the aquatic center, making Christmas cards and sending out party invitations. I hope that's all I do. Well, maybe fit in Starbucks. I want a low-key day, and I need to get my cards done. If I don't have your address and you'd like a card from me, send me your address. Of course I'll keep it confidential.

So, the poor squirrels? It appears we have no acorns in our region this year. NO acorns. If you're interested in the story, check out this link. I didn't realize we didn't have acorns till I read about it, and took a walk in my backyard. No wonder the squirrels have been so crazy. I'll have to do my part to make sure they don't starve.

01 December 2008

I'm feeling lucky

That's one of the edits on Picassa, and I thought it might be a good talisman for the day. And what I wrote last night about the story being funnier? Well, I'm not sure that's the right word.

I mentioned the stock I made? I cleaned every bit of 'stuff' off the turkey carcass and browned the bones in butter, along with celery and onions. It clanked as I stirred. I added 3 cups of wine and 6 cups of chicken broth and simmered it for about 2 hours. Then I strained it, and put all that goodness in the fridge. I carefully removed the fat, and had it ready to go for the soup I'd be making. So far so good.

Kit asked me to visit yesterday morning to see how organized her house was. She had a crowd of 21 for Thanksgiving and was very proud of the work she had done. I had so much to do, and it was raining, but I went, and spent longer than I planned. On the way home I bypassed the big grocery store (red seedless grapes $2.79/lb) in favor of my local one (.99 cents/lb). Emily loves them! List in hand, I was quickly frustrated. No cilantro. No ginger. No root vegetables. No plain whole milk yogurt. No wild rice. I bought what I could, then headed for another grocery store, in the rain. I found my ingredients there, but only long grain and wild rice mix and not the right kind of yogurt. Could I mix full fat sour cream and whipping cream? I thought maybe yes.

I came home and listened, along with Emily, to her audio book, Hiroshima, by John Hershey, while I cooked. I had three recipes going. I had to roast the root vegetables that would go into the Curried Turkey recipe. I had to parboil the head of garlic that would go into the roasted vegetables part-way through the roasting. I had to cook the rice that would go into the soup. Grate ginger. Mince garlic. Dice and slice many onions. Peel and cube many root vegetables. Measure flour, curry, salt. Shred 4 cups of turkey. Measure peas. Chop cilantro. I was really very organized, even though I was going back and forth between 3 recipes. I washed dishes throughout, and put them away. Everything was measured, covered, and ready to go. I had a break between all the prep work and dinner. When Emily asked for dinner, I was ready. I didn't think she'd like the curry dish, so I made her spaghetti and meatballs just in case. The turkey curry was delicious! My first time making Indian food. The sour cream/whipping cream worked! It seemed like it could have used a little more spiciness, but I'd definitely make it again. Emily tried it, but opted for the alternate. That was fine. I froze two portions and put the rest into a container for tonight's dinner. I began to wash the dinner dishes when I noticed a plastic-wrapped cup on the counter. And there was my 'spiciness': the 4 teaspoons of ginger and 4 teaspoons of garlic that I forgot, but lovingly prepared, for the recipe. The bright side was that it was still delicious without it, although I felt pretty stupid. With a clean kitchen, it was time to finish the soup. I brought the stock to a simmer, and in a pan melted 1/2 cup of butter and stirred in 3/4 cup of flour that was supposed to become smooth and bubbly as I constantly stirred it. It didn't. Finally I slowly stirred in the 2 cups of milk (I included the leftover heavy cream). That photo from last night? That's what happened. It was supposed to be a slightly thick liquid. Could the amount of flour in the recipe be wrong? I tried adding a spoonful to the stock, but it wouldn't 'melt' and just made lumps. I finally gave up and threw the mashed potato-looking mixture in the trash. I added the rice and the turkey to the stock, and it was delicious. The wine in the stock really added to the flavor. I divided the soup into 3 freezer bags, and the rest into a small container. Finally, I was done with cooking. It took the whole day! Emily decided she wanted cupcakes for dessert, so it was her turn in the kitchen.

I didn't decorate, like I planned, but we did bring the tree up from the basement and get it in the stand. I got a lot of cooking done, so it was a fulfilling day. I went to bed reading the paperback version of Emily's book, and slept like a log.

I woke up to a still-wonderful smelling house. I went downstairs and first saw the misshaped and discarded cupcakes on the counter. Then I noticed something I wished I could wish away. The three freezer bags of soup. On the counter. Not refrigerated. See them there?

They were in the previous picture too, but I didn't notice them last night. They're gone now, the contents down the drain. An ironic end to my day in the kitchen.

Here's what's on my dining room table, next to my laptop

I wonder what I'll get accomplished today? At least I don't have any cooking to do.

30 November 2008

Just stopping in to say hello cause it's time to put this day to rest. I have some stories that I'll post tomorrow--they'll be funnier then.

Not Mashed Potatoes

29 November 2008


I've been around but busy. Aren't we all? I stayed in all day yesterday. No Black Friday shopping for me. There was nothing in the stores that I had to have or buy for anyone else. I brought a lot of the Christmas bins up from the basement. I'm officially behind in decorating, because I didn't get much farther than that. Maybe tomorrow? Emily said she'd help me bring the Christmas tree up from the basement and get it set up. I hope she does a lot of the decorating. The major chore that got done was all the hedges were trimmed! It's a big job and I've always done it myself. When you're single, you do it all. Well, when you're married you often do it all too. Emily's wanted to trim the hedges for a while, but I've never let her for fear that she'd cut some body part off. This time, I told her she could do it and she was excited. We worked as a team. My method is to surround each bush with old sheets to catch the droppings, then slide them into the bag in the trashcan. I raked while she cut, then helped with the clippings. It was a big job! I think it was the most yard work Emily has ever done and I was so thankful to have her help.

We went out to dinner with Kit and her nieces and great-nephew. We had a really nice time. Emily and I spent the rest of the night watching episodes of Private Practice and Fringe. I've watched more TV lately than ever. Emily's been home more, and it's what she wants to do, so I'm doing it with her.

I was up and at 'em early today. At the pool at 8:00 AM. It felt like a chore for the first time. I'm not sure why, but I hope it's not the beginning of the end. I can't let it be, especially during the holidays when I know I'm going to be consuming a lot of calories. I went to Macy's afterward. Was very, very tempted to buy a beautiful Martha Stewart pre-lit white Christmas tree. I bought a comforter set instead. I hope I like this one. I visited my parents after that, and took my mother out to lunch. I did some grocery shopping on the way home, then put up the Christmas lights on the newly shorn shrubs, and around the garage and front door. Emily wants more this year. I might ask my handyman for a price to string lights on the roof-line.

After the lights were done I made stock from the turkey carcass. Yeah for me. Usually I put the carcass in the freezer, then throw it away after 6 months. Now I have to look for soup recipes. I have about 4 cups of turkey I took off the bones (before making the stock) and have to look for a recipe for that too. Emily won't eat any of it. I think I'll freeze some of whatever I make for my parents, and bring some in to work on Tuesday. I don't think I'm crazy about turkey leftovers either!

Well, it's time to pick Emily up from the ice skating rink. I'm going in my pajamas, and I don't care. I'm pooped!

Later, peeps!