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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Monday Means: Leftovers!

Anyone tired of turkey yet?
Not me!
I love, love, love making a big ol' turkey and using the leftovers in about a hundred (ok, maybe only 75) different ways.
I don't wait for Thanksgiving or Christmas to make a big bird. (It's just a good time to stock up my freezer when they're on special at the store!)

I usually make the biggest bird I can lay my hands on. This year's was a mere 20 lbs.

And, I learned a long time ago not to screw around with that silly basting business and flipping the bird part-way through. Heck no! I just use my trusty Oven Bags. A turkey-sized bag and a meat thermometer and you can't go wrong! I haven't made a dry turkey in years! (Is that bragging?)

Actually, after my family had to choke-down a very dry bird early in my marriage, my Grandma suggested I try her method. And it works like a charm. Plus, it cooks faster. Bonus!

Hunk of Meat Mondays

So, on this Hunk O' Meat Monday, I want to give a shout out to Katie and her family at Squaw Creek, who raise turkeys for the rest of us to enjoy.

Here's my first leftover recipe:

Turkey Mushroom Risotto Recipe

2 Tbsp butter
1 large shallot, chopped
1/3 pound chanterelles or other fresh mushrooms, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 Tbsp fresh sage, chopped
1 1/2 cups Arborio, Carnaroli, Vialone Nano, or other risotto rice
3 cups turkey or chicken stock
2 ounces Chevre or other fresh goat cheese
Black pepper to taste

1 Bring the stock, plus an additional 2 cups of water, to a simmer.

2 Heat the butter in a medium-sized pot over medium-high heat for 1-2 minutes, until it begins to brown. Add the shallots and mushrooms and toss to combine. Salt them well and sauté until the shallots are translucent, about 3 minutes.

3 Add the garlic, sage and rice and stir well. Sauté for another 1-2 minutes, stirring often. Add 1 cup of the simmering stock. Stirring constantly, let the stock evaporate before adding another 1/2 cup. Repeat, stirring almost constantly, until the rice is al dente, cooked through but still a little firm. This will take about 20-30 minutes.

4 When the rice is al dente, add the goat cheese and stir well to combine. Add the black pepper and stir again. Serve at once.

Serves 4.
**My appologies to the blog where I found this recipe a while back--I didn't make a note of it to give appropriate credit.

Now, for this week's Meet Me On Monday 5 Questions.

BabyD is joining me again to help answer (in blue). (She's a my blogger-in-training, since LittleD is burried in homework!)

1. What is your favorite way to eat chicken?
A: Orange chicken, grilled chcken with ketsup, or Chick-Fil-a chicken sandwhich. I vote for the orange chicken/General Tsao's.

2. Have you decorated for Christmas yet?
A: No, because my sister LittleD has her birthday in December, so she gets to decide when the tree goes up. Which is not fair. She always says after her B-Day, but I want to do it the day after Thanksgiving. To be fair, this is the first year she's asked to wait until after her birthday.

3. What is your favorite article of clothing?
A: My new furry boots, and jacket, gloves, my new black scarf my mom made. I don't have an absolute favorite, except maybe my black pencil skirt.

4. Do you pay your bills online or write checks the old way?
A: I am so happy I don`t have to pay any bills. I get to relax! (Isn't life great when you are 10?)

5. Do you make Christmas cookies?
A: Yes, with a lot of frosting, and sprinkles on the cookies I make compared to Mom and LittleD. But mine are the Best. We usually get some made--which rarely last very long!!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thankful for Traditions

It's been a good holiday weekend, complete with our family traditions.
I thought I'd share a couple.
We're not exactly the go-all-out-and-be-festive kind of folks. We keep it a little low-key.
Actually, I think boring is the right word.

Cents of Gratitude

One thing we do, at the Thanksgiving table, is pass a Mason jar to count our blessings.

I start collecting shiny new pennies (that must be marked with the current year) around July. I'm never sure how many pennies I'm going to need until Thanksgiving day is upon us. If everybody is here (and that's rare), I need 15 pennies.

Sound easy, but it's not always.
This year, I had a boatload of pennies. For some reason, last year I barely found any. Almost had to switch to dimes!
Each place setting gets a penny (yes, I wipe them down with a Clorox wipe to minimize the cooties--money is gross).
We pass the jar, so each person can tell something he/she is thankful for.

It's a little hokey--and everyone but my kids (and me!) think it's lame. (Told you we're boring.) But I persist.

It's neat to see the jar starting to fill up. BabyD likes to empty out the jar and ask why we don't have pennies for some years (we weren't home) or why we had only four some years (no one else was here that year).

I figure some day, after I'm dead and gone, my kids will fight over who gets possession of the jar.
Or they'll cash it in and go eat cherry pie in my honor.

Cranberry Sauce

Another important part of Thanksgiving is the cranberry sauce--jellied, not whole.
No, I don't make it. But I have perfected my method of getting it out of the can in one perfect piece, without blemishes--which is an extremely important part of the presentation.
I call it Thanksgiving art.
A representation of the abundance of America's modern food system and all
that technology has to offer us in convenience packaging.

At least, that's how I justify it. I suspect some family members (one of whom just might be reading this--and You know who You are!) think it's tacky. But I don't care. You have to understand that this has become particularly difficult in the last two years, since the food processors have changed the can design, and you can no longer simply open both ends with a can opener (ha!). But I have overcome! So, behold my perfect can o' cranberry sauce...

Makes you hungry just lookin' at it, doesn't it?
LittleD and I love this stuff. Sometimes we crack open a second can to help get us through the leftovers.
(I really should have taken the picture after flipping it on its side, so you have the full effect. It slices in beautiful, perfect circles that way. But, I was in a hurry to get the grub on the table.)

Light Up the Town Square

Black Friday is not a big shopping day for us. Sometimes we go out late in the afternoon to pick over the leftovers at a store or two. This year, I did venture out for three very specific stops--but not at 4 am. I went out about 9:30 and got my goods (nothing big or fun, mostly stocking stuffers) and was back well before lunch time.

Anyway, we do venture out late in the afternoon to enjoy communing with our neighbors on the town square. About three years ago, in an effort to draw more visitors to downtown, our little village started stringing old-fashioned lights from the Court House to all the businesses around the square. The trees are lit up, the window fronts are decked-out, the lamp posts are gussied up. It looks so pretty when some lucky kid wins the drawing to flip the switch with Santa.

This is the one brief highlight to Daylight Savings Time--since it's dark when I'm driving home, I get to enjoy the canopy of lights when I'm commuting home every night!

The whole event has really become a festival, because they block all the streets, set up tents with activities (corn hole, face painting, games, crafts) and a music stage. Practically every business is open handing out cookies or fruit cake or cocoa or popcorn. The fire fighters serve chili--a short respite from turkey leftovers.

Another highlight is the live nativity. They always rent camels to join the menagerie. How often do you get to pet a camel in your home town???

Gawking at the Christmas Lights

So, alas, it's Saturday and we have to get out of the house for a little exercise. I spent much of the day sewing Christmas gifts. We'd watched the movies we checked out from the library (Fiddler on the Roof was today's favorite). We cashed in a Groupon and did some bowling (I won, of course... even though no one will admit it because the ball counter messed up my score and didn't count TWO strikes!!!). Then we swung by a FABULOUS light display at Reynold's Farm Equipment in Fishers, IN. It was bigger and better than ever. I've met the guys who put this thing together, and, I must say, it's quite creative for a bunch of men who work on tractors and combines!

My favorite was the Bumble, remember this guy?

So, this is the official launch of the Christmas Season for our family. All we need is a little snow!

We'll get the tree up one of these days--after LittleD decides it's time. She has a December birthday, so she gets to decide if the tree goes up before or after her birthday. Most years, she's gung-ho to get it up while it's still November. This year, however, she's wanting to wait until after. I knew this day would come. I know too many people born in December who feel like they've been ripped off, and the birthday gets lost in the Christmas season. So, The Husband and I decided when she was born to let her decide when she was old enough. Besides, even if we wait, we'll still have a couple of weeks with that monstrosity dominating our living room and getting destroyed by the cat.

Hope you had a great Thanksgiving full of your own traditions! I'd love to see what you do at your home.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

A, B, Cs of Thanksgiving

Finding Joy  The ABC's of Thanks

Special Thanksgiving Link Up!
My blessings, from A to Z:
A: automobile—I have safe, reliable transportation.
B: bed—A warm, comfy place to sleep.
C: chocolate—Especially dark.
D: daughters—Two fabulous girls who have deepened the meaning of my life.
E: elephants—Someday I’ll own one of my own.
F: family—We were all together just a couple weeks ago for my dad’s 75th birthday.
G: grace—God’s supply is never ending.
H: home—A roof over my head to keep me warm and dry.
I: iced tea—Decaf, no sugar. Keeps me hydrated.
J: Jesus—Who loves me no matter what I am.
K: Kleenex—I’ve been battling a cold for a week!
L: libraries—Lots of free entertainment, resources and books!
M: music—As long as it’s not Miley Cyrus or Justin Beber.
N: nuts—Pecan, almonds, peanuts, cashews, hazel nuts.
O: opportunity—America provides so much opportunity for us all.
P: pork—My go-to meat, when I don’t know what to make for dinner.
Q: quilts—Love making them. Love sleeping under them.
R: roses—Blooming in the summer.
S: shoes—When I can find them in my size!
T: time—When I’m really productive and when I can slow down and enjoy the moment.
U: umbrellas—On a soggy day like today!
V: veggies—And the farmers who grow them!
W: windows—That let the sun shine in.
X: Xerox—What was life like before the modern copier?
Y: yellow—It’s a happy color.
Z: Ziploc baggies—Who invented those, anyway?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Girl Scouts on Ice

Half day of school meant an afternoon ice skating with my Girl Scouts!

Makes me thankful my daughters have good friends to hang out with!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Can Your Dog Tell Time? Mine Can.

This is Butter. She has a built-in clock, called her Stomach.
This whole daylight savings time LIE is just not working out so well for the dear ol' pup.
The Stomach Alarm is still going off at what she perceives to be 6 am and 6 pm. You'd think after, what three weeks?, she'd be reconditioned, but no. So, she's driving me crazy with the whining and wimpering. And the "feed me" pity looks when I'm trying to get in the shower in the morning.
Which brings me to my point:

I hate Daylight Savings Time. Switching time is STUPID.

So there.
Dogs don't like it, and neither do I.
Who came up with this dumb system?
I hate the fact that I'm forever commuting in the dark.
Whose daylight is getting saved anyway?
Does anyone give a hoot what I think anyway?
Who am I kidding? (Yeah, it's Monday and the crabby is building. Can you tell?)
Regardless, Butter can live without DST.

1. How many pillows do you sleep with?

A: Two. One firm; one feather.
2. Where will you eat on Thanksgiving?
A: My house. They're all coming here.
3. Would you rather go to a party or host a party?
A: Host the party. So I can cook. And I don't feel guilty if I spill something on the carpet.
4. How many purses (for the guys..wallets) do you own?
A: Five. And that's three too many. Who needs more than one summer and one winter?
5. What is your favorite kind of seafood?
A: Crab. Alaskan King Crab. Deep fried clams would be my second favorite.

I have a special guest blog poster tonight: BabyD, my 10 year-old wants to answer the Meet Me On Monday questions, too.

1. How many pillows do you sleep with?
A: four,3 regular pillow and 1blue long body pillow
2. Where will you eat on Thanksgiving?
A: our house, my mom is a great cook and I get all the left over turkey, and turkey fat YUMMY!
3. Would you rather go to a party or host a party?
A: go to one because I get to relax and not worrying about stuff and I am a bad host
4. How many purses (for the guys..wallets) do you own?
A: 5 not including backpacks and 5 because my mom made me sell them all and because I wanted one purse she made me get rid of 4 (not cool mom) I am going to get more mom
5. What is your favorite kind of seafood?
A: easy tuna yum yum

Friday, November 19, 2010

Got Milk? Surprisingly, I do.

This is a peak inside my fridge.
See how I carefully angled the camera so you cannot see how cruddy it is? Yeah, it's a mess. And I'm too shallow to bear it all online.
I really, really need to clean it this weekend (before the family arrives for Thanksgiving).

What motivated me to take a picture of my fridge last night?
I got home late again (this is becoming a thing this week) and, to my shock, we still had just over two gallons of milk in the fridge!!! I haven't been to the grocery store all week.

I don't know about you, but we're heavy milk drinkers in this house--about 5 gallons a week.
Ironically, after the big Freeze-O-Rama cooking party last weekend, we've eaten out almost all week and, therefore, haven't been consuming the food on-hand.

Wait. Let me restate that: The Husband has been taking the girls out most of the week. I've had some late meetings this week that involved dinner, so he was left to feed the hungry.
What does he do? Subway. Bob Evans. Steak-n-Shake.
I even left food in the fridge for him to heat up for supper. This is incredibly lazy, if you ask me!

I'm just in awe that we are going into the weekend with milk on-hand. Good thing, because I'm feeling really crappy, from this head cold that's been creeping up on my all week. I opted to work at home today to spare my coworkers the joy of phlem.
I just really need to get healthy before the relatives show up for Turkey Day on Thursday.
Which reminds me: I need to get that bird out of the freezer!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Freeze-O-Rama: 12 Bloggers+1 Kitchen = Lots of Food in My Freezer!

Saturday was the Big Day: Freeze-O-Rama!

This linky party was a little more special--and a lot more fun--because it started in person. Now we're all following up with our link-up. So, if you need some ideas on how to stock your freezer or pantry, see what our other Freeze-O-Rama gals brought to the party!

Liz of Two Maids-A-Milking and
Party Organizer Cris of GoodnessGracious
were just two of the dozen gals who were part of Freeze-O-Rama.

We all gathered Saturday morning at a local church (big thanks to Rocklane Christian Church!)that graciously allowed us to use the kitchen. Everyone came armed with supplies, favorite utensils and recipes, each with the mission to make one dish that serves 4 to 6 people x 12. That way, at the end of the day, each gal left with one dish of her own and 11 other meals to feed the family later.

I had a good time--even peeling carrots and potatoes, lots of carrots and potatoes. Hours of cooking is a lot more fun with friends and the fellowship that comes with them!

I made Sausage Cornbread Bake.

Here's my disclaimer for this post... I didn't photograph every step, like a good blogger should, because I was to sticky from eggs and batter to bother with the camera. Besides, I was trying to crank-out a dozen meals and I was on a deadline! Besides, Cris did a fabulous job chronicling who was there and what happened, so check it out.

Besides, I was wounded in battle...

The church kitchen had a really, really big industrial-style gas stove/double oven. I really thought this was cool (at first) and thought I could really channel my inner Julia Child. Only, I learned soon enough that the stupid thing GETS HOT!!!
Yeah, how dumb am I?
Well, the OUTSIDE of the oven doors gets hot!!!
Who knew? There's this lip on the top edge of the oven door (it's a Vulcan, so there's my online call out on the bad design) that gets just as hot as the inside. And, when you pull the door down, if your arm makes contact, it's going to sizzle and blister. And mind did.
I'm still brandishing a band-aid after four days.

Enough about my battle scars... on with the cooking!

Sausage Cornbread Bake

I started by dicing lots of onions (my fingers still are a bit stinky, even today. And, yes, I have washed my hands!) Then browning them in the skillet. I would've browned them with the sausage, but I had rare, and brief, moment of genius and bought pre-cooked sausage crumbles in bulk for this event.

After all, I had to cook and drain 12 pounds of sausage.

Call me lazy, I don't care--gave me more time for talkin'!!!

Once all the stop-top work was done, it was just a matter of assembling the casseroles before putting each of them in the afor-mentioned, scorching-hot oven.

Basically, I mixed up the cornbread (mix, milk, oil, and 2 eggs in each batch), then layered the batter in a foil pan that I'd sprayed with non-stick spray, followed by the sausage crumbles and onion and a layer of shredded cheese. Then I topped the whole thing with the remaining cornbread batter.

The result was a dozen beautiful cornbread casseroles. Great for dinner or breakfast.

After they had cooled a bit, I covered them in two layers of foil and slipped each in a two-gallon freezer-rated zipper bag to lock out air.

I did curse that blasted oven, apart from my scorched skin. We were warned that it didn't heat true to temperature, so we had to turn up the temp a bit. I'm afraid the outer edges may be a bit over-cooked, so my apologies to my bloggy pals who might have to choke-down dry casserole. But, you can always thrown salsa on it!
Regardless, it was a fun time with friends. And we got to try out each other's favorite kitchen gadgets as a bonus.
Here's the recipe. (I couldn't get the handy recipe-making card to load, sorry.)

Sausage Cornbread Bake

1 lb. bulk sausage
1 medium onion, diced
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 ½ cup self-rising corn meal mix
1 (17 oz) can of cream-style corn
¾ c. milk
¼ c. vegetable oil
8 oz (2 c.) shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Grease or non-stick spray a 2-qt. baking dish.
In medium skillet, brown sausage and onion; drain well.
In large bowl, combine eggs, corn meal mix, corn, milk and oil.
Pour half of the corn meal mixture into greased pan; sprinkle with sausage, onion and cheese. Pour remaining batter over top.
Bake for 30-40 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Prepare in a foil pan. After baking, cover pan tightly with foil or plastic wrap.
Thaw completely in the refrigerator before reheating. If reheating in the oven, keep covered with foil.

Serves 6-8.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Hunk Of Meat Monday: Pork Chops with Apples and Yams

I don't do a lot of recipe posts. I'm usually too busy cooking to take pictures and the hungry masses who are crying out for nourishment have no patience for such nonsense.

But I thought I'd join Bloggy Pal Leah over at Beyer Beware for Hunk of Meat Monday.

Hunk of Meat Mondays

This is one of my fall favorites--mostly because it includes pork (which is my favorite cooking meat, because it's so versatile and hard to mess up).
BONUS: This recipe is an ideal way to use up those sorry-looking apples that are a little bruised and no one will eat out right. Plus, it's a one-dish meal, so minimal clean up!


One 29 oz can of yams, drained. (I prefer the light syrup-style.)
Four pork chops
1/2 cup of apple cider or juice (I've used water in a pinch).
3 to 4 medium-sized apples
Nutmeg (Can also include cinnamon, if you like; I don't.)
2 T. of flour
2 T. cooking oil
1. Slice and core the apples, then set aside.
2. Preheat the cooking oil in a large, heavy-bottom skillet.
3. Dredge the pork chops in the flour.
4. Brown chops, about 3-4 minutes each side.
5. Add the apple slices and cider/juice. Stir so the apples make contact with the pan so they start cooking right away. Reduce the heat to medium.

6. As apples start to soften, add the can of yams, mixing ingredients. Sprinkle with a small amount of nutmeg (to taste). Cover with a lid and cook until heated through.

7. Make sure the chops reach at least 160 degrees F. After all, food is not sterile and no one wants to serve up a case of foodborne illness. (Call me anal, but I do always temp-check my meat.) Then serve.

I tend to stir it quite a bit so the yams get mushy. They basically make a sauce that my kids don't recognize as a vegetable.

I usually serve this with green beans (the crummy canned ones that my kids love) and biscuits.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Ever Encounter a Skunk? In Your Garage?

We had another skunk incident this week. It's been a while since the last one. Years in fact. I had begun to think that since the Big Yellow Lab has joined our family, her very presence was warding off the little beasties.

So, what's worse than a garage full o' stink because some wiley critter decided to let go in front of the garage?

Well, dear Bloggy Friends, I can tell you first-hand it's having the darned-thing go off in your garage.

Under your Suburban to be exact.

This week's incident was minor by comparison. It just a horrendous cloud of stink that was wound-up eeking into my kitchen (makes breakfast all the more yummy!) via the garage door that was open for the dog to do her morning thing. (Fortunately, the dog didn't take the hit!) But, it did bring back fresh, fresh memories of tale that shall live forever in The D Family Lore:
The Great Skunk Incident of 2005

Allow me to share this with you... (yeah, it's long, sorry)

It was a cold November morning, and I awoke in the wee hours, gagging, because the entire house smelled of skunk.

I wrote it off as another one going off in the backyard, as they often do. And my husband likes to sleep with the window cracked open a bit. After securing the window, I went back to sleep (more or less).

When I finally rolled out of bed at my usual hour, I'd acclimated to the smell. So I went about my normal get-the-kids-and-myself-ready business. That is, until I opened the door to the garage.

You could have knocked me over with a feather!

That's when The Husband finally got up and explained to me that when he got home from work around 11 PM the night before, he thought he saw our black barn cat rummaging in the trash in the garage. Blackie scooted his bad behind under my truck to avoid being thrown out. So, The Husband smacks the top of my truck to scare him... only, it was a SKUNK!!

What's a Real Man to do, but go get the gun?
Yeah, he shot it.
In the garage. (See where this is going?)

"So why does it stink so bad? Did it spray?" I ask.
"No. It's just because I shot it," says The Husband.
"What did you do with it?"
"I put it in a 5-gallon bucket of water and set it outside so it wouldn't stink."

Wasn't working.

Turns out, he set it right next to our heat pump. So, when the blower kicked on in the middle of the night, it sucked all that stink right into the house!!!!

And, no, submerging in water does not kill skunk stink.
So, I load the girls in the Suburban and drop them off at school before heading to the office.

With all the excitement, I was a little late for an early sexual harassment training we were having that day. So I hung up my coat, grabbed a pen and ran to the conference room.
Meanwhile... Unbeknown to me, the receptionist was heating up coffee in the kitchenette, located just 4 feet outside my office door. She had to ask my assistant what's that smell? But no one could figure out where it was coming from...

Finally, about 9:15, I got called out of the training to take a phone call from the school principal. Mrs. B wanted to know if we had a skunk at our house recently.

"Why, yes, we did. Why do you ask?"
Apparently, the smell of skunk was permeating the school building, beginning at the coat rack outside the before-school supervision room. No one could find the source of the smell. They were more perplexed when the stink seemed to be spreading and the custodian was getting calls from teachers and reports from parents in two different wings of the building about the odor. (You see where this is going, don't you?)

They had the poor janitor crawling under the building with a flashlight looking for a skunk!!

When BabyD, then in kindergarten, mentioned to her teacher that we had a skunk under our porch last night.

That's when the teacher decided to sniff her coat.
And her backpack.
And her lunch box.
Yeah, it was her.

And--go figure--the smell was also in the second grade wing, in the proximity of LittleD, too.

That's when the principal thought she should give me a call. They had already put all of their belongings (coats, lunches and all) out on the playground to get them out of the building.
(Think how relieved that poor janitor must have been!)

Can I just say here that I barely held it together to listen to all Mrs. B had to say?
It took every ounce of my being not to laugh out loud. I nearly peed my pants.

I told her what happened, but attested to the fact that it didn't actually spray in the garage, so I was surprised how much it smelled. After all, we just walked the 10 feet from the kitchen to my Suburban and drove off...
Wait... I, too, walked that far too.
So, I quickly got off the phone and ran to my assistant to ask, "Do I stink?"

I didn't. But my faux fur coat, hanging on the back of the door sure did! (So, that's where it's coming from!)

That's when I called The Husband.

Turns out the skunk.... might have... sort of... ok... it did... spray in the garage. UNDER my truck!!! But it wasn't very much. And that's when he shot it.

So I make a bee-line out the the truck to put my windows down.
I opened the door, leaned in to turn the key and hit the power windows--that's all I did.

I ran back inside and my assistant immediately tells me now I stink.
Great. I had to go back to the training.

I spent my entire lunch hour searching the web for remedies for skunk stench.

Let me tell you: Words cannot describe the looks of people that evening, as I'm standing (stinking?) in the grocery store line with a cart full of lemon juice, tomato juice, Downy liquid fabric softener and kitty litter.
They all knew.

I felt like Pig Pen from the Peanuts.

In summary, here's what I've learned:
  1. Your nose becomes immune to skunk scent after a few hours. After a while, you cannot smell it on yourself.
  2. That stuff just hangs in the air and you can pick it up without direct contact.
  3. Soaking coats, backpacks and lunchboxes in 50-50 water and liquid fabric softener works better that anything else to remove skunk stink.
  4. Two weeks of fresh air on the back porch will de-skunk a faux fur coat and a cashmere sweater that can't soak in the aforementioned solution.
  5. When your husband encounters a skunk near your vehicle. Ask lots of questions. Demand details!
Smart and Trendy Moms

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Gas Prices: Can Anyone Explain This To Me???

Can anyone tell me how the price of gas can range any where from $2.262 to $2.89 just a few miles apart???

And, why is it that the price always spikes just before I need to fill up??
I feel like I'm playing the lottery every time I put gas in my car.

Ok, so that's my beef for the day.

On to Working Mom Wednesday.

Topic of the Week: Honest Confessions About Motherhood.

How ironic this is the topic for today! I'm languishing in an evening of guilt right now.

Sometimes I just want to be all by myself in the quiet.
No kids bickering.
No dog licking.
No cat meowing.
No oven timer beeping.
No one complaining about the mean girl at her lunch table.
No answering homework questions.
No one telling me about how dumb his clients can be.
No one calling to ask for my year-end charitable contribution.

All I want is the sound of the clock on the wall ticking.
Yet, it's been a full day for everyone. And sometimes they just want to share what went on. I'm like that sometimes, too.
But not today.
I have nothing to share. And I'm really not in the mood to share anyone else's stuff, too.

After a "quick" (that's relative, isn't it?) through Walmart after work with the girls... which, by the way, if you believe in the concept of a personal hell, I would say that's it: Shopping in Walmart with two kids--the only thing that would make it worse would be if it's Saturday... but I digress... now I am mentally fried.

So, I just want everyone to leave me alone and let me be a vegetable--a quiet vegetable--for just a little while. And I shouldn't have to wait until 10 PM to get it, either!!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

I Voted. Did You?

I voted today.
Did you?
I'm going to avoid watching TV tonight... should've rented a movie.
I'm really, really tired of the pundits.
And I get a little too stressed out about elections and politics. I start thinking about how American is going to hell in a handbasket.
If the girls get their homework done, maybe we'll play Monopoly or something!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Weird Halloween Request: What Would You Do?

So I was doing LittleD's hair to go with her fancy, dancy princess get-up for Halloween.

It felt more like a dry-run for the prom, not just a couple hours of trick-or-treating and a party at the church. She's really, really into doing her hair PERFECTLY right now.

She looked especially pretty in the fancy ball gown (former bridesmaid dress) and opera gloves that were a total deal at my favorite bargain haunt: The Willy

BabyD, meanwhile, was getting decked-out as a moose.

Yes, a moose. Go figure. But she loves moose (meeses?).

She wore all brown and I made some really BIG antlers out of light brown felt, that I stuffed and sewed to a brown hat. She was so wide, she couldn't fit in the car! It was very funny. She refused to let me take her picture.

Anyway, I heard a thumping on our front door.

Couldn't possibly trick-or-treaters.
In 15 years we've never had a single one. (We sort of live out side of town, on a hill, up a long gravel lane.)

I peek out the widow to see a teen-aged boy (maybe old enough to drive?) in a full-body gorilla suit--minus the head. With him is a girl dressed in surgical scrubs and all kinds of blood on her face and neck. She was, maybe, 8 or 9. For one brief moment, I thought the girl might be injured with a nose bleed.

I open the door, all the while trying to place how the heck I know these kids. Because there's NO WAY total strangers would venture up our drive to trick-or-treat.

And, if they did, I wasn't prepared.
So, they were going to get either a slice of bread or a carrot!

The Headless-Ape Boy says to me, "I know this is weird, but, can she use your bathroom?"

"What?" I said, totally confused.

"Can she use your bathroom?"

"My bathroom? You are kidding right?" I couldn't believe this. I'm starting to wonder if this is a set up for a robbery.

"I told her we're almost to town, but she says she can't hold it."

On cue, Bloody Girl grabs her pants and starts doing a little dance, whining, "I really got to gooooo."

"This is really weird," I said.

"I really have to peeeeee," she whines.

"Ok." I relented and walked her to the bathroom by the kitchen. Leaving Headless-Ape Boy on the front step.

"Thank you," Bloody said.

Now what should I do?

Like any good mother, I decided to have a Positive Impact on the Youth of Today. So, I stood out the door as she did her "stuff", and imparted some wise advice on this child (or "lectured" as my kids would put it):

"You know this is really strange. You couldn't hold it? When I was your age, my mom would make me pee on a bush. By the road. I've peed on lots of bushes. And trees. Right by the road. Next time, you need to pull over and go in the weeds. Or just learn to hold it. You really shouldn't use a total stranger's bathroom."

I admit it: I was listening through the door. I wanted to make sure she wasn't plugging my commode. Or stealing my towel. Or pocketing my hand lotion.

Who knows? This was really weird.

I was relieved that Headless-Ape Boy was still standing on my porch and not stealing the tires off my car or something. With that they took off.

Now, is that not the weirdest Halloween request ever?
I was afraid we'd run into them at the church party.
Or, better yet, we would!!!

Would you have let Bloody Girl in to pee?

I would never stop at a total stranger's house no matter how bad my kid has to go! My girls can just pick a tree. (They've never taken me up on the offer--hence, they've also learned to go before we leave the house!!)

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