Monday, December 28, 2009

Monkey Potatoes

Because I was sick the entire week before Christmas, I spent the better part of my days watching the Food Network on TV. And I saw a lot of fabulous creations, including a sweet potato souffle-like dish from Bobby Flay. Now I didn't write down exact directions but if you are type-A and need very specific directions, google sweet potato banana pecan bobby flay and I'm sure you will find his directions on Food TV. For those who can use my "wing-it" method, give this a try some time. It was a big hit with my family on Christmas evening. And until I told people, they surprisingly couldn't tell that bananas were in the recipe. Bestie is cringing....she hates bananas and sweet potatoes. Ha.


Monkey Potatoes:

Ingredients:
- a bunch of sweet potatoes
- a few bananas
- some honey
- some brown sugar
- dashes of spices such as pumpkin pie, cinnamon and/or cloves
- dash of salt
- half a stick of butter
- half a cup of fat free half and half (totally makes up for the butter....right?)
- pecans, a bit more butter and two bits more brown sugar for the topping

Directions:
Mostly peel the potatoes and lay them on a cookie sheet. Pop that puppy in the oven and cook until potatoes are easy to mash up. Depending on your oven and how large/small you are making this recipe, it might be a while. About 20 minutes before your potatoes are finished, stick a few bananas on the same pan. (You might want to line this pan with tin foil to make clean up easy.) The bananas will look black and be fragrant when finished. Let all items cool for a few minutes until you can handle them. Squeeze out the banana insides into your stand mixer. It's not rotten- rather at its very sweetest- I promise! Then dump in the potatoes. Turn on the mixer and you know....mix. Add some room temp butter and brown sugar, spices, honey and half and half (or milk or heavy cream or whatever). When it's all mixed up and happy, place in baking dish. Bake at 350 until heated through. Or put in the fridge and bake it tomorrow when your family arrives. 15 minutes before finished baking, mix up the topping pecans, butter and brown sugar. Eyeball it depending on the size of your baking dish. Top the potatoes and stick it back in the oven until finished. Enjoy. I know it's different but I promise it's crazy good!!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

I Was A Very Good Girl

Wow! Santa...aka World's Best Daddy....spoiled me rotten! Dad and I always do a nice Christmas but it's nothing over the top. Small treats and a few JCrew sweaters usually. But this year he did that and also a large flat screen TV for my bedroom. I've been meaning to do a post with a photo on my bedroom TV situation for a few months now but keep forgetting. And now the photo is too late but let me set the scene with words for you anyway. When I was out of college and living in a cute little apartment in Indy, my then roommate Belle got new living room furniture for her graduation present. So I supplied the end tables (hand-me-down teak tables from my parents when they moved to FL like 20+ years before) and TV (purchased new with the help of her then boyfriend. The thing was HUGE- heavy as all get out.). While the TV was large in size (like a giant box of heaviness), it always had issues. I think I paid an arm and a leg to buy the thing and double that over the last nine years to fix it repeatedly. But like a year ago it stopped working. Well it would still work fine with the DVD player but not as a TV with or without cable. So I swapped it out for my little tiny TV from my college dorm room freshman year. It's the kind with the built-in VCR. The VCR only even worked on play and automatic re-wind, but no longer worked to rewind-at-will or record or pause. I never watch movies anyway so it didn't bother me. My dad asked me about a month after I made him do the heavy lifting to swap out my TV's if the big one was dead or if we should continue to store the monster. So I plugged it in and what do you know, it decided to work again. So out went the tiny TV and in went the monster TV. Again. And then about five or six months ago, it all happened again. But I was very into using my DVD player to workout with videos every day by this time. And I could never figure out how to hook the DVD player up to the tiny TV. I mean, DVD players didn't exist when I bought it in 1996 I don't think. So I scooted the big monster TV over and added the baby TV next to it. The small was for watching at night in bed and the large was for doing DVD's each morning. Total trailer trash! I know! It looked terrible but was rather humorous too. When I was in college with Bestie, we had a similar situation for a while with the same baby TV on top of a dead giant TV. It was awesome and oh-so-klassy! Anyway, it honestly didn't really bother me. I just don't care all that much about electronics or vehicles. We all have our "things" and those just don't happen to be mine. It was trashy and I knew I would eventually give in and you know, buy just one TV for all my needs. But I was certainly in no big rush to spend my money that way. I would just rather go out to dinner or fly down to see my Godson or save or really anything other than buy something electronic. But my dad knew that I would never upgrade until they both completely died. And that baby TV has flaws but I swear my own currently-non-existent kids will take the damn thing with them to college. It's going to be that thing that just lives on forever. Even when kids think of VHS players the way I think of record players. So now I have just one TV. And it's so light and small in mass compared to the monster TV of yesteryear. I'm amazed that something can be so thin. Maybe it will be my thin-spiration for the new year. Ha. So Santa was very generous with this little girl and I am so very excited and grateful. Don't worry, Sadie Kate was spoiled rotten too. Because she was of course a perfect princess all year long!

Oh, so my family does the Dirty Santa (aka: Yankee Trade or White Elephant) Game each Christmas for the grown-ups and older teens. This year was hands down the most fun and had us all in stitches yesterday. I thought though that I would have brought the favorite gift- a tan colored Snuggie (because we all really want one, don't lie!), a red mug and a $10 gift card to Starbucks. So my cousin opened it and like half the room was like, "oh I don't like Starbucks, I only like Dunkin Donuts." Well damn. I mean, Dunkin is down the street from me. But I went out of my way to get a S'bucks card thinking everyone (read: me!) worshiped all that's green and steamed. I should have known. I live in NY. Dunkin is king in my part of the country. I was so bummed that I didn't have the big hit gift. It did get stolen but my secret goal (so shhhh....don't tell anyone.....let's just keep this dirty between us girls) every year is to have the most coveted and stolen gift. Shallow? Perhaps. But gift giving....now that is one of my "things!" I am already trying to come up with what I hope will be the winner for next year. Any ideas?

Oh the kids LOVED their treat buckets (see post below)! So if you have a need for a kiddie gift for any holiday or birthday, stop by the Dollar Tree or Wally World and you too can be the gift giving winner for $12 or less!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merriest Christmas Wishes



Well, I'm still sick. Ugh! Very frustrating to be mostly immobile this week. Baking? Never happened. Cleaning? OMG my house is a disaster. I did run the vacuum so that I could wrap presents last night. But that nearly killed me. So in case you were wondering, I advise against obtaining Bronchitis this time of year. Very inconvenient.

I did however manage to pull together some very cute kiddie gifts, if I do say so myself. Last year I gave the kids in my family buckets filled with funky sodas and a soda bottle koozie. It was a hit! Which was wonderful because it was so easy (albeit heavy to transport!) and inexpensive and I didn't have to deal with the toy aisles. I never know what to buy kids who are over the age of three years. This year I used the same general idea with the buckets (love the $2.50 section at Target!) but gave the kids chips and movie theater candy. Crap food their parents would never buy them in bulk. Merry Christmas! Each gift, including the bucket, was under $12. And I wrapped them up in scrap fabric- about a yard per bucket. You can find cheap-o fabrics under $2/yard at Wally World that you might never use for sewing but are great for gift baskets. Its about the same price as a roll of that cellophane wrap- it would take an entire roll for each basket- and soooo much easier to use! I don't have a single straight edge but you can't tell the difference.








Merry and Magical Christmas wishes, everyone! I hope your holiday is spent with family and friends and a glass of wine! Or glogg. Really I just like saying the word glogg and have never actually consumed it. There's always next year though. You never know, 2010 could be my year of forgiveness and glogg....



Sunday, December 20, 2009

Icky Sicky

Ugh. I am so stinkin' sick. Still! On Wednesday night I started coughing but I felt totally fine. I even worked out that day. Felt great. Woke up Thursday in complete misery! Coughing. No voice or a frog voice, depending on the moment. Body aches and fever. Blah! Then that evening, the added bonus of a tummy virus. I didn't think it could get worse. But it did. And quickly. All of a sudden I was shivvering. Teeth chattering and body just unable to warm up. It took me ten minutes to call my dad from under my covers in the fetal position. I was shaking so much I could barely turn to grab my phone. So he comes to my rescue bust isn't exactly sure how to help. TWO HOURS later, with the help of the heating blanket turned on hugh, heating pad turned on high, three extra quilts and my puppy sitting on my feet, I settled down. It was incredibly scary and nothing I had ever before experienced. I was shaking so hard that it looked like convulsions. My teeth were so loud that I kept gnawing on the corner of a blanket to stop the noise. Awful experience. Daddy stayed right by my side thanks to my begging that he not leave me alone. Not that he would. I was just so terrified that I had no control over my own body for so long.

Thankfully, that ended but the coughing and other yuck are still here. Boo! If I am not improving tomorrow, I promise to go to the doctor. I just really thought it would pass by now. The coughing needs to come to an end soon for my sanity if nothing else.

Oh the rolly ball thing in my Blackberry died again last night so my World's Best Father took it to be fixed today so that I can once again access the much needed Facebook and blogs from bed.

So my house is a pig pen, I'm a hot mess, Christmas shopping still needs to be done, half my presents have yet to arrive, and all of the wrapping still needs to be done. Oh and I'm sure there is some sort of baking that will now never happen. Bad timing is an understatement.

But the good news is that I've seen every episode of MTV Cribs today. Tommy Lees informed me that if you have money, a mirror over your bed is a must. Good to know. Question...does a mirror over the bed clash with a stripper pole at the end of the bed and the monogrammed linens on the bed? Something we should all think about!

Oh this was written via Blackberry so pls ignore spelling errors.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Good Night

Tonight I made a big pot of this soup from FiveGreatKiddos (but I made mine thicker with a big bit of cornstarch like the kind they make at Panera). Mmmmm delish! And watched NBC's The Sing Off. So cute. Like the live version of Glee. I hope it does well and comes back for more episodes. But gets rid of Judge Nicole Whateverhernameis. She annoys me. She's normal one minute and then Hispanic the next minute and ghetto the next. Fakey Fakerson. But other than her being annoying, the show was great! Very low key evening, just as I hoped for. It really feels like winter when I make a big pot of soup on chilly nights. Unfortunately the novelty of winter being here will wear off not long after Christmas. Then I will be bitter that I chose (foolishly) to move my raised-in-South-Florida ass to the bitter cold North Pole!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Monster Monday

Monster Monday posts will return after the first of the year. I'm going to change things up a bit though. I spent my entire life not wanting people to feel sorry for me and I fear that my posts thus far have created just that. I also have some big goals next year. My 32nd year of life. I really want to find forgiveness in my heart for my mother and Satan. Not for them. I have no intention of ever seeing them again. But for myself. I see people talking about how they just had to forgive those who did horrible things to them to find peace in life. Its something I have been searching for now for at least a decade. And how much do I wish it was like a holiday cookie recipe. Add four eggs to the flour, sprinkle in this and that and cook for 25 minutes. Out comes forgiveness. But it's not that simple. Not that I know of anyway. So 2010 will hopefully be about many things for me and at the very top of that list will be to find my way to forgiving. I have no illusions that it will be simple. Or even possible to do in just one year. But perhaps I might even accomplish it by January 02. I don't know. But I will do my very best to try. And drag y'all along with me as I figure out just how to truly forgive when it is impossible to ever forget.

I Found It!

I'm watching Jennifer Hudson's Christmas special on ABC and she is doing a fabulous job with my very favorite Christmas song of all time. Ever. Oh Holy Night. Sung by a tenor at midnight on Christmas Eve and I am usually in tears. But she's doing great too. But little things bug me. Like that song she sang with her cousins. Sounded fantastic but what was with all the crap behind them on the mantel. They couldn't clear it off for the one song they sang standing there?

So the craft show was fine. I did not do well but it was walking distance from my home so that made up for it. It meant I didn't need to get up at like 4AM to trek my cold booty to far away lands. I have signed up and paid for one more show this year (this coming weekend- same location as last weekend) and two early next year (one late Jan and one mid Feb). And then I will likely call it quits again with the craft shows. They just have never been successful for me. More a pain in the butt than anything else.

People say wacky things too. Like most people think the ice cream cozies are adorable. Even if they don't want one, they smile and think they are cute. But then there are others. A woman two weeks ago went on and on about how unhealthy it is to eat ice cream from the container and how you should never eat that much ice cream. And on and on and on. I wanted to tell her to step off, that I wasn't forcing anyone to eat an entire container, and that it was possible to buy fat free and low sugar and soy products. But I didn't. I just smiled. I got a few of those this week too. And several people sort of yelling at me that I had a Ben and Jerry's carton on display instead of a Stewarts (or local gas station that also has their own ice cream - it started out as a creamery and is very good and much less expensive). Um, if I ate Stewarts would it make you buy one? Probably not. They would likely find something else to complain about. This week a woman was looking at bibs and making all these disgusted faces. I think she maybe didn't like my fabric choices? Because I don't use baby specific fabrics that say like "ABC 1 2 3" and stuff. I use lobsters and crabs and fish and stripes. Finally after making horrified faces (like a foot and half in front of me, mind you) for about 4 or 5 minutes, she sort of proclaimed that these were for babies (in a shocked tone)?! Yes ma'am, they are baby bibs. For babies. She walked away. Can't win 'em all, clearly. At least she made me laugh (after she was out of sight of course).

So in reference to my title. While I was cleaning up the remains of that pile of junk I pulled out of those boxes a few days ago, I found this portfolio thingy- that I use for travel to keep all documents together. And what was mixed in the now garbage? My missing birth certificate! My passport actually expired years ago and I have been wanting to get it renewed. But I was missing my birth certificate. Clearly I was missing it for longer than I realized because it was last used for a cruise I took with Little at least five years ago! Thank goodness I found it!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Little Pillows

First, thanks y'all! Your comments on the post below were all so cute and sweet. The photos look much better than the beads did in person, I promise. They were all icky brown and black and charred. Those yellow round beads were a very soft yellow before the burning incident. And the yellow star beads were this pretty bright yellow. In person they looked dirty and rusty. So I took those two photos and then threw the whole lot in the trash. I'm trying to be better about not keeping everything just because it took me a lot of time or at one point cost a lot of money. It was totally sad though, throwing all that hard work away. But for the best. It happens to all of us ever now and then.





Now on to my next project. Marshmallows. Last night I made vanilla-rum. (Rum flavoring was added when I realized I only had two drops of vanilla extract left. If I didn't tell you though, you would not know they weren't straight up vanilla.) Fluffy little pillows of vanilla goodness.









I made them with purpose though. Last year I tasted my very first modjeska. Its a marshmallow enrobed in delicious caramel. Goodness times two! So this evening I made caramel. I looked up a recipe for mojeskas and followed that caramel recipe to a T. It took forever to make that damn pot of caramel. But I didn't walk away from my project. Kept the candy thermometer in place. Finally it was ready and as instructed by the recipe, I let it cool a bit before dipping the marshmallows in. Actually, it stated to let sit for 10 minutes. I waited five. This was the result. Melting marshmallows. Oooooh, so that's why it has to cool a bit. My bad. My brain wasn't thinking scientifically. My brain never things scientifically, to tell you the truth.





So I waited five more minutes and tried again. Still too hot. Waited a few more minutes and tried again. Good temperature but the caramel was just too darn think to handle delicate little marshmallows. That were cut up tiny, thinking no one would want a gigantic candy in their mouth. I tried and tried and tried to get this process down. An hour and half later and this was all I had to show for myself. I need an engineer to come figure out how to get the caramel thin enough but cool enough. My English major was getting me nowhere. So finally I realized that a candy maker I am not. I abandoned ship. I did wrap up the two dozen little candies (even the semi melted ones that look like a melted Frosty the Snowman) and they taste fantastic. But the caramel is still too thick in my opinion. It might be good for apples but not for light and fluffy marshmallows. Another bust from my week! I saved the caramel but have no idea what to do with it. If you have suggestions, I'm all ears.










Also tonight, I made the prettiest little pink strawberry marshmallows! Look how they match my mixer. Light and yummy too. I'll cut them up into small squares when they dry a bit tomorrow and then I guess give them away or something. This is sort of a bad habit I have had my entire life. I make stuff and then don't know what to do with it. I just like to make things. Hence the box of clay beads.






Tomorrow morning I am trying another craft show. It's literally down the street from my house so even if it's a bust, the commute is a dream. Cross your fingers or say a little prayer that things go better tomorrow than they have in the past, please.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Set It And Forget It




I was looking for something this evening in a box down in storage and realized that I had a bunch of junk that could be thrown away taking up valuable storage space. So I started tossing crap out of the box. Making a royal mess of course. But I managed to take three boxes and condense them down to two boxes. I'm sure I could (read: should!) condense them down to half a box but I wasn't willing to commit that much time to this unplanned project. As it is my bedroom floor has a pile of crap sitting in it waiting for me to throw it out or donate it or just in general find a new home for it.


Anyway, the point of my story is to tell you about my clay. In high school, I was really into making stuff out of that Fimo clay. You know what I mean, right? It was a fairly popular craft in the early 90's. You take the clay and roll it out to form beads that look like millefiori beads. But from clay of course. It's easy to use and hardens when you bake it in the oven for like 10 minutes. Well today when I was digging through those boxes, I found a large box of my old clay projects. Ton and tons of canes (the long clay snakes ready to be cut into beads). Most of it was falling apart as it had been in various storage locations for a good 15+ years. I didn't want to throw away that hard work but I couldn't justify saving them for another day, let alone decade. So I cut up the semi-surviving canes, put them on a lined baking sheet, and into the oven they went. I figured it would be far easier to store a zip-lock baggie of beads than a box of precarious and disintegrating clay canes. But after I put it in the oven, I totally forgot about it. Went about finding new homes for the big pile of junk in my bedroom. Which is not near the kitchen. So when I went to get a glass of water and smelled burning plastic and saw smoke....well I knew it wasn't going to be good. I never do that. I am never that absentminded! Burnt. I thought I might be able to salvage a few just for keepsakes but alas, now that the smoke has cleared and the beads have cooled down, its clear that every last made-in-my-childhood bead is burnt and discolored. They were really pretty before they gained that ashy, cloudy patina. C'est la vie.



Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Moochy Mc Moocherson




I will not be watching this show. And that's saying a lot. Y'all know my taste in TV sinks lower each year. HelloIloveyouRHNJ! But I think the Jackson family is just a little too gross for even me to watch. I'm sorry their son/brother died. He was weird but a musical genius. But the rest of y'all are just sleazy mooches. Which is what this show should be called. I'm sure they'll be on the air for the next decade though. The first time I saw America's Funniest Home Videos, I proclaimed it to be the worst show ever made and sure to be cancelled within weeks. I think it's been on for something like 15 years.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A Bust and A Bunch Of Other Stuff

I'm really back to blogging now. Promise! I've really missed y'all, too. That either proves that we are all dear friends or I am waaaaay too addicted to bloggy pals. Honestly I am not sure which one is true.

So a quick review in bullet points to bring y'all up to date:

* I am nearly finished with my Christmas shopping. Bestie helped me figure out my last gift for my family's Dirty Santa/Yankee Trade game. I have found out over the last few years that the name you know the game by depends on if you live above or below the Mason Dixon line. Do my Canadian and UK friends call it something different too?

* I do believe that I will accomplish my goal of never setting foot in any sort of mall this holiday season. I feel this warrants bragging on my part as I detest malls at holiday time. Seeing scores of shoppers (read: grubby teeny-bopppers and people with runny noses and germs) hovering over the extra stations in the middle of the walkways (peddling lotions, potions and calendars) is just not my thing.

* All hail free shipping charges! The majority of my Christmas gifts are from the beloved internet. How ever did I survive without it? Plus I can sip a hot toddy while shopping. Malls tend to frown upon that.

* Ironically I am raising my etsy shipping charges to cover tracking numbers. I have now had two orders never make it to the buyers. Not only does it make me feel incredibly guilty (and the first time it happened to a bloggy friend- making me feel even worse. She was sooo nice about it though.), but it means I have to make and ship and item twice when all is said and done. I didn't used to add delivery confirmation to items that were inexpensive, figuring that people want the lowest shipping charges possible. I don't profit from those charges and will refund a buyer if I miscalculate and overcharge. But I'm tired of feeling terrible from missing packages.








* I made what I thought was a lovely gift basket for my Junior League's Holiday Cocktail Party that also has a silent auction. It's a baby girl gift set that included a lot of Lilly fabric stuff like a burpee and bib set, onesie, bow headband and coordinating headband for mom and more. Clear bags are my gift wrap obsession right now.





* The craft show last Saturday was a bust! I got there right on time, set up and was ready right on time. And then I sat. On my ass. Reading Facebook statuses. The entire day. I hands down had the best booth. And it was a decent size show. Not huge by any means but not tiny either. In a school. So you would think all the families would attend. Crickets. My biggest sales were from fellow crafters. Making me feel obligated to return the sale favors. Anyway, it was so odd. And funny because when I found out where my space was, I was thrilled to bits. Seriously a great space. Right in the very center facing the front door. And of course I was the most colorful. But if no one is there....

* We also got our first snow of the season that same day. But not like blizzard material. Less than they have down in Texas. So that's like nothing by mountain standards. A good dusting really. Not an excuse for people not to come to their own child's elementary school craft fair, that's for darn sure.

* I pronounce the word elementary like elemen-tare-E, not elemen-tree. When I lived down south, people thought this was the funniest thing ever. Before people started pointing it out, I never thought twice about it. There's no tree in elementary.

* I bought ginger zucchini marmalade from the nice jam lady across from me. Simply because I thought it was unique. Can't really taste the zucchini but it is quite yummy. I'm planning on using it on chicken in the crockpot one night when I don't feel like cooking.

* Sunday was my town's annual Stroll and it was lovely as always. It was followed by a dinner at a neighbor's home, which was even lovelier. One neighbor made THE BEST lemon bars and I need to track down that recipe. Lemon bars are one of my most favorite deserts. Sweet and tart and what's not to love?!

* A while back Bestie told us about how she volunteers to be a product tester for Spanx. They send her products now and then and she wears them and gives feedback. So I signed up but never heard back from them. Until a package arrived a few days ago. I can't tell you about the product but I can say I was tickled pink that they picked me to participate in the testing program. So fun!

* Monday I finally swapped out my summer and winter shoes. It's ridiculous that I waited this long, I know! Bye bye sandals and hello boots. Not that I was wearing sandals. But they were still out and the boots were not. Now that snow has fallen, I need boots to at least walk Sadie Kate each night or my tootsies will freeze right off.

* Today I spent the second half of my day in my beloved Vermont. Golly, I heart that state! My hairs are cut and blonde and rather cute, if I do say so myself. I think it had been 5-6 months since my last visit. I just got side-tracked and busy and then was trying to plan it around travel to pinch a penny. Hopefully it's still cute mid-January when I go to my Godson's baptism.

* As always I popped in Lilly and found a few things I wanted but only walked away with one pair of sale priced cords that I needed. I only have a few pairs of pants that fit well right now and it's too darn cold to wear a dress when avoidable. Unfortunately, my experience was less than fabulous. The sales gal was rude and completely bothered when I asked if they had the Kaya dress. I was literally the only person in the store and she was flipping on the internet. Which is fine, when no customers are around. But it's not like I asked her to make me a dress. I just asked if they had it. She never once offered to take my items or get me a fitting room or how anything fit after I got myself and my arm full my own fitting room. Disappointing. Especially at the Pink And Green Mecca. I almost didn't buy the pants but I really need them and they fit well. So home they came from the rude girl who literally wadded them up in the tiniest bag possible.

* I ran into JCrew before my hair appointment and tried on four tops, bought two (they were 50% off), used a very ancient gift card that apparently had like $2.50 more than the price of the items left on it. So I walked away with two tops and $2.50 in cash. I made money on the transaction. How fun is that?! I bought myself the rarely seen by my lips these days Diet Coke from MickeyD's (they have the best formula!) and made it to my apt with time to spare. I've got skills!

* I brought home a slice of the very best creme brule bread pudding ever to be made. It's huge- like 3 pieces worth. And full of naughty bad stuff. But worth every nibble. Kate Moss is wrong. Skinny does not taste good.







* I stopped at a Salvation Army on my way home from Vermont because I always manage to find a little something at this particular store. I scored big time! Five perfect (albeit dusty at the moment) silicone baking pans. I make bread constantly and keep reusing those tin pans. But seeing as how they are not intended for re-use, they are now all wonky. These are perfect. The square pan is for making marshmallows later this week and the muffin pan is for....muffins. Total price for my five pans? $7.05! The SA was NOT a bust!

* Sadie is very tired from doing all that ....whatever it is she does. Just being a princess takes a lot of energy, she claims. She is soundly sleeping on the sofa. On a blanket. With her head on a pillow. It's a rough life!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Still Here....Just Busy and Sicky



I'm alive! Mostly. I was busy and then got sick and am now busy again and starting to feel sick. Again. Which is annoying. I mean, I'm never sick when I have nothing better to do but curl up in bed with the remote control and stack of magazines. I read blogs though via my blackberry in bed. Because for the several days after Thanksgiving, I felt too sicky to even get out of bed when not absolutely necessary. Thank goodness for a sweet Daddy who walked the furry grandchild for a few days. She prefers him over me anyway. So she was fine. Not to worry. Anyway, if you feel slighted that I didn't comment, fear not because I did read. For whatever reason I can only comment on certain blogs via my blackberry. Is it me or do y'all also lose "followers" when you take a longer than usual blog break? Always happens. And I know its petty, but it totally bums me out. I am only even taking time to blog tonight because losing followers makes me feel guilty. I know, I know, a therapist's couch is in my near future!





My Thanksgiving was lovely though. Not nearly as fabulous as my "famous" DC thanksgiving many moons ago. Picture it. Teeny tiny apartment. Big turkey. Arguably one of the best turkeys of all time. Thanks to Martha and her recipe goodness, of course. And every bloody side dish that goes along with it. Two kinds of potatoes. Because that's how this carb happy fool rolls. Two kinds of pie. The only store bought item was gravy because at the time I didn't know how to make it. Because I think it's disgusting. So I bought a fancy jar. That I forgot to even open. So no one was even offered gravy. I think there were a whopping four of us to eat this feast. Sitting on the floor around my coffee table. Did I mention my apartment was teeny tiny? Damn I loved that place! I miss being about 30 feet from Eastern Market. Anyway, it was one of my very favorite Thanksgivings. It was actually the very first Thanksgiving that I fully enjoyed. Very first. B (that stands for bench) was there. Miss her too! Anyway, this year was nice. Up in the mountains with family. I made the pies. And cake balls. Which were a royal disaster. No idea what went wrong with the chocolate coating- maybe the moist cake kept it from hardening? I have no idea but they were not super popular. Whatever. My pies were the shining stars as always. Two magic pumpkin (because they make even non-pumpkin pie lovers into fans) and two humongo apple. And two pints worth of whipped cream. Man, do I love my pink stand mixer! She did all the cream whipping for me this year. Fabulous.

I have a super full weekend- a craft show (wish me luck- these rarely go well for me) and then my town's annual Stroll. But I will be back soon. I really do promise. I've not fallen off the face of the earth. So don't leave me, sweet friends! Don't stop, belivin'.... Ha ha, just kidding.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Fabric Wrap

I made bread again. I actually make bread all the time. It's inexpensive, easy, creative and delicious! And makes a great hostess gift. I thought my wrapping was particularly fabulous this week as I wrapped up a freshly baked loaf for a neighbor who kindly hosted a dinner for friends. I cut a cheap piece of fabric, didn't use a ruler or anything, as the wrapping material. I say that to point out that anyone can use this wrapping technique. Just eye-ball it. Straight edges are not necessary. Check out the dollar fabric in Walmart sometime. You might not want them for sewing projects, but they make great (and CHEAP!) gift wrap. I do advise washing them first- just toss them in the regular wash and dry cycle with your laundry- so no funky chemicals get on your baked goods or gifts. Add a big grosgrain ribbon bow and call it a gift!






As I was walking out the door to dinner, this is what Sadie Kate was doing. Pouting in the leather chair. Woe is her. Life is so hard for a puppy and she felt very slighted to be snubbed a dinner invite! Sad, sad puppy!



Faithfully Yours



The baptism gift for my cousin's son a few weeks ago. Mostly whale themed once I found that Jonah and the Whale book and CD set at the Dollar Tree. I sort of built the gift around that them and threw in a few binky buddies because his mom is always asking me for more. The thing with the red whales is a bib but you can't really see it very well in the photo.





I picked up the above three hardcover books at the Dollar Tree too. For a buck! I've not read any of them yet and no, I am not Jewish. But I like learning and the pink cover had me at Lipstick! I'll let you know how they turn out when I finally get around to reading them. For $1, I had to bring them home!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Chirping

Preppy Cricket, where did you go? And Europafox, I never received an invite. Are you still blogging? If so, will someone please mention to her that I miss reading!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Ah-ha!

I found my checkbook! You might recall that I lost it last spring too. This happens twice a year, every time I need the dumb thing. I just never write actual checks. Except when writing an actual check is my only option. Then I spend a week in a hot panic as I search every crevasse of my household. But I found it. Want to know something even more pathetic than constantly misplacing an important document like a checkbook? My name on the checkbook and coordinating debit card, is spelled incorrectly! Their fault of course, but I never bothered to go in and remedy the situation. That was nearly four years ago. FOUR. Only once in four years has anyone ever asked me why my card and license have a different name. Which is nearly as sad when you think about all the issues with identity theft and credit card fraud these days. But I see that I am about out of checks. Perhaps this will be my motivation to finally get my name spelled correctly.

I swear I am not really a total flake. I just don't keep after a book of tiny pieces of paper that I use no more than twice a year very well. We all have our flaws!

Karo Said It

Y'all know I love me some Aaron Karo. He's hilarious and says all the stuff we're thinking but would never be brave enough to say out loud. I thought these were funny and relevant from his latest Ruminations....


-I think that when women turn thirty, they shift from picking apart every little thing a guy does as a reason why he’s an asshole, to rationalizing every little thing a guy does as a reason why he has potential: “Look at the way Jim parallel parks…I really think he could be the one.”

-Ladies, if you ask me a question while your breasts or my junk is exposed, there is a 100% chance you'll get the answer you want, but only a 50% chance I'll be telling the truth.

-Why do women run so awkwardly? Tuck those elbows in! You’re jogging, not attempting liftoff.

-During interviews to promote my new book, I’m often asked where the best places to meet women are. There are really only two answers, though: bars and Facebook. I mean, it’s 2009. What am I supposed to say? The library? The grocery store? We all know our generation needs alcohol and/or the Internet to get laid.

-I support and admire our troops, but I have no idea how their ranking system works. Oh, you're a corporal? So…does that mean you shine boots with a toothbrush, or you're in charge of the entire army?

Monster Monday

Today's post is not nearly as detailed as others. I do promise to get back in the groove of writing Monster Monday posts. Both for myself and for y'all. I have been overwhelmed (in a positive way) with the incredibly heartfelt responses these posts have elicited. I find it both a relief and a shock to learn that so many of y'all went through very similar experiences. I even found out that an IRL friend from high school, a girl who I hung out with all the time and was part of my every-day little clique and a very close friend, went through similar situations. And never once did either of us disclose this information to each other. I had no idea!

So on that note of friends not knowing, I thought it was high time to do my best to explain just why I never shared most of this information with friends. I have a large number of IRL friends who read my blog (or at least know it exists- I am not really sure how many actually read it regularly) and were unaware of much or all of this part of my past. I think everyone knows that I don't speak to my mother. But I rarely elaborate and they rarely ask. It's sort of agreed that we will leave it at that.

The easier to answer part of this explanation of why I don't share this with newer friends (by newer I mean if you met me after high school. Which I know is not "new" in most cases but that is still how I sort of separate people. C and AH. Childhood and After Highschool. My AH friends rarely get much information out of me usually because it honestly never comes up in conversation. I mean, never once at a Junior League meeting or a work event has anything related to this topic of conversation come up. I just don't think about it. The background conversation with AH friends is usually about where you grew up and where you work and went to college. The second part to the answer is that I spent my entire childhood aware of the sympathy/pity everyone felt towards me. Talking about how your mother doesn't love you is a rather big Debbie Downer conversation. I am very sensitive towards others feeling sorry for me. And really, how can you not if I tell you the stories? If you told me the stories, I would feel the same towards you. So even though I know it is out of a place of love, it still has me all worried that I will be that girl who only tells sad and depressing stories. Even more than that, I am so worried that talking about any of this will make friends feel uncomfortable. So while I don't purposely avoid the conversation, I don't initiate it either. And rarely is there a natural entry into such topics anyway. My life is not about my past. I don't hide it but it really just doesn't enter my mind on a daily basis. But then, I get years into a friendship and find myself never having discussed this part of my past. And then I feel all new worries that I am too late or that the friend will feel I hid a part of me. So the cycle of never bringing it up continues.

The reason many of my childhood friends don't know many of my stories is because I was convinced as a kid that my dirty family business was front page news. That everyone knew and felt pity towards me. I didn't want to dwell on it more than necessary. And I was always aware that certain friends were not allowed to see me outside of school because their parents disapproved of my family. As an adult, I am learning that some friends really didn't know all the gory details of my family drama. Though I honestly thought most of them knew. But didn't bring it up because hello, Debbie Downer. And really, why would we talk about that junk when we were bopping around the shopping malls and restaurants and gossiping. There were a tiny handful of people I trusted enough to talk about things with - two best friends and their mothers - and the rest I really internalized. To this day I do not enjoy being the center of attention and never wanted everyone to stare sadly (or at all) at me. Then again, I would find myself in the position of being long-time friends and never discussing this part of me.

The bottom line is that I never wanted to be defined by my mother and Satan. Though for the majority of my life, I very much felt that I was defined by them and our past together. It's really only in the last handful of years that I can look at myself as truly separate from them. Due in great part to unfortunately cutting out a few more people from my life. Which is incredibly sad and not at all what I wanted to see happen. But when Satan and his wife are calling me or stalking me or showing up on my doorstep as they did in the middle of the night when I lived in DC, it's hard to justify anything or anyone that might contribute to that. Even if the friends or family members did so out of a place of love.

I've surprised myself in finding a small moral in my babbling post today though. I think one can read this and hopefully realize that sharing yourself and your scary stories doesn't have to be terrible. I'm still not bringing my past up in conversation at a fun girls night out dinner or anything. But I realize from the sweet comments and emails that have come my way, that not everyone in the world will judge me harshly for things that happened to me or around me as a child. And that my very dear friends might have similar stories that they need to get off their chests too.

The most frequently asked question that comes my way is if I feel a weight has been lifted off my shoulders by sharing my background. To that I respond both yes and no. I am not sure what my motivation was to share with y'all, but it was not actually to relieve stress. I don't usually think much about a post before writing it. One Monday I just wrote. And I was so touched by the kind responses that I decided to make it a semi-regular thing. Semi-regular because I have been busy lately and don't always make it on here to post anything on Sunday night or Monday morning. I do however feel relieved that many of my In Real Life (meaning outside of the blog. Because I do actually think of and speak of y'all as if we knew each other in person. I frequently re-tell stories saying "Blah, blah, blah happened to my friend, so she did XYZ about it.") friends know more about me. Without it having come up in the middle of a dinner, thus bringing the mood down. So while an unplanned outcome, that has been a relief. But also a source of guilt as emails come in saying "I had no idea!"

So to all my IRL friends reading this, I never set out to keep secrets from y'all. I just never found a time to bring it up when I thought it to be appropriate. But thank you a million times over for your sweet emails and comments!

More stories in the weeks to come, I promise. I know lurid details are far more fascinating than my babbling explanation.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Fast Food

This is my little kitchen helper. She is very helpful when it comes to all things chicken (or pork or turkey or anything else she thinks she desperately needs and rightfully deserves!). And to enforce her terrible behavior, I like to give her a little nibble. She did work so hard, after all!







Tonight's dinner was one of my favorite combinations; grocery store rotisserie chicken, mesclun salad with pecans and blackberries, cranberry dressing and acorn squash. Mmmm good! And since there are leftovers galore, it will be dinner tomorrow too. Those chickens make dinners fast and easy.


It always surprises me when friends mention they don't ever cook/eat acorn squash. I could eat it twice a week and be happy I think. It's really just an excuse to eat brown sugar and butter anyway. I like to mix my brown sugar, butter and a dash of maple syrup (the real stuff- none of that fake crap- gross!) together into a paste of sorts. It melts better that way. You can add whatever you have on hand but I usually add apple chunks, pecans, raisins or cranberries and the butter mixture. I also discovered last year that it makes a world of difference if you microwave the squash whole, no holes added, for several minutes before cutting. It turns that little event from nearly missing taking several fingers to the hospital on ice to one of ease. Then after I slice it and scoop out the seeds, I microwave it again for another 5 minutes. I do then cook it at 350 for 15 minutes (or so- depends on how large your squash are) but the microwave process cuts the cooking time down to about 1/3. Oh and I also take a piece of tin foil and form it into a snake and then a donut to hold each squash steady. Keeps them from rolling onto their sides and spilling out the liquid.





I had a very relaxing weekend. I did a whole bunch of nothing. Very unproductive. But Sadie Kate and I were too happy loafing about to care about the ironing going undone. There's always next week and the ironing isn't going anywhere.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Big Baby Bows

I recently had a custom order for a variety of baby bow headbands to coordinate with her daughter's Christmas dresses. And now I am hooked on big baby bows and headbands. It's not for everyone or every dog (I tried very hard to get Sadie Kate to pose with a flower headband but she was having none of it!). But I've turned a corner and now happen to think they are fabulous.













And I made these for my shop because once I started, I just couldn't stop. If I can attach one of those gigantic crystal gems on something, I will. They are my new favorite little something to add here and there!





Friday, November 13, 2009

Saved By Terrible Allergies

I'm home drinking hot cocoa with a splash (or three) of Baileys and watching 20/20. This is my first evening at home in a week! It started with pizza, then laundry, skipped the rest of the much needed but not fun on a Friday night house cleaning, and now poking around online and watching TV with the dog. Not exciting to some is a long-awaited night of nothing much to me! So 20/20....they are doing a piece on crazy cat ladies (they have like 30 cats- not about women who have two kitties- just wanted to clarify). How cats fulfill their deep yearning for love in their lives. I never thought I would say this, but OMG am I ever thankful for my severe allergies! That so could be me in another 10 years. But it won't be because being around cats for more than 20 minutes makes my face itch and swell and all sorts of un-fun things. Whew, avoided that near disaster!

Years ago, two of my favorite friends drove up to visit me over New Year's weekend. I was living in Indianapolis and they drove all the way up from Georgia. Only a best friend would do that! Anyway, on NYE, we were just sort of poking around my apartment during the afternoon. Just catching up and giggling and watching craptastic Lifetime TV movies. And then this movie came on that echoed a horrible situation that one friend had recently experienced. But ended. Right then and there we decided that if your life begins to resemble a Lifetime TV movie, it's time to change your life! I know it's not directly related to the crazy cat lady story but those are seriously good words to live by. Jot it down and I promise you will have a reason to repeat it at some point in your life.

Also, they just played the new Rhianna video. The song is beautiful but goodness that video is not for children. Very disturbing!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Lilly On Sale




In an effort to lighten the mood on Casa de Crocodile, I will be showing you some Lilly Pulitzer goodness today and tomorrow. If you have yet to stop by the huge Lilly sale, go NOW. Much of it is sold out. I was soooo good though. I had two things in my cart and then shut it down. I need nothing right now. We are going to get piles of snow sooner than I would like and then it will be months and months before I can even dream of wearing anything short and cute. But if you don't live in the North Pole, shop away. The prices are great but selection is dwindling as the seconds tick away.







My Baby and Khloe



Sadie had a seizure about at midnight as I was going to bed so I ran to her and held her. It wasn't as bad as it has been in the past. And she hasn't had a seizure in a very long time. But she is taking twice as long to come back. By that I mean she gets very spacey for about an hour after a seizure. At the moment she is still spacey and we are nearing the two hour mark. She's going to be OK, this I know. But I can't move until I see her come back to herself. Lucky for me (if there is any luck in a sick baby) this all took place in the den so I can sit at my computer and watch TV. It is so hard to watch my baby like this. She is clearly not feeling well and is very confused about what happened to her.


Speaking of TV, I am finally watching Khloe Kardashian's wedding special. Yeah, yeah, I keep up with the Kardashians. Don't judge. Not regularly but at random times like this. Now I really have no qualms with a quick wedding. The older I get, the less I care about stuff like that. If it's right, it's right (and not just a wedding- lots of stuff like moving or having a child or dying your hair or whatever). But Khloe was SOOOO wrong to not tell Bruce about being engaged. And then to yell at him when she was just so mean spirited about it, just wrong. I know he is not her father but they are close. They both admit that. Also, I really hope Kourtney breaks up with sleazy Scott. He just gives me the heeby-jeebies. He must use half a bottle of gel each morning on that slick hair do of his.


Also, I heart that song on the Amazon Kindle commercial. I googled it (Whatever did we all do before google?! I remember when I was little and asked a question, my dad told me to go look it up in the encyclopedia. And I felt special because we had a set. I used to love that thing! I bet teenagers these days have never seen a big huge encyclopedia set.) and found out that 1. LOTS of people dig that song and 2. it is not a real song. Well, it's real. But the entire commercial was a contest of some sort. So it's not like on an album or anything. Completely sad because I think it's great.


I'm exhausted y'all. Can hardly see straight. I think I might carry my baby girl into the bedroom so that we can both go to bed. My eyes do not want to stay open!


How's that for a random middle of the night post for you?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Momentary Venting



May I vent for a moment? I promise to not do this very often. So if this annoys you, come back tomorrow when I promise to not vent and whine. Because let's face it, this is just as much a whine session as anything else. Just being honest.

I am 31 and quickly approaching 32. I am single. S I N G L E. Not a man in my vast, open horizon. No one. Nada. I go to everything single. No "and guest" for me. Half the weddings I am invited to don't even include a guest. It's just a given that I will never ever have a date. Ever. Ever, ever, ever. And everyone knows it.





Y'all know I volunteer as a sorority advisor. Well now many of the collegians whom I advised are getting married. And I am in majah depression over this fact. Don't get me wrong, I of course wish everyone a lifetime of happiness. I'm not just saying that, I really mean it. I am not jealous in a way that I only want that for myself and not for anyone else. But I do want it too. I want to share that joy (and frustration and ups and downs and sideways and everything that comes along with being married. I am not under the impression that "happily ever after" actually exists. I know it is hard work. I'm willing and able!) with a life mate.





I want someone to take out the trash and thank me for making dinner most nights. I want to miss him when he is golfing with the guys for the weekend and I want him to miss me when I go visit my girlfriends in another state for the weekend. I want to host Thanksgiving for our crazy families and convince him that wearing a Lilly tie on Easter will not be as painful as he might imagine. And I want photos of it all to remember for generations.

Here's the thing. When I tell all of this to someone, they have one of two responses. The first usually comes from my newly (less than 5 years) married friends. They tell me how I should enjoy being single. That I should do all of the "only when you're single" things now. Like go to bars? Not my thing. Like kiss a bunch or random men? Again, not my thing. I am not sure what these fabulous single things are but I think this answer bites big time. I am not sure there is actually anything I would do single that I cannot do married. I live the life of a housewife-wannabe. Wannabe being the key word of course!

The second response is slightly accusatory mixed with proactiveness. They ask what I am doing about it. And while I appreciate the pro-active end of the question, I sort of resent that accusation that my unwillingness to stand on a street corner holding a sign saying "please date me" means I deserve to be single. One of my best friends met her now hub in a college lecture class. She ignored him at first. Another met hers when we were all little children. We were in diapers together and lived in the same neighborhood. Another met hers at work. Actually, several met their men at work now that I think about it. I work with women so this is not a possibility for me. None of these ladies were actively trying to date their now husbands. It just happened to work out that way. So if they didn't need to resort to a street corner with a sign, why should I have to humiliate myself further? The answer is that I am not really doing "anything" about my single syndrome. I do try to be aware of my surroundings (you know, at Starbucks and such), just in case Mr. Right is right there. But I am not currently on eHarmony or the like (Though I have been there before. The guy I dated from eH is married and just had a baby girl. Further fueling my whine fest.). I've been on several blind dates. They rarely pan out but I am always good spirited enough to look at those situations in a positive and complimentary light. I do appreciate others thinking that much of me and don't find it offensive.

The bottom line is that it seems clear to everyone who comments that this is my fault. That I am not "putting myself out there" or whatever the heck that means. Everyone loves to tell me that it will happen when it happens. Thanks, that really cleared that up for me. Exactly when will that be do you suppose?

My friends who are prego-challenged do their best to avoid baby showers and kiddie birthday parties. It just feels too painful for them to have it in their face all the time. I totally get that. But you can't do that when you are marriage-challenged. I have exactly one of my 10 best girlfriends who is still single. And she lives nine states away. Every other friend is married. Or in a practically-married relationship. If I avoided all my married friends, I would be avoiding everyone I know. Literally. And one can avoid baby showers- you just mail a gift and no one gives a hoot. But how exactly is one to avoid a wedding when you are a bridesmaid. I can't mail my bridesmaid dress and magically make it walk down the aisle and give a toast. On top of impossible, that would be creepy. And I want to be there. I love weddings and love my friends and genuinely love being there to celebrate those awesome life moments. It's just that I want a reason for people to celebrate with me too. I am recently convinced that if I ever find a man to marry, we will have to do a justice of the peace wedding. Most of my friends now have children or are planning to have them soon. You can't exactly run off to another state for a weekend wedding when you have babies. I feel like I have officially missed my window of time to have anyone even consider coming to my highly-unlikely-to-even-happen-anyway wedding.

Oh and don't even get me started on my family members asking me why I am single. Why? You want to know why? As if I am making a conscious decision to be love-less? Like I turn suitors away? I don't bloody know why! But you asking me like that is humiliating. Not just frustrating but humiliating because it further makes me feel like a big fatty loser who will forever be invited to events solo.

What's the point of this post, you are wondering? Well everyone says if you want something to happen, be pro-active. So I pray about it multiple times a day (Pray, plead, beg, cry, discuss, and then some. God is fully aware, trust me. We chat frequently.), I think about it, I talk about it (usually with Georgia- my only single best friend and Sadie - the pup), and I made a vision board (ala Oprah). I stare at that darn vision board every bloody day. So far, nada. Its just a dumb board with magazine clippings and bold lettering. And now I am putting it out into the blogosphere in great detail.





I want to be married and adopt children. I know I can (and likely will) have a family without a husband. But in my heart of hearts, I want the husband too. First, I want him first. Not for the wedding or ring. I want the marriage. I want the partner. I want someone to hold my hand when I am sad. I want someone to share my life with. I want it all, dammit. There, I said it. I really do want "it all." But will gladly settle for some part thereof. I am so tired (literally exhausted) of feeling so alone and unloved. I know my family and friends love me. But it is not the same. Their love being enough is like telling a woman yearning for years to get pregnant to just enjoy her neighbor's kid instead. It is not the same thing. Not even close. My heart aches for marriage. The older I get, the more alone I feel. The more at a stand-still. I feel like my friends are living life and I am stuck sitting on the corner waiting for a bus that is never coming. It changed routes and doesn't even pass this neighborhood anymore. Maybe I should in fact get out my "please marry me" sign as long as I am standing on this bus-less street corner!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A First

For me, the execution tonight of the DC Sniper tonight hits home in a way I have never before experienced. I am vehemently against the death penalty. But this time it feels so personal. And leaves me feeling conflicted. I lived in Virgina when this all took place. It wasn't a news story, it was daily life. I was a nanny at the time and I very much remember sitting with the mom at night to talk about where it might be safer to go get gas or take the kids. We all lived in fear. The attacks were so random and diverse and left everyone feeling so on edge. I think things like this are different when you live them rather than watching on the news. Just as when you have a soldier in your family or teacher or insert person. You are more sensitive when it interacts with your personal life. When it changes the way you go about your day. So while I am steadfast in my disagreement of the death penalty, I do feel an odd sense of relief that he is no longer ever able to terrorize our nation.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Nubs


(Photo from the AOL story)


For all the dog lovers in the world. Great story here!

Fast Pants And The Little Cart

Two quick and unrelated stories for you.

So I know many of us grumble about Ebay often but I have to share this positive story with y'all. On Friday night I bid on a pair of yellow Lilly Pulitzer corduroy pants in my fat girl size. I am back on the work-out bandwagon but the likelihood of me fitting into my not-quite-as-fat-girl size any time soon is unlikely. I'm just being realistic. Anyway, I bid on pants. And I won them. So when I found out first thing Sat AM that I won, I of course paid right away. I'm a good buyer like that. But the seller....she is even better. She mailed them what seems like moments after I paid. Then arrived on Monday. Won, paid, packaged and shipped before noon on Saturday. Arrived Monday. I was gleeful! Oh and they fit great so that's a big plus too.

Second story happened yesterday at the grocery store. My market has one little row of the highly desired little carts. Do y'all know what I mean when I say "little cart?" They look like the big carts but for a kid. They are short and double-decker. We don't have the fancy markets like Whole Foods, Trader Joes or Sutton Place up here. But they all have similar small carts in those stores. OK, either you know what I am talking about or you don't. But suffice to say it is a small shopping buggy. Moving on. Well my Price Chopper only has one row of them. So they are usually out when I go shopping. They are highly coveted as they are so much easier to maneuver around the people who think it is perfectly acceptable to place their giant carts side by side and having a long conversation with a friend and ignore you when you say excuse me so you have to leave the aisle altogether. But yesterday, I got a little cart. Perfect as I only needed a few items. So I go about my business and as I am towards the end of my shopping, this little old lady comes up to me. Actually, she came up to my cart as I was grabbing something off the shelf. She starts saying to no one in particular, " Can I have this cart? I want the little cart Can I have the little cart? I like the little cart." At first I didn't even realize she was talking to me as she was sort of just wandering about. Her husband then said that it was someone else's cart and she had to use the big cart. She stood her ground, wanting my little cart. I get it, they are way better than the big carts. I have asked Price Chopper Customer Service multiple times to get more but they just laugh at me and then say that everyone asks the same thing. Um, OK. And while I am sympathetic to little old ladies, I was actually using the cart. What would I have done with my groceries if I had given it to her? After I checked out I saw her again and did in fact give it to her. But come on now, I can't just give you the cart and magically carry my groceries. I hope she enjoyed my little cart though.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

And The Season Is Officially Here



Bought this pink pig in high heels ornament at Target today. Isn't she adorable? The first sign that the holiday season is officially here in my household. I also have a coupon for 50% off anything at Michaels. The sales lady said that did not include the fake trees. But the fine print states trees over 4 feet tall. I have every intention to buy myself an under four foot tall pink tree at 50% off this week. I'm skipping right over Thanksgiving this year apparently. Is it tacky to have a pumpkin next to my pink Christmas tree? Well y'all won't tell, will you?!

Juicy News




Last week I bought myself yet another juicer. So far, it is still in my possession and has not been returned. A good sign. Still not my perfect juicer though. I bought the (as seen on TV) Jack LaLanne power juicer on sale from Target (because I practically live there!). It is far easier to clean that the last one I bought (and promptly returned after using once and spending 30 minutes cleaning). But I wish the spout was higher because I can only fit a small juice glass under it. And it does not tilt up when I switching to an empty juice glass, thus requiring me to be quick with my hands. Which I am not.


But I have just felt run down a lot lately. Or always. And realized (duh!) that I don't get nearly as many fruits and veggies in my diet as needed. So a juicer to the rescue (This week anyway. I tend to be flighty with toys/fads like this. Ask me in two weeks if I still juice anything and then we can really talk.). The pup hates it as it is not quiet. She has very sensitive little princess puppy ears. But I don't make her drink my concoctions so I consider that a fair trade off. My dad rolled his eyes at me when I told him that I am yet again determined to be a "juicer." And in all honesty, I feel that is a fair response. As I said, I do not have a great track record with juicers. In fact, I think I own the very first electric juicer I ever had in a box in the basement somewhere. I believe I asked for and received it for Christmas in 8th or 9th grade. So my fascination and good intention goes back to childhood. The follow-through has yet to be found though.


The book says to drink it ASAP and not store it in the fridge. I of course make my own rules in life and say pish posh to that nonsense. So I am juicing about ever three days or so and keep in in the fridge where it seems to be surviving just fine, thankyouverymuch. Take that Jack LaLanne juicer recipe book! Above is my own little treat of a recipe - 1 apple, 1 pear (mmmm- my favorite!), 1 humongo carrot, 1 big bunch of baby spinach, and a knob of ginger. Take that and toss in blender with a bunch of fat free vanilla yogurt and a banana (they cannot be juiced - sad, I know!) and there you have it. Served in a wine glass because it makes me happy. And I think meals should make one happy. Most of my juicing is not this sweet but I felt like a smoothie tonight. I ended up drinking the entire thing with dinner (which consisted only of the 1/2 a too large to eat in one sitting chicken and red pepper pesto panini from lunch yesterday). Just think about how many lovely vitamins and fiber entered my happy body in just this one meal!


I hope my enthusiasm is maintained as it doesn't look like either flu shot is going to enter my body any time soon. And no, I am not mad at the government for over-estimating. It happens. When they get to me, they will get to me. I hope to get both. But will settle for the regular flu shot if that's all I can find. Don't get me started on how insane and irresponsible I think you are if you are one of the people who refuse to get one for any reason other than an actual medical issue. It saves lives. Mine, yours and then some.


They just showed the lab making the H1N1 shots in the US on 60 Minutes. Fascinating. I love stuff like that. Factory tours that is, not medical stuff. Let me assure you that I am not remotely fascinated by anything medical. I turn away from many of the scenes on Grey's. Medical and KK do not mix. (But a big shout out of congrats to my best girl Georgia who just decided to go back to school to become a nurse!! I'm wicked proud of you! Just please do not tell me anything about your studies. Ew.) But I love a factory tour. I can actually tell you the exact moment I decided I loved a factory tour and am curious to know if any of y'all share this same memory. Sesame Street had an episode that featured a tour of Crayola Crayons being made. Right then and there I decided it was completely fascinating. To date, my favorite factory is the Celestial Seasons (yes, the tea company) factory near Denver, CO. The tour is excellent fun but then, the gift shop is fabulous too!


Funny story. So a long time ago when I was in college, my best pal and sorority little sister (or sister daughter as they are now called), Little, and I signed up to do an Alternative Spring Break. You know, the trips where you go volunteer time and work instead of heading to Mexico and Texas. But a week before we were set to head up to Memphis to work at Saint Jude, they cancelled on us. We were both completely bummed and had been so looking forward to working with such an incredible program. So we scrambled. Her grandparents lived in Boulder and said we could come stay with them. So we found tickets and headed out to Colorado to hang with Grandma and Cowboy (she called her grandfather Cowboy- adorable!). We did a little of everything. I am a big fan of skiing so we went to a more local mountain one day. We both took separate half day lessons. It was her first and last experience. I still maintain that if she gave it another chance she would love it. So after lunch she sat in the lodge and I skied solo. Another day, my payback for her spending her day skiing for me, we went to the USAFA to watch them march. Her childhood friend was in school there at the time and she LOVES her a man in uniform. Bad weather came in though and the men and women didn't march that day. We went to the gift shop to buy a sweatshirt for her and they didn't have anything in her small size. So we left crest-fallen. Poor thing. So we headed back home. But on the way home, we passed the Keebler plant. Realizing my love of factory tours (we went to Celestial Seasoning earlier in the week and I have been to many others in my life) and our less than fabulous day, we pulled in that cookie filled parking lot. We were babbling on and on about how exciting the gift shop would be with all of their new products ready for us to test out. So we don't see any signs. Nor do we see any goofy tourists. We find their office though so I hop out to ask where we go for the tour and gift shop. The sweet gal behind the counter looks at me as if I asked to meet Santa Claus. I ask again. She politely says that they don't have a tour. And they don't have a gift shop either. Gasp! Horror! But she did offer me a cookie as they had a trey of them in the back office. How sad and pathetic is that?! Keebler, why no tour of the magic tree house and elves working hard? I would pay good money to see that any day of the week.


I have no real reason I have been blog absent for a week and half. Some days I didn't have anything exciting to say, some I was tired, and some I just never got around to it. It happens. Hopefully my fresh juice will give me more energy this coming week! I cannot believe that there are only two more months in 2009. I have about a million and one things to do before Christmas gets here. Eeks!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

What Happened To Cancer Sucks?

Another once bites the dust. Two losses, both Preppy Sue and Cancer Sucks With Lilly Pulitzer On Your Side, in one little week. Sad news times two!

I know Cancer Sucks left Blogville for a private, personal reason that she is not disclosing but I thought she might get a chuckle out of my guesses anyway. She said it was OK for me to post this and I am fairly certain that none of these are the correct guess. Her few and far between hints were just driving my mind wild. I seriously love a good guessing game. Though I've never had one that lasted quite this long.

Here's what I do know; she is not writing a book (but awesome guess, Kim!), her absence will last about a year (maybe more?), and her health is not a concern right now (thankfully!). Knowing only that, here's what I came up with. Let me know if you have guesses too. I know Cancer Sucks is reading and will think this is all rather humorous.


* You are prego. Now I am fairly certain you said this was no longer possible but on the off chance I am wrong (because let's face it, I am wrong frequently!), prego baby doc told you to blog no more because you are high risk.

* You are filming a show for TLC. Your adorable family was begged to replace the never filmed Kate Plus 8. This is actually the guess that seems most likely in an odd sort of way. I'll watch. And not just because I watch all the TLC shows. You know I love me some TLC.

* You are going on a speaking tour. Talking about your story from cancer and back again. Book not in the works but soon to follow for sure.

* Lilly Pulitzer hired you to be their spokesperson/supermodel. And you get to keep a sample of every design. If this is it, I am not sure we can be friends as I would be crazy jealous. But happy for you too.

* You are running for public office. I'd move just to vote for you.

* Hub's job is requiring y'all to move for a year. Hopefully somewhere fabulous like London or Switzerland.

* You are going back to grad school.

* And my second best guess is that you are adopting. And taking time off to bond.


So there you go, that's the best I can come up with. I wish you and the family the very best, Cancer Sucks!. It's a sad week to lose both you and Preppy Sue but I totally understand that family needs must come before blogs.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Just Say No

Have y'all read this post by Jill? I am the opposite. I have had a chronic case of The Yes since childhood. I sort of function better when I am slightly over-scheduled. But I also tend to lose my mind a little. It's a six of one, half dozen of the other sort of thing. I'm happiest when I'm busy but it makes me crazy and sometimes sick at the same time.

Well I've been feeling run down lately. Does anyone else sort of feel the pre-sickies a few days before real sickness (cold, sinus, flu, whatever) sets in? Its like my body's way of saying, "hey KK, here's your 48-72 hour warning to eat leafy greens, vitamin C and get some quality sleep in you before you will be forced to suffer in bed for a week." So today, I took note. I was asked to help with all these last minute things that I usually say "yes" to, even though it is completely rude to expect me to be at your beck and call. But I am addicted to yes. I think Jill wrote that post yesterday for me, though. Today, I said no. I said it politely of course. And offered to meet next week if needed. But this week, I have a lot on my plate already. And I just don't think it is wise to add anything extra. This quick change to cold weather is wreaking havoc on my sinuses. And I've yet to go get my flu shot. So it's early to bed for me this week. No extras. No, no, no. But with kindest regards. No.

Also, I finally remembered to put my heated blankie on my bed last night. I actually use it under my fitted sheet to warm me from the bottom up. I cannot believe I never owned one until last year. It's like a crockpot for my bed. (y'all know about my crockpot love!) Keeps me perfectly warm all night long. In high school, I had a teacher who used to give us the same bonus question on ever test. She wrote "happiness is ....." and all we had to do was fill in the blank. It was only worth one point but even if you bombed the test, you got that bonus and left the room feeling a bit happier. So my lovelies, happiness is my heated blanket. What is your happiness today?

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