Wednesday, September 30, 2009

It's Time

I popped in Target today to return something and spied their big display of scarves and gloves. Glove season is back. Damn. I'm not ready for it all quite yet. I had to wear both a sweater and light coat today. Ugh. I looked cute but was not at all happy about it. So in a lame effort to cheer myself up, I bought two pairs of gloves. Does anyone else love these little cheapo gloves from Target? I probably buy at least six pairs each year. They sell them two pair for $1.50. So when they get holes or get grimy beyond washing help, I toss them. New mittens does not erase the fact that I only had about a month of summer this year. Out of 12 months. One was summer. Which sucks. But I do dig the green color. So that's something...

Clam Chowdah

So it is getting cold up here. Fall has officially arrived, y'all. Perfect weather for chowders, soups and stews, though. I decided last night to play around and make up my own recipe for clam chowder that was not quite as heavy as typical. And not to toot my own horn, but toot toot baby! This was mmmmmm good! And easy as all get out. I actually think I used more fat free half and half than what I said below, but you should start with that amount and add more as you see fit. If you love a chunky monkey filled with goodies clam chowdah, enjoy! I promise you cannot tell that it only has 1/2 cup of heavy cream. All the flavor but waaay less fat.

Clam Chowder


- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 large potatoes, cubed
- 20 baby carrots, chopped
- 1-2 ears of fresh corn, corn cut off ear
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 can chopped clams
- 2 cans whole clams
- 2 bottles clam juice
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 3-4 cups fat free half and half
- 3 tablespoons butter
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch


Saute onion in butter until it become translucent. Add in potatoes and carrots. Add everything except cornstarch. Simmer for about 45 minutes, until potatoes are tender. Take a ladle of liquid and mix with cornstarch in small dish. Add back to pot of soup.

Serve with salad and fresh bread.

Speaking of fresh bread, I found this fabulous blog the other day. What better to compliment a big bowl of chowdah on a cool fall night than a loaf of fresh bread. Y'all need to try this recipe! It was so easy and finally gave me a reason to use the dough hook attachment that came with my stand mixer. Her recipe instructs you to turn the dough out on a floured surface. But I used a wide bowl, left the dough in the bowl and just kneaded it in there. No need for extra flour in my case. Which to me means less mess. I love that! Anyway, please try her bread recipe. Even if you think that you can only make toast. I promise you can make this. It really is super easy. Just think of how great your toast will taste the next morning!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Canned Goodness

This is what I did on a Saturday night. I'm not even kidding. I really did make and can jams! Lame, I know. I had a ball though so I really don't give a hoot. I watched football (but not Georgia as there were not on up here. Probably a good thing- stressful game to watch I am told.) and made jams. It all started as I was flipping around on etsy. I randomly found a listing for banana jam. I'd never heard of jam made from bananas but it sounded fun. So I did what any crafty soul would do....I googled it. It turns out that it is a very easy recipe. Seems it is popular in Scandinavian cultures, according to the internet anyway. I love bananas so I came up with my own version of the many recipes I found online. Banana-Pineapple Jam. It is going to be amazing on top of yogurt or Greek yogurt as a snack or desert. And I can already tell you that it is crazy good on top of fresh bread. I made a dozen baby jars to give away or keep or whatever.

Next up I decided to make some pineapple jam. This recipe is even easier, though mine didn't set up properly. So I don't actually have jam and instead have a very think sauce. It too will find itself on top of things like yogurt and bread as well as pork and ham. I probably won't gift any as it didn't set up as firm as jam should set up. I'm sure I'll find use for it though. It's so yummy! And I love the bright yellow color. It's just a cheerful jar of yumminess!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Crack In A Cup

It's all about the little things in life! A little treat goes a long way to make me smile. After my meeting on Sunday, I popped over to my favorite Starbucks for Crack In A Cup. Well, they call it a "Pumpkin Spice Latte" but I know better. I twitch at the first turn of weather each fall for my drug of choice. I was clean for nearly a full year. But come winter, I will back to square one at CIACA (Crack In A Cup Anonymous). A small price to pay for happiness!

Monster Monday

Lectures. When my mother's husband, Satan, got upset, we all got lectures. Not yelled at. Lectured. For hours at a time. Often at meals. You would sit down thinking it was spaghetti night and four hours later you were crying because you still had two hours of homework to do after the lecture. The offense didn't need to be anything serious. It just needed to be serious in the warped mind of Satan. It could be something as small as going to the mall with my mother without telling him, even though he wasn't home to be told (before the era of cell phones) and you arrived back home before he did. It could be relating a conversation I had with my dad about a non-offensive topic like shoes or a baby cousin born that week or dogs. Once his eldest son came home from boarding school (Lucky duck! I used to pray for the chance at going to boarding school to get away from them but my dad never thought that was a good solution to my issues.) and mentioned that he went on an overnight visit to a friend's house one weekend and attended a Catholic church. That lecture lasted years on the wickedness that is the Catholic church. Imagine his excitement when my dad sent me to a Catholic high school! The offense didn't need to make sense to anyone other than Satan. Decades later I am still unclear on what sparked so many of the lectures.

The thing is, if it was at their house over dinner, it felt containable. I could just keep it to myself. Just grin and bear it. Nod. Say yes. Apologize profusely even though you weren't there when said offense occurred and have no understanding what the problem was. Apologize and promise till the cows come home that you will never do it again (even if you never did it, said it, thought it, or knew about it in the first place.). But it was horrifying if it was one of the rare occasions when you had a friend over to the house. Because it was hard to put a spin on the situation then. And you were never allowed to get up from the table until he gave you permission. Needing to use the potty was never an excuse. Phones went unanswered. Homework would wait until midnight to be started. And friends had to endure the suffering too. It was mortifying! And not just kid friends had to witness this. Adults, family members, church clergy, everyone. If you were there and a lecture took place, you were in it for the long haul too. Just like me. When it was over, I would spend every second trying to cover up the situation. Make light. Lie that it never happened or wasn't bad or whatever I could think of.

I rarely invited friends over when I stayed with my mother and Satan. There was simply no predicting what might go down. Everyone felt so sorry for me growing up. And I hated that sympathy. It felt so much like pity. Maybe it was. I know it was out of the kindness of hearts but it was humiliating too. It made me feel so different. Like the center of attention for all the wrong reasons. I never felt like people cared about me for me, it always felt like they just felt so darn sorry for my situation. My adult self knows that people loved me and wanted less suffering for me. But as a little kid, the view was different. I always felt less than.

One of the worst situations happened when we were traveling. Actually, most of the worst situations happened when traveling or out at a nice restaurant. We were in Europe, though at the moment I can't remember where. Switzerland, maybe? He got so mad at a nothing comment my mother made (like literally nothing that had to do with anything. just babble conversation.) and he left us in the middle of no where. Took the car and left us in some unknown town on the side of the road. We had no idea where he was or where we were staying that night as everything was in the car with him. No way to contact him and no way to get anywhere. Where would we go anyway. We were there being "punished" for nearly the entire day. We weren't allowed to do anything because we had to wait and hope that he would return. So me, my mother, and Satan's two sons (both older than me) stood on the side of this road in a little town for an entire day. When things got very bad, my mother always used to rationalize them by saying that Satan took us on very nice vacations. That standing on the side of the unknown road example is one of my nicer vacation memories. Seriously. So I'm sorry, what exactly justifies the misery? A lecture or mistreatment in a fancy location is still a lecture or mistreatment. But really, a lot more work because you spend all of your energy trying to pretend to the world that you are happy.

It upsets me to no end when the media/people criticize situations such as Mackenzie Phillips or Jaycee Dugard. They go on and on about how they could have left those situations. I guess it means that those criticizing have never experienced any sort of abuse themselves. Which is such a blessing. I actually used to pray for Satan to hit me. Just once. Because even as a little kid I knew that I would never escape unless there was concrete proof. He never hit any of us. Threatened all the time. But never laid a hand. He knew. We all knew. That emotional abuse of power is just that....power. It is powerful beyond explanation. There is no such thing as just walking out the door. It takes an act of God and aligned stars to "just walk out" of an abusive situation. It is beyond exhausting to try to live your daily life as if you are acting in a Broadway show. Everything is a lie. It's all a performance. To fake being normal. To hide the humiliating truth. At the end of the day, you are satisfied if you didn't draw more attention to yourself and if you got away without being big trouble. Extra energy to just walk out the door is nearly nonexistent. The fear is far too great to risk it!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Amazing Race!

No other reason for this post but to say I am so excited that the Amazing Race is on right now! I heart this show. One of my favorites. I still maintain that someone else from Blogville should go on the show with me. That would be our hook, "met via preppy blogs." Cute, right? Any takers?

Great Jeans And My Ruby Red Slippers

I found the best jeans at Target the other day. OK, well best for me, that is. I am surely the very last female alive who does not own fancy pants designer jeans. Actually, I don't really love jeans. Did I hear you gasp loudly? I know, I am so odd. I just don't think they look very good on me. And they are never really all that comfortable on me. I rarely feel "sexy" but I promise you it has never happened while wearing denim of any sort. I do wear jeans though. 24/7 in the winter months. I'd love to say I wear cute skirts and tights, but I live in the North Pole. Winter is less about fashion and more about survival. Jeans and .....wait for it.....wait for it....Uggs. Gasp, gasp! Ugly? Yes. Necessary? OMG yes!!

So anyhoo...I found the most comfortable jeans at Tar-jay. Now if you are in the majority who are looking all hot mama in your fabulously fancy designer jeans, this post is not really going to be your cup of tea. But if you look at soccer moms in the grocery store and think, damn where did you get those soccer-mom-carpool-lane-will-fit-my-ever-expanding-body jeans, here you go! They are the stretchiest jeans ever. Like they are good for the fat days and skinny days (which are few and far between but a girl can dream, right?) and then the OMG-I-can't-fit-through-the-door-and-need-to-be-crane-lifted-out days. Don't lie, you know you've had a few of those days before (Black Friday perhaps?). The tag reads "No-Gap Waistband." Which is less of a bonus for me as my body is pretty straight. I don't really have a very defined waist. But I have a lot of friends who have a very small waist and larger hips. I'm sure these jeans are calling your name. They are mid-rise. Love that. I mean, I don't want pants up to my boobs but I don't want them below my panty line either. I love the waistband. The No-Gap Waistband. It's lined so it is soft and doesn't cut into me when I am sitting. And the ultra stretchy jeans are so soft. Target is in no way rewarding me for shouting the praises of this pair of pants (anyone ever wonder why we call a single pant a pair?). But I know I am not alone in the quest for perfect jeans. And while I would not call these jeans perfect as I am certain I still look like the size 10 that I am and not a size 4 that I fantasize about, they are a gosh darn good pair of pants. And the price is right at only $25.

I wore them today (rolled up because I need to hem them this week) to my meetings with my new favorite fall shoes. Last year I bought these red gems but never wore them. So it was like wearing a brand new pair of shoes today. I will wear them more often though as it is just plain fun on a drippy, dreary day to wear big girl ruby red slippers!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Ode To Summer

Clearly, I am having a hard time accepting the fact that you have really left me, Summer. I was about in tears as I packed up my favorite colorful cotton gems. No other season up here is nearly as fabulous as you. Sniff, sniff! Pouty party of one, right here!

What does Florida have that I do not? Why does she get to see you so much more than me? Don't tell me "it's not you, it's me." It's always "me!"

Please come again, sooner rather than later next year. OK? Kisses!!

At least Fall TV is back! It's not nearly as fabulous as tomato sandwiches on the back deck for dinner but Grey's and Glee are good nonetheless.

The Long Goodbye After A Short Visit

Dear Summer,

I love you! You were very late to the party this year. Like, crazy late. Like, you didn't actually grace us with your presence until August. Remember when the weather man announced that we experienced the "coldest July in recorded history?" You don't? That's because you weren't here. But when you did show up, you were stunningly beautiful as always! You walk in the room and heads turn. Deservedly so. And now you are leaving town once again. I'm so sad to wave goodbye. Your visit was far too short this year. I know a long, hard winter is coming to town eventually. And you will be down in sunny South America. Some things in life just don't feel fair. So should you feel like a little vaca in say, February, feel free to visit Upstate NY. You are always welcome. Your room is ready. Fresh towels are rolled. Tiny monogrammed soaps in a sweet silver dish are purchased and prepared. I love you, I love you, I love you!!


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Freeze It

So I have a million blog thoughts but am just short on time and energy. This are improving, but s l o w l y! So this is all you get tonight.

Y'all know I have a sweet tooth and love to bake. But if I make a batch of cookies and don't have a home to send them to immediately, they will end up in my tummy. I have zero will-power. So I've started doing this. I make the dough and bake a few cookies to enjoy. Then I scoop the rest of the dough onto a cookie sheet. Place the cookie sheet in the freezer and freeze until the dough balls are firm (a few hours). Take the frozen balls of dough out and store them in a zip freezer bag. When I feel like cookies, I bake two. They easily go from freezer to oven. No need to thaw. Nothing beats a warm, home baked cookie at the end of the evening!

The second freezer tip is for coffee. It's not uncommon for me to think I need to make a big pot and then have most of the big pot unused. So I pour the coffee into plastic ice cube trays. After frozen, dump them into a zip freezer bag. Add to milk for what my family has always called "coffee milk," or add them to your ice coffee to keep it from getting diluted. Deee-lish! Goes great with fresh baked cookies!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Pet Peeve

Now if this offends you, please understand that this is simply my opinion and personal preference. I'm just stating that upfront. Should be obvious but I've learned it often is not. So if you don't like this particular topic, drop by another day when I am discussing something less controversial.

That being said, I have a new pet peeve. Females wearing football/sports jerseys. Actually, I think it is nearly as tacky when males wear them too. So really, anyone wearing a faux football jersey annoys me. Besides the fact that they are made of that slick, shiny, poly-blend material, they are not flattering. I don't care if you tailor it to the high heavens. You either look like a shiny box or Kendra. Neither is good.

Hear me out. Would you wear a tutu to the Nutcracker? Of course not. Would you wear a skating dress to watch Michelle Kwan ice skate? Um, no. Did you see Michael Phelps momma wearing a Speedo at the Olympics as her son came in first? Heck no. Would you wear a habit to Mass if you are not a nun? Unlikely. So why oh why oh why to folks wear those tacky jersey shirts to football games? What's wrong with a normal cotton t-shirt? I'm not saying you need to wear a polo shirt or LBD. But enough is enough when it comes to the shiny jersey shirts. If you are not actually, physically participating in the sport (as in catching the ball- not participating by yelling loudly), they please wear normal clothing. No one is going to see you at the bar and think, "OMG did you actually play in the big game today?!" You are fooling no one, but are doing a swell job of looking like a fool. Ponder that for a while and get back to me.

Saturday, September 19, 2009


I'm still here, but I have felt a bit like I was drowning the last few weeks. Nothing I really feel comfortable disclosing on a public blog though. It started out a month ago as "one of those days" and quickly became "one of those weeks" and many weeks later it is "one of those months." So help me God if it becomes a "semester" or "year!" I tell you, I am not strong enough. I have not exercised in TWO WEEKS. I tried twice and literally didn't have the energy to get past the warm up section of the video. This situation has spiraled out of control so quickly that I have a hard time even explaining it to people. I don't quite understand all that has happened (and is still happening....and escalating!). I'm so incredibly drained. Oh, and the source of this is a volunteer gig. As in, I chose to do this for fun. I have spent more time on this situation each of the past few weeks than most people spend working two jobs. Seriously. Early morning to late at night. Get a call and have to get out of bed because it is so late at night. So I haven't blogged. Because I am running on empty. I feel like my body is simply coasting from one thing to the next. And I try to avoid caffeine in life so I am seriously barely keeping my head above water. Did I mention I do what I do for free?

But it hasn't been all doom and gloom. Here are a few nice things that have happened in the last few weeks...

* A fellow etsy seller stopped by my etsy shop and left me a message simply to compliment my ice cream cozies. No other reason. I've never thought to do that before but you can bet your bottom dollar I will start to spread the compliment love on etsy from now on. It seriously felt so lovely to have a stranger take a moment out of her day to say she likes what I make. It gave me such a high when I was having such a tough day.

* My sorority Recruitment went A-MAZ-ING!! I helped the chapter change a lot about Recruitment this year. Some things were more popular than others. So I was a nervous wreck knowing my butt was on the line. It was worth every effort because my girls ROCKED! I was the proudest little Chapter Advisor ever. They just worked so hard (after much nagging but in the end, they worked their tails off) and looked so beautiful (there were a few tempter tantrums but whatever)! Crazy proud!

* My placement for Junior League (that I am co-chairing) is well underway and going far better than I imagined. Still in the very beginning stages and still a LOT riding on my shoulders (last year they were very successful so I have big shoes to fill) but I feel more confident that I can do my job and (hopefully) do it well! I was sick with nerves all summer over volunteering to co-chair this huge fundraiser. Don't get me wrong, I'm still a nervous Nelly. But at least I'm not sick over it. Progress!

* I am getting a bit better at seeing the big picture in life. This can be a challenge for me when I am in the middle of a crisis. Now if you are in your own crisis, I am seriously the best at enlightening you to the bigger picture. I can calm you down in a skinny second. But I suck at taking my own advice. It never even occurs to me most times to look at the bigger picture. I sort of think that's a female thing though. So many of us can take care of the entire planet and never think, hey I need to relax or eat or think this through or go to bed early or indulge in a piece of pie or take a bubble bath or go to the doctor.

At one point when I was speaking with my advisor person in regards to the mega-crisis in am still in the middle of, I said that I am assuming this situation is preparing me for something later in life. I gave a specific example but in an effort to not lead any sort of trail of info that could make things worse, I'm trying my best to not go into details. But anyway, I gave the example and she started laughing so hard. She said she would never have thought of it that way. Which made me feel great. I'm sure she doesn't realize that but it did make me feel so proud. I am trying very hard lately to be like Bestie. She is so great at looking at a situation and seeing that it could potentially be of benefit later in life. She sees things, good and bad, as God's will. So I am trying to do the same. This challenge is God teaching me skills to use later in life. I do not think these new skills are fun. At all. But they surely have some greater purpose other than making me feel exhausted, hurt, upset, and unmotivated to get my butt moving. This is a life lesson. A big, fat, five credit life lesson. The final exam is going to be a bitch. And it will be a surprise, as I currently do not know when it will come to a conclusion. But mark my words....if it take every ounce of my dwindling energy, I will pass this exam with flying colors!! I've invested too much at this point to not see it through to the bitter end.

Dear God, please make it less bitter and more end, though. I am seriously exhausted!

* I had a small party at my home today and it was fabulous. Just coffee and treats. But it was the most perfect day outside. One of those crisp and cool early fall days. Not a cloud in the sky. With the sunshine making it warm enough to not require a jacket. Lovely company and great food (if I do say so myself). If I can get my act together this week, I have a great brownie recipe to share.

* Fall Football Saturdays. SEC football. GEORGIA football. Gooo DAWGS, sic 'em!!

So there you go, another rambling post trying to explain why I have not been very active in Blogville as of late. I am determined that this week will be better. But you should know that I said the same thing last week so...

Monday, September 7, 2009


I just realized that I've been back to blogging for a few days now but never bothered to go back to being public. So I've been blogging to myself all weekend. Nice. Tehetehe! Here's hoping I can keep my head on my shoulders this week. Recruitment starts tomorrow and I am a nervous wreck that my girls are not fully prepared. Cross your fingers we all survive the week!!

For A New Momma

So my friend Florida is breastfeeding my Godchild, Jack. She is doing an amazing job with it too. But when I was down a few weeks ago, she had yet to find a way to keep herself covered enough for her father to be in the room while feeding. I've seen similar covers in stores but never really paid that close of attention to them. But once I figured out how big to make the cover, the rest was pretty easy. The center has boning in it so that the momma can easily see her baby while feeding. On each side there is a corner pocket made out of terrycloth to wipe milk, hold a pacifier or nipple pads. And the strap is adjustable with d-rings. I mean, nothing fancy but she said she really likes that it is plenty large to cover her and the baby and the pillows without slipping off.

Mommas out you use similar covers? Is there a feature on yours that you really like? I have a plethora of momma girlfriends these days and am always looking for a new gift to make for them.

Monster Monday

I am taking Monday to share a little tidbit of what makes me, me. My childhood. Not always pretty but mine all the same.

One of my earliest memories of my mother's husband was well before she and my father were divorced. But I am pretty sure they were officially separated at this point. Yeah, they must have been. Anyway, that probably doesn't matter to y'all. I'm just trying to jog my own memory. So Satan (clearly not his actual name but it is who he is,so it shall be the only name he is called by on here) and my mother had an affair. Got caught. Filed for divorce from their significant others. And he bought a condo. She would take me with her sometimes when she went to visit him. I was about 7 - so I was old enough to sort of know who he was but not really very clear on things at that young age. But Satan wouldn't let me come inside. He would let MPU (Maternal Parental mother) inside but would block me from entering. He said I had to give him a hug and a kiss before I was allowed to come inside. The combination of me being very stubborn, very very shy, and totally in the know about this man's shadiness meant that I would refuse. I mean, I didn't even know him. And did I mention I was painfully shy at that age? And very sensitive. Mean man did not equal hugs and kisses! So I had to stand outside, in the hot South Florida heat, for hours. Sometimes I would knock and my MPU would come to the door but he would insist I stay there until I hugged and kissed him. She never stood up for me. She never once said that this little seven year old girl should not be standing for hours in direct hot Florida sun as a result of not being keen on kissing a bully. Sometimes it would just get too hot to handle and I would knock and give in. But more often than not, there I stood. For what felt like days. But I'm sure it was more like an hour or two.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Monster Mondays

So I am going to start a new and hopefully regular post. Perhaps not every week. But I'm going to try to make it somewhat regular. Until the mean comments start rolling in anyway...

The new post will be called "Monster Mondays" and will center around an aspect of my childhood. I was raised primarily by my father but I do have a mother. She is married to a man who is the reason I have a solid belief in God. This man is Satan. I do not say that casually or flippant. It's simply the truth. It is not a description. It is firmly who he is. He is evil. And I am going to step out of my box and share some of that with y'all. Not to garner sympathy. Actually the thought of people feeling sympathy towards me is the main reason I avoid talking about it. I just need to share. Get it off my chest. Free myself a little bit. But I am telling you now, my stories tend to be Debbie downers. So if that offends you in any which way, please just come back another day.


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