Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween!

I sent Gryffin off to Day Out today in his little Dalmation costume from last year. It still fit, but I cut the feet off so he could wear shoes. Somehow I didn't think those little plastic dots on the bottom of the footies would work on slippery floors. I saved his new Monkey costume for tonight. Don't fret, pictures will be posted.
I have to hurry and get Laundry Mountain downstairs. Good thing I have 'faith of a mustard seed'. Then its menu planning, grocery list making and shopping to do. This much fun should be illegal, really. But its been a good two weeks since I've done any of it and I'm feeling guilty about it.
Too much to do to keep spurting nonsense!
Burn a black candle to keep the evil spirits away tonight and buy lots of candy to keep the evil kids at bay too.

Saturday, October 28, 2006


I have a few minutes to blog, although I should be cleaning my filthy house. Oh well, dirt waits.
Anyway, yesterday we put Granny in the hospital for tests. We already know that she has brain cancer but we do not know the full extent of it. When that was done Mike and his father took Pa to an assited living facility with an Alzheimer's unit. This did not fare well with Pa. Mike is just drained today to the point of illness. He is currently in bed. We still have to take Pa his chair and a TV today and I've already been to see Granny and take her a few things. Today is also their 56th wedding anniversary. Crap way to spend it since they won't even get to see eachother. Mike and I know that this is what is best for them, even Granny agreed and has said that she will join Pa when she is released from the hospital. But just because its best doesn't mean its easy. Infact, its never easy when its the best. Your prayers are appreciated and still needed. Thank you all.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Too much...

Things around here are crazy, C-R-A-Z-Y!
Not going to go into detail, just going to ask for prayers.
Don't know when I will be back to blogging regular, but soon I hope.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Christmas is coming, looming, impending...

Ah yes, Christmas. That magical time of year when people forget the true meaning and dessecrate it with packages bought at malls and wrapped in shiny paper that kills innocent trees. Ahhh, makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, doesn't it? Oh wait, maybe thats nausea.
Anyway, I'm taking an idea I stole from a good blogger buddy... angelfoodcakeisntacandle@blogspot.com
Christmas presents, except toys for the nephews, are coming from my kitchen. Whether you like it or not! There will be some people very upset by me bucking the commercial tradition but obviously, they don't have their heart in the right place. With some of them, I doubt they have hearts at all. Ooh, that was cold, am I feeling bitter and disgruntled this morning? Nope, just sleep deprived and grumpy. Please forgive.
Anyway, here are thoughts about what I should put in the goodie baskets that will be supplied:
Pumpkin and banana bread in jars
Caramel cream cookies
Sugar cookies (and not from a mix either) hand decorated
Oatmeal raisin or mabye sunflower cookies, haven't decided yet
Homemade biscuit mix
Homemade pancake mix
and of course, pictures of my little boy... that just woke up screaming. Gotta Go!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Stinking wrinkled wall paper be gone!

Love that Febreze and wrinkle releaser?
Yeah, me too. I was using about a 1/2 gallon of Febreze every week. That stuff ain't cheap but it made my house smell so nice. And with two big dogs and a diaper pail, that ain't easy! Do you know what Febreze and wrinkle releasers are? Watered down fabric softener. Yup, thats all. I came across a 'recipe' to make your own, but found that it needed some SERIOUS adjusting.
I bought a bottle of fabric softener at Sam's that does 135 loads. Hey, I even splurged and spent $10 on a brand name too. In a cleaned out 2 liter bottle, I poured a cap full, looks like about a 1/3 of a cup, of facric softener in then filled the rest of the way with water. Shook it up and filled a spray bottle. I used my old Febreze bottle for this. Recycle, reuse! Just use it as you normally use Febreze. I can get enough to last about a year for just $10! Heck, the commercial stuff was costing me that every other week.
To use this as a wrinkle releaser, spray the garment while its hanging then tug at the wrinkles and smooth them. It worked pretty good on a pair of corderoy pants I have. If it works on that heavy a material it will work on anything!
Make a more concentrated version of this and you have wallpaper remover! I talked my MIL into trying this before spending an arm and leg for the commercial stuff. She is Brand Namer. Only buys brand names and doesn't care that her weekly grocery bill is the same as our monthly house payment. She tried it and was amazed. If I can win her over, I can win anyone over!
Become a Frugal Jedi and stop fighting for the Dark Side!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

I feel better...

Tension breaker.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Whiny kind of day...

Its cold and raining. Not my favorite weather combo, but its better than bitter cold without snow. Its the kind of day you want to take a book, a big mug of hot cocoa and sit by a window thankful for not having to do anything or go anywhere. It might be that kind of day, but it won't be for me.
I bundled Gryffin up and ran to the drug store to get Granny some medicine. He loved it, cold doesn't bother him. Then after I got him to lay down for a nap I ran next door to make Pa some lunch and give Granny her meds. When its just me, I can't take Gryffin over there because its toddler heaven and parent hell. Pills, sharp objects, all kinds of fun things for him to stick in some orafice.
A few years ago we moved Granny & Pa (Mike's grandparents) here from Ohio to help care for them. Pa has Alzheimer's and Granny has, well- lets just say, issues. Lots of issues, some are even medical. She hasn't been out of bed since Friday and is convinced she's got the flu. I'm no doctor but its not the flu. Anyway, Wednesday she is going to the doctor for tests whether she likes it or not. I've already told her that if it takes a gurney and port-a-potty so be it.
The elderly and toddlers are a lot alike. Both are stuborn and know what they want and will scheme and sneak to get it. Both require a lot of patience and a lot of help. And both cause me to want to bang my head against a wall on a regular basis. But both are also loveable and dependant.
I certainly don't regret having to deal with both but I do know my limitations with each. If I don't care for myself, I can't care for anyone else. So I guess what I'm trying to convince myself of without feeling guilty is that I'm going to hurry up, do my chores tomorrow and maybe kick back with a book or a movie while Gryffin is in Day Out.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Bread in a jar...

As promised to a friend, here is the recipe:
2/3 cup shortening
4 eggs
2/3 cup water
2 2/3 cups sugar
2 cups pumpkin, canned
2/3 cups chopped nuts, optional
3 1/3 cups flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground cloves
1 1/2 tsp. salt

Cream shortening and sugar, beat in eggs, pumpkin and water. Sift together flour, baking powder and soda, spices and salt. Add to pumpkin mixture; stir in nuts. Pour mixture into 8 greased WIDE-MOUTHED (very important) pint jars filling half full. Bake at 325 for 45 minutes. When done remove one jar at a time, wiping sealing rim with a cloth or paper towel. Place ball lid on and screw on tight. The heat will vacuum seal the jar and will keep for up to one year.
Variations: substitute one of the following for pumpkin-
2 cups shredded apples or carrots
1 bag whole fresh cranberries
2 cups mashed bananas
2 cups apricots
2 cups shredded zucchini
2 cups fresh peaches

When I say the wide mouthed jars are important, I mean it. I did this one year with regular ones and the bread wouldn't slide out because of the lip on the jar. I remedied this by spooning out the bread, making a powdered sugar glaze and calling it mock bread pudding. It was still good, just didn't look as pretty.


Friday, October 13, 2006

Daddy, can I have a pony?

"I promise I will be good, mostly. I promise I will never ask for anything ever again, until I want something else. I promise that I will feed it and take care of it, until I get tired of scooping big horse poops. I promise I will..."

You are not getting a pony, but you can keep the cowboy hat.

"Okay, Dad. But can I ride you like a pony then?"

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Cherry of a day...

Chocolate covered cherry cupcakes, yesterday's acheivement. I love the jarred cherries from Trader Joe's and Mike loves chocolate covered cherries so...

I used a basic recipe for chocolate cake, altered a little to reduce the fat content and added a bit of the cherry juice to the batter. Then when I poured the cupcakes I put a few cherries in the middle. The icing is a cherry flavored royal icing. Next time I'm going with a chocolate buttercream though. I will also be adding more of the cherry juice as it only had a hint of the cherry flavor unless you bit into an actual cherry. They were really good for a first attempt though.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

How to knit and quit...

Half way through another week.
Yesterday saw a flurry of activity as I scrubbed the heck out of the house. Gryffin and I have both had colds so everything needed the Pinesol/Lysol treatment. Funny, I feel a little better today. Connection?
Today is supposed to be pretty yucky. Chilly and wet. Since getting a swingset in the back yard Gryffin doesn't want to do anything but play on it. I can't open the curtain in his room for fear of him seeing it, pointing and screaming. But with he and I still having a little throat tickle and cough the last thing we need to do is go play in some wet grass and chilly air.
Mike's efforts to quit smoking are progressing. Based upon the things he's been hacking out of his lungs, that is a good thing. He struggled with quitting cigarettes several years ago and now is quitting smoking his pipe. Sometimes I think its my fault he started to smoke a pipe. You see, some of my first memories were of climbing into my Dad's lap while he smoked his pipe. I remember how wonderful it smelled and how perfect those moments were. But he is not alone in his battle. Turns out my Mom has begun the smoke-free journey as well.
My parents go to the Indian reservation to buy their tobacco. One day, while there on vacation, I walked into the living room and Mom was watching TV and leaning over the coffee table doing something. I looked down and saw that she was using this little machine to roll cigarettes. I looked at her and said, 'You know, some girls my age have Mom's that knit cute little scarves but no, my Mom rolls her own cigarettes!' We got a laugh and since then, rolling cigarettes has been referred to as knitting. So now that Mom is quitting smoking I guess I should expect a knitted scarf for Christmas. Good luck, Mom and no- I don't really expect a scarf.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Child Labor...

It ain't labor when he likes it, is it? Too bad he still needs adult supervision while vacuuming.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Date night, what do I wear?

Mike and I are celebrating our birthdays tonight. A little late, I know. He received a gift certificate to a nice restaurant from his Mom and he bought me tickets to see Cyndi Lauper. Yes, I am a child of the 80's and damn proud of it. If I still had my crinolyn skirts, fingerless lace gloves and enough hairspray to kill the ozone I would dress for the occasion.
The two of us don't get out much so when we do I like to take advantage of it and savor every moment. I miss dating- my husband anyway. All the other losers I dated I definitely don't miss. Some still give me nightmares. Like the guy who took me shopping for his new wrestling shoes and didn't speak to me through the whole date. The guy who took me to the movies but insisted on walking out 3/4 of the way through to get his money back, cheap bastard. The guy who tried to impress me with the fact that he had worn his best bibs (overalls) and tank top for our date. Yup, that one was in Tennessee, go figure. Or the Bible major studying to be a preacher who took me to the middle of a cornfield. That date was the shortest on record. Funny how fast he drove with the threat of losing his favorite body part looming over his head. Now, why don't I care for organized religion again?!
Anyway, I digress. The beginning of Mike and mine's relationship was very different than most couples. We hung out as friends for quite awhile first, along with my at-the-time fiance. Long story short, fiance went bye-bye and Mike and I kept hanging out. Funny how things work out, ex-fiance is happily married with his own kids, so are Mike and I and oh yeah, ex and Mike still work together. Yup, funny.
Uh oh, I hear Gryffin calling me. Better get him up and dressed, me too for that matter!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Here I sit, coffee in hand, trying to think of something witty and stirring to ramble about. I could tell you how I cleaned most of the house and did the laundry yesterday or how we went for a family walk after dinner that included an ice cream and pinball but...
I could sit here and lecture on the glory of a simple life and frugality but...
I could preach about the body being the temple of God and how I don't feel a poor diet makes a very good sacrificial lamb.
I could tell you about- awe, who cares, I'm going to get more coffee.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Its a mad mad world...

School shootings everywhere! What is up, America? Gryffin is still a few years away from school but I'm already leary of sending him. What kind of world have I brought my son into? I'm not sure, maybe I will just have to raise him to make it a better place.
When I was in school the most violence was either on the football field or a poor freshman getting stuffed into a locker. Now its guns and knives.
I cannot blame the children. They only repeat what they see around them. Whether that be on TV, video games or the adults around them. Don't take this to mean that I am against the TV or video games- I'm against adults. No, just kidding. The government has taken steps to censor material it believes is inappropriate for a younger audience. I don't think this is right, but I understand that a good deal of parents today don't have the time to do it themselves. Or just don't care. It seems so many parents today want the three kids, a dog, a cat, a big home, a new car and designer clothes more than they want to be parents. They provide posh surroundings to their kids but don't spoil them with their time and love.
Growing up I witnessed first hand how shopping and things were considered the equivalent of love and affection. Luckily, later in life I realized this was a bunch of hooey. The love and positive attention doled out on a child will last them much longer than that designer shirt or shiny scooter. It will last them a lifetime and give them the coping skills they are going to need to turn this planet into a place of peace for all.
Give them mad skillz, not a mad world.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Its so hot the pumpkins bake themselves.

The leaves are turning, the pumpkin festivals are starting and its 90 freaking degrees. Are you kidding me?! I was hoping to put away the T-shirts and shorts but I guess not for another week or so. I guess this also means that I have to keep painting my toenails because I cannot wear sandals with bare toenails.
Gryffin has been sick for the past couple of weeks and it looks like he is finally on the mend. No fever and no green slimey worms crawling out of his nose constantly. I hate nose worms.
Tomorrow is Day Out for him and cleaning day for me. I thinks its been a week since I've been able to vacuum so no that is not wall to wall grey carpet. Yuck! And with the MIL coming Thursday to babysit, I gotta get the joint sparkling. Otherwise I will come home and she will be on her hands and knees scrubbing my floors. Hey, maybe I shouldn't clean! Hee hee hee.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Alton Brown, you are redeemed.

Ok, so his ham recipe sucked. Big time. There was too much of a clash in flavors between the mustard and the ginger snap cookies. Yes, ginger snaps.
His mac-n-cheese was great though. Next time I will skip the onions but other than that it was awesome and easy.
Lets see, I cooked last night I should get tonight off, right? There may be a frozen pizza in our future!