Thursday, November 30, 2006

Yackity, yackity, Mr Weatherman. Shut your pie hole and give me some SNOW! You keep making these promises of 1-2 feet of it, but so far just cold rain. If its going to be miserable out there I at least want something pretty to look at. And may I remind you, Mr Weatherman, yesterday was 69 degrees so now are you not only shirking on your promise, you are going to give everyone a cold!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Give me this day...

Can you say Yumerlicious? How about scrumptacular? No? What about delectamazing? Tried (yet another) bread recipe and this one turned out next to perfect. It even passed the PBJ and grilled cheese test. The recipe made two loaves so that should last us a week. The braided one for garlic cheese toast tonight with spaghetti and the sliced for sandwiches, French Toast or whatever later.
I didn't get the housework done like I wanted yesterday. I ran out of energy after Gryffin and I went for a walk and helped/watched Mike put up the Christmas lights. Oh well, at least the fresh air was nice.
Gryffin is currently down for a nap so maybe I will see about carrying some laundry down and some dusting.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Happy to be normal?

I've never been one to be accused of normalcy, but now I am proud to say things have become more normal around here. The Thanksgiving festivities are concluded and we made our usual weekend trip to Lowes today. Now Mike is outside working on the yard, Gryffin is asleep and I'm making pumpkin bread. Life is good at the moment.
Of course, my house is a DISASTER area. I don't think I've had the opportunity to really clean in a few weeks and if I don't vacuum soon we will have lovely grey wall to wall doghair carpeting. My MIL came over the other night and I was mortified when she said those inevitable words she always says when over here, "Can I use your bathroom?". Somehow I don't think she really needs to use it, if she does she is the fastest pee-er in the world! I just think she likes to check up on my housekeeping. I used to get offended, now I'm just like "Whatever, sit on my fuzzy toilet and breathe in my doghair air because I just don't have time to care anymore". Now, however, I'm starting to get a little grossed out by it. Since she is coming Tuesday to pick me up for a power shopping session I guess I better roll up my sleeves and scrub something/everything. Well, except the kitchen. No matter what my kitchen is clean. There may be a few dishes from the night before in the sink but that is about it. I can't stand to have a dirty kitchen, it wakes me in the middle of the night. Weird, huh? Well, I can sit here and continue to moan about it or I can do something to remedy it. (Now, if more people/relatives would adopt that way of thinking?!) Off to clean!

Friday, November 24, 2006

Turkey Day rehearsal is over. I just fixed a small dinner here in preparation for the BIG feast at my MIL's tomorrow. Luckily, all I have to do for that is green beans and a pineapple upside down cake.

I hope your Thanksgiving was full of things to give thanks for.

Gryffin just woke up, so I better go!

Happy Black Friday- stay away from the mall unless you are much braver than I!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


The bread turned out edible today! Still a little heavy, but good flavor and crusty outside. Here is the recipe:

6 cups flour, all-purpose
1/2 Tablespoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 Tablespoon water, warm
1 3/4 cups buttermilk
1 Tablespoon honey
1 egg, beaten with 1T water
2 Tablespoons rolled oats

1. Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl. Combine the warm water and yeast in a small cup and allow to proof for 10 minutes.
Pour the yeast, buttermilk, and honey into the flour mixture and mix well. If the dough is so dry that some of the flour won't stick, add a bit more buttermilk or water. If the dough is too sticky to knead, more like a batter, add more flour by the tablespoon until the correct consistency is achieved.
Knead by machine or hand for approximately 10 minutes. Return the dough to the bowl, cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a damp cloth, and set aside to rise until the dough has doubled in size, approximately 90 minutes.
Divide the dough into 12 to 18 pieces. If you are a stickler you can scale them so that they are even, but I just cut them roughly the same size. Shape each piece into a neat ball and place in a round dish or spring-form pan close together.
2. When all of the rolls are in the pan, cover again with plastic or a damp towel and set aside to rise again for 45 minutes to an hour. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425.
3. Uncover the rolls and brush gently with the egg wash. Sprinkle on the grain topping, if you like. I used cracked wheat
4. Bake for approximately 40 minutes, until the rolls are firm and spring back when tapped.
5. Unmold the rolls from the pan and serve warm.

I used 2 round cake pans and put 9 pieces in each, but I baked them at the same time. It looks a little labor intensive but the actual work time was only about 15 minutes. The hard part is waiting for it to rise. I am not known for patience. Thats one reason I'm trying to get back into baking bread.

My bread yesterday was picture perfect. Unfortunately, that was the only way. The inside was still doughy. I am so out of practice with my bread making and it is really frustrating to try to get back into the swing of it. I am trying again today though so keep your fingers crossed for me!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

I hear Thanksgiving is Thursday?

Oh crap. This past week has gone by so fast I just can't believe it. Running ragged and stressed to the hilt, behind in the housework and errands, not done with the Christmas shopping (which was a goal) and not having what I need for Gut Buster Day. Looks like I will be at the grocery the day before Thanksgiving. Better than going shopping the day after though. Our big dinner is actually Saturday at my MIL's, but I am fixing a small one here for us and Pa.
So what am I doing sitting here typing rather than working? I'm eating lunch and letting bread rise. I'm a multi-tasker, don't ya know. Don't give me a guilt trip, I've already done and folded three loads of laundry today and got most of my grocery list made. Considering Gryffin is not in Day Out this week, that is a major achievement.
With all the family in town for Granny's service he got used to Daddy being home and gagillions of cousins all wanting to hold and play with him. He went into attention shock yesterday when it was just he and I. He didn't like it much. I think he is pretty much over it though. Thank goodness. Don't get me wrong, I love my kid. But sometimes he gets possessed by the Terrible Two's, which hit early, and turns into demon spawn. Luckily, it never lasts very long.
Ok, chili and pretzels are gone so I better get moving. I hope everyone has a great day and Holiday!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Sad yet beautiful.

Quietly and surrounded by loved ones, Granny found peace and freedom last night. It was very sad yet beautiful. She will be greatly missed by those here and welcomed by those above.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Rattling pipe dreams...

Ok, I want a bigger, newer house with a non-squeeky floor, pipes that don't rattle and lights that don't flicker. But before I can get any of this our lives have to settle down and I need to find more money from somewhere. Maybe I can start selling my worn once undies on Ebay like a woman I read about. She was making good money- at least enough to keep her in new undies and just think of the laundry saved. Yeah, you're right. Thats gross. Maybe I could offer to babysit a couple kids during the day. Hell NO, we would have to be 6 inches from repo before that would happen. How about taking all those dust bunnies my Huskies make, knitting sweaters and selling them? Nope, don't know how to knit and who would want a sweater that smells like dog. I guess my only answer is to quit looking at real estate web sites for houses I like. God blessed me with a non-leaking roof, a big back yard, a kitchen I get rave reviews on and a home that is filled with love. I should be happy with what I've got, take care of it and realize that the bigger the house the longer it takes to clean.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Stirring the pot...

Stand back, I'm about to stir the political pot!
I am glad to see that stem cell research was approved in Missouri. Whoa, don't get your panties in a bunch! Let me explain- eventhough I do not live in Missouri, 12 miles outside of it, I feel that this is a good thing. I do not feel that God will allow humans to be cloned or anything else- unless He wants it to happen. I believe that He is more powerful than the will or intelligence of the children He created. He would not let people accomplish any medical feat that would replace Him or destroy what He has created. Remember the rainbow, people. Now I know a lot (all) of my family is probably screaming in horror and wanting to banish me but God has a plan for this world. He gave us free will for a reason and did not give us super powers for other reasons. Although, I still don't see why He couldn't make me able to fly. That would be so cool. Anyway, He is in charge, regardless of what it may feel like at the moment. There is Divine Order, we just may not be smart enough, calm enough or willing enough to see it. Stem cell research may be the key to helping millions of people, it may be a bottomless pit of disappointment or it may just prove once and for all that God is the Father of this mixed up planet and His will be done. So sit back and enjoy the ride, He didn't put us here to be miserable.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


Last night I learned a little bit about myself. It used to be that I never got jealous- never. I remember one night, Mike was singing a gig at a Happy Hour hang out and one of his ex's showed up and gave him a big, slightly longer than appropriate hug and kiss on the cheek. I didn't even get a twinge of jealousy. And not because I knew I was hotter than her but I was confident in knowing that I had no competition for Mike's affection. Now, a different wind is blowing. Last night I realized after, I won't call it a fight, but an exchange of highly emotional differing opinions, that I was jealous. Not of another woman, 'cause I would just run her over with my Jeep, but of all the other things I've never had to compete with- and don't know how. Between Mike's job, his Grandparents, his whole family and Gryffin, I feel as if most of the time even when its just he and I it is still not just he and I. There is an everpresent cloud of stress that follows him around and overshadows the smiles and laughs that used to come so freely and often. I miss my husband. It seems several times a week he is caught in a tug of war between fulfilling his Grandson obligations and spending time with Gryffin and I. Having to choose, I will always want him to spend time with Gryffin first and I will take what is left. But may I just say again- I miss my husband. I know his family obligations are not permanent. Therefore, my epiphany was that I was being a pouty, jealous child and that if I didn't just deal and get over myself I would cause harm to the man I love. I was not being a supportive wife or friend and for that I appologized. We are always the most critical judges of ourselves but we are also the most reluctant to change. Not me- I want to be supportive and loving and that is what I will be. Maybe not overnight, but I am putting it in the forefront of my mind and heart and will work everyday on it.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

What the heck was I thinking!?!

I am hosting a Holiday Cookie Swap. Yup, me. The girl with all the hostessing experience of a hermit with agoraphobia! What was I thinking! Ah well, I suppose there is a time in every woman's life when they have to don the Martha Stewart garb, sans prison stripes, and throw a party. Now the only party I've been to recently probably would not be a good thing to mimick as it was a Halloween costume party with much overindulgence in spirits of the liquid variety. Man, that was a fun party. At least the parts I remember. Anyway, has anyone ever done this sort of thing before? Got any suggestions for a newbie? Any wonderlicious appetizer recipes?

Monday, November 06, 2006

No matter if you're naughty or nice...

This is what is going to be in the Christmas Goodie Baskets this year:
Hair On Your Nuts (spicey mixed nuts)
2 lg egg whites
2.3 c sugar
5 T Old Bay
4 t Worcestershire
2 t chili powder
1 t cayenne
6 c mixed nuts
1/2 stick butter, melted
1/3 c grated Parmesean
Preheat oven to 300. Line 2 large baking sheets with foil and coat with nonstick spray. Beat egg until foamy. Gradually add sugar and beat in seasonings. Add nuts & butter, stir to coat evenly. Add cheese & mix again. Divide & spread evenly on baking sheets in a single layer. Bake about 30 minutes. Imediately remove from pan onto more foil & let cool.
Note: Do not allow nuts to darken too much or they turn bitter.
These are always a hit! I package up in little ziplock bags and stuff in stockings.

Chocolate Covered Peanut Brittle
I would include the recipe, but this one is a new one this year. I won't post anything I haven't tried.

Pancake Mix
1 c flour
1 T sugar
1 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda

Mix and seal in ziplock bag. This makes about a dozen, depending on how big you like them.
Make sure you attached a card with the following:
To Prepare:
In a bowl combine mix, 1 cup buttermilk and one egg until smooth. Stir in 1 1/2 T melted butter and 1 1/2 T maple syrup. Let rest for about 5 minutes. Pour 1/4 cup onto nonstick griddle, flip only when the bubbles no longer burst. Don't forget to freeze the leftovers- if there are any!

Herb Biscuit Mix
1 cup flour
1/4 t pepper
1 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1/2 T garlic powder
1/2 T grated parmesean
1/2 T oregano
Mix the above and seal in ziplock bag.
Attach a card with the following:
To prepare:
Preheat oven to 450. Add mix to a bowl and cut in 3 T cold unsalted butter cut into pieces. Add 1/2 cup buttermilk. Drop by large spoonfulls onto ungreased sheet and bake 8-10 minutes until golden brown.

Sidenote- if you never have buttermilk on hand just add 1 1/2 t lemon juice concentrate to a 1/2 cup measuring cup and then fill with regular milk.

There will also be some caramel creme cookies (recipe will follow when I find it) and pumpkin and banana breads.

Ah, a weekend in bed. Just what I didn't want.

We took a weekend off! Don't get all excited for us, it wasn't our choice. We all came down with a nasty little virus. Mike was in bed Saturday, I was in bed Sunday and Gryffin didn't let anything stop him. Luckily, one of us was able to look after him while the other gazed into the porcelane wishing well. It seems as though it was a quick virus at least as Mike went to work and I am up and dressed. And most importantly, having my coffee.
We were not given a very prognosis for Granny last week. The onchologist, a guy who very much reminded me of a cartoon character, said that with treatment possibly 12-18 months, without 6 weeks. Everyone decided to try a round of chemo and radiation and see how Granny tollerates it. The steroids they have to give her have made her hallucinate and a little combative at times. Her lucid moments are growing fewer. My heart breaks for her and Pa and the rest of the family, but I know God will take care of us all through this and after.
Thanks to yuck virus my house is a disaster. I wonder if I could get FEMA in here to clean up? Probably, but it would take 4 years, tons of red tape and a bunch of beauracratic BS. Speaking of... Don't forget to vote tomorrow. If you don't, you have no right to complain. Me? I voted twice so I get to complain more than most. Just kidding.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

I would love to sit down and post but I'm affraid it would be nothing but a bunch of b+itching. I will spare you and wollow in my own pitty/laundry fest and take comfort in the fact that everything is temporary and God will see it through. And in the imortal words of Fat Albert, 'I may just learn a thing or two'.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Living in danger...

Yup, I just read that I live not 10 miles from THE most dangerous city in the country. Are you kidding me?! What a load of crap. I looked into what their criteria was: a ratio of crime rate to population. No wonder we made it- no one lives IN the city! Using their formula everyone was getting mugged or carjacked. The populous of St Louis resides in the surrounding counties and sub-cities. I guess the St Louis government officials didn't grease enough pockets. But don't get me started on corruption and government.

A little rant...

I saw the downfall of the family yesterday on TV. It sent shivers down my spine as in 30 seconds I witnessed a family of four deteriorate into disfunction and sorrow. This may only be my interpretation but pancake batter in a bottle that you add water, shake and pour?! Come on. I've timed it, to measure and mix ingredients takes a whopping- stand back- 7 minutes. Seven minutes, people. Seven minutes to give your family pancake batter where every ingredient is easily pronouncable and recognizable. Seven minutes to know that your kids aren't going to have so many preservatives in their body when they die that embalming will not be needed. Seven minutes where you can teach your kids math- measuring IS fractions. Not to mention, seven minutes to teach your kids that food does not come from a bottle or box. I can see it know, future generations that don't know how to cook and rely only on prepackaged, preservative ridden crap. Soilent Green is people! No wonder society is getting so fat, their bodies no longer have to work to break down food. It is presented in a ready to eat, fully digested form that lacks vitamins and nutrients.
For the past couple weeks Mike and I have gone against everything we believe in and have eaten fast food. Only because we did not have a choice as dinner was on the run from hospital to nursing home. We feel like crap, lack energy and stamina and have gained weight. Last night after leaving the hospital we craved vegetables so bad we stopped by the salad bar at the fancy grocery store and paid $6 each for! That is desperation, folks. Usually, if I pay that much for a salad someone brings it to my table and takes it away when I'm done.
This morning Mike reminded me his haircut appointment and that he has to take some medication to Pa at the nursing home. We decided that it would be better to eat -a real meal- at 4 in the afternoon than to keep up the on the go meals. I'm hoping Gryffin will cooperate enough to allow me to fix a batch of cookies for that evening snack that all of us will be dying for after eating dinner that early. Maybe some whole wheat honey peanut butter cookies, mmmmmm. Dinner will consist of Chicken a la King, using fat free 1/2 & 1/2. If I get time it will be served over home made biscuits, if not it will be over egg noodles. **Reminder to Chris- I am holding you to that promise of showing me how to make your family recipe for noodles** Now doesn't that sound better than yet another burger or taco?