Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Monday, July 30, 2007
Lets see, there's Mike's Happy Hippie Hole stuff: drum kit, miniature painting stuff, band memorabilia, etc. Then there is his tools, his tools and oh yeah- did I mention his tools? There is Christmas, treadmill, stationary bike and weight bench- all only used once a year. Last but not least, my glass studio. I really don't look forward to moving LARGE sheets of EXPENSIVE irreplaceable glass up and down stairs, not to mention all of my equipment. All of this is what we will be moving this weekend. Yup, this weekend. 90+ heat and humidity make for perfect moving conditions (if you are a glutton for punishment as apparently we are).
Our neighbors from down the street and our old gayhbors will be helping us. They are all related and make this street what it is... awesome. This will be the second or third time they have helped us move. This will be the first time they will actually be moving our stuff, the previous times it was moving Granny & Pa. I will have to think of something nice to do for them. Maybe get Denny and Rose a gift certificate to a local restaurant and get Dennis and Lee some Broadway shows on DVD, I don't know. What do gay men like other than show tunes?
This week however; will be spent getting ready for the weekend. We have some rearranging here in the basement and conquering the linen monster. I think there are about a dozen quilts downstairs in need of washing. Funny how old people like the smell of mothballs.
Friday, July 27, 2007
Thursday, July 26, 2007
Today is also the last day for Day Out until September. That means that my schedule gets put on a Tilt-a-Whirl and won't stop until I puke. Luckily, we found a little playground behind a local church that is within walking distance. Its right across the street from my friend Robin too so keep on the lookout for us, girl! We will be stalking you like celery! I'm thinking this may be a good morning activity for us. It will give me some exercise and hopefully get Gryffin tired enough to take a nap. I'm also going to squeeze in some crafty time for him. I want to keep him on the same schedule as his Day Out program just for ease of transition when it opens back up.
Good thing we have weekend visitors coming in because today will also be the last chance I have to scrub down the house for a while. I hate cleaning, but I hate filth more. Being allergic to dust and mold is crappy but at least I don't take the old egg-donors way of dealing with it. She just lets it lie, undisturbed and growing. Her feeling is that if you don't clean it and kick it into the air, it won't bother you. Maybe that is why she is always sick (mentally/physically/take your pick).
Off to slug down the coffee and meet a contractor. Wish me luck!
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
2. Mother's who home school
3. Those who do their hair to go get their hair done
4. Those who get manicures, pedicures and facials religiously
5. Drag Queens
6. Women who bring home the bacon and fry it up in a pan
7. Spotless housekeepers
8. Female athletes
9. Day care workers
10. Again, Drag Queens
I've also spent most of the day on the phone trying to get contractors out to pry estimates out of them for the work that needs to be done on the place. You would think that if they took the time to come out, measure and write crap down they would call back with the estimate. Apparently they just like to waste their time and mine. A pox on them and their beat up trucks!
I'm tempted to just throw a Fix-It-Up Party. I'd hire a babysitter (or two), invite all our friends and supply them with power tools, paint rollers and beer. Beer only after the power tools are put away though, some I wouldn't even trust with tools sober. I would give out awards like: Best Plumbers Butt, Most Likely To Cut Off An Appendage With A Power Saw and Best Painter With Two Ears. Thats a reference to VanGogh people. I would order pizza and hire a midget on a pony. Ok, maybe not the midget on a pony but you get the idea.
I'm just to the point where I want to be completely moved and done and get that place sold. Its beginning to feel like a really expensive storage shed with a custom kitchen and fireplace. Maybe I should just convert the whole damn place into my studio and teach stained glass classes out of it. Oh wait, the city would never let me do that. They don't even like the idea of me installing my own ceiling fan. Surprised I don't have to pull a permit to change a light bulb.
Your right, I better check my bitterness at the door.
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
I always knew something that could clean your toilet and eat the corrosion off your car battery just couldn't be good for you. But kicking the habit is hard. I gave up soda while I was pregnant. It was a bi+ch. Being that heart issues are prevalent on both sides of our family I suppose its time to put the bubbly, sweet, yumminess down and take up water.
Some packing tubes and paper with a strategically placed piece of painters tape and dum-da-da-dum...
Its Gryffin in his Super Robot Suit!
He can scale the highest crib, fly over the big red sofa and bring a smile to anyone!
For some reason we haven't been getting ANY mail since changing our address. The bills and junk I could care less about but I'm waiting for Harry Potter to cast his spell upon my household. I don't know if any of you have figured this out but I'm not very good at waiting. So today I'm off to the Post Office to go well, postal!
Then if I don't do laundry soon we will all be breaking some major laws if we want to go out in public.
Last night Mike was such a doll. He picked Gryffin up at my audiologists office, took him home and fixed dinner. Mike is a really good cook. Now if I could teach him another method besides frying. The country fried cube steak, home fries and creamed corn was really good though. Tonight its honey mustard glazed pork chops, brown rice and broccoli. Yeah, I'm cooking.
Monday, July 23, 2007
Yesterday morning we went to a new park. Gryffin loved it! It had castles and pirate ships and tunnels. Bad mommy that I am, I forgot to bring the camera. Scrapbookers would gasp in horror and move that I be excommunicated from their society, if I were a part of it.
Today just the same old Monday kind of stuff. Laundry and a batch of granola bars. I've also got an appointment to re tune the old hearing aides and get a haircut tonight. We saw Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix over the weekend and after Mike spyed Tonks he mentioned that he wouldn't mind if I dyed my hair purple. She was hot. Now a few of you may remember the last time I dyed my hair. It was supposed to turn out a dark mahogany red and came out black with purple undertones. I liked it, and not just because the egg-donor shrieked with horror at the sight and cursed. However, having naturally red hair poses a big problem when dying. If it doesn't turn out right I cannot have it dyed back to my original color. For months upon months I looked like a sun burnt skunk while I grew it out. I don't want to go there again. A bad hair day I can handle, a bad hair year not so much. I could definately handle maybe having the underside of my hair dyed a crazy color so when I put it up it would show though. We will see.
I'm kind of picky about the style of my hair too. I would love to have it short-short, pixie style but Mike might make me wear a wig until it grows out. I would also love to go back to my drastic swing bob where it was shaved in the back but long in the front. Kind of a dyslexic mullet. But that took more than air-drying and three squirts of hairspray. If I can't do my hair in 5 minutes max it just doesn't work for me and I end up in a baseball cap. Or I just might turn chicken and do what I've done for the past several years... just a trim.
Sunday, July 22, 2007
Saturday, July 21, 2007
Friday, July 20, 2007
Uh-oh, I think I just heard Gryffin climbing out of bed. Gotta run!
I'm back with coffee. I've got to kick it in high gear today. I was a real poop-head last night to Mike. I've been exhausted for a over a week, cranky- ok, down right witchy and have a headache that just won't go away. It will all go away in a couple of days, it better. Last night Mike was saintly, you could even see his halo light up and angels singing around him. After having to work late (again) he came home to Grumpella and Gryffin who decided to have a meltdown at dinner. After dinner he sent me off to a bubble bath. Hadn't had one since we moved, they used to be a nightly ritual. Anyway, it helped but I still felt like passing out. So I did. Bless Mike's big heart, he was even quiet and let me sleep in this morning. I do feel better, if I could just poke out whatever it is in my head that thinks its at a rave. Thump thump music is good, thump thump in my head is not.
Ok, second cup steaming maybe that will help. When I first sought help for my depression my doctor asked me how my energy level was. My reply was what was energy. The only time in my life I can remember having energy was in the early 90's. It was chemically induced from being pumped up on diet pills. No, I wasn't taking them to lose weight. I was taking them because I was working 2-3 jobs at a time and had a psycho room mate that made me too scared to sleep. Anyway the good doctor hooked me up with antidepressants and was still amazed that I didn't have any energy. With the dose he prescribed I should've been like cleaning like a meth addict. Since going off the drugs my mood, except during a certain week of the month, has been good and energy still nonexistent. I'm thinking that the only other option I haven't tried yet is the hardest and most evil of all... exercise and a change of diet.
We eat pretty healthy around here. An occasional bag of chips and a walk up to the ice cream shop but no deep fried, chocolate covered, gravy smothered Twinkies. We have veggies at every meal and they are usually steamed. Every cut of meat I buy is lean. What do I change there?
On the exercise side of the fence, we have an entire gym next door in the basement. Stationary bike, treadmill, weight bench- all dusty and neglected. I actually trained like an athlete for pregnancy. I was getting in the best shape of my life so I could have a shot at a decent body after. It worked but now the thought of going back to that regiment is ridiculous. When do I have time to walk three miles a day, do yoga and Pilate's? Shouldn't chasing a two year old all day account for something?
I've got to figure something out though because just the idea of having to get up and do something is getting to be draining. Eh, maybe its just the monthly misery talking too.
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Soft comfy robe from Mom Sherry- check
Coffee started- oh crap... ok- check
Our coffee maker is new so Mike is still getting the hang of it. Yesterday he thought he programmed it to start at 6, but he didn't. Poor guy had to go to work without coffee! And this morning when I went in there to start coffee for myself, Mike's idea of coffee is something black, tar-like and requires chewing, I discovered he forgot to put a filter in. Today he will have coffee but it will be crunchy. This new coffee maker is a grind and brew so it takes whole beans. I really didn't thing the flavor would be all that different but it is. I like coffee. Ever since I was 15 and started working in a donut shop I've been addicted. I like truck stop coffee, latte, cappuchino, espresso, pre-ground stale Folgers. Heck, in the old house I even picked the counter top based on how well it would hide coffee spots!
The other day I went to the Abbey, its a coffee shop here in town. I splurged and got my self a small latte and a scone and nearly choked when the teenage pop princess behind the counter said it would be nearly six bucks! If I pay that for something I want a dude in a white apron bringing it to my table, calling me miss and giving me free refills until my bladder explodes. Yeah, I know. I'm cheap. Damn proud of it too. Seriously, I think I will stay home, make my own and not have to hear conversations revolving around American Idol or golf while I try to read and enjoy my coffee. Because if anything will ruin a good cup of coffee, its American Idol.
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Gordon Ramsey isn't sexier life size
The show Dirty Jobs is even grosser
Celebrities have really bad skin, apparently Proactive isn't pro-active
the concerts are even better because you're so close you can see individual beads of sweat on the musicians without paying too much for seats or jockying for position among drunk divas hoping to fling their thongs on stage.
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Can you believe that this was the guest bath pictured in a previous post ('I don't joke about ugly'). The neon peach and blue are now a brilliant white. Along with a new mirror, light fixture and shower curtain its a whopping makeover for less than $200. Couldn't beat it with a stick- and you better not try because I just cleaned it! It really turned out nice, thanks to Mike's hard, sweaty, fume-filled work.
Hopefully more pics of the rest of the house to follow. Give me a break, I'm tired.
Last night I thought I would get all MacGyver and solve this problem. Our friend Chris had bought Gryffin this little play mat that is a piano and when you step on it music goes off, so I put that on the floor infront of his crib. He was caught not ten minutes later to the tune of Bach. So a couple of more attempts and he wasn't caught getting out, no- he was caught going back in for his milk after playing in his closet for awhile! Back in bed and we thought it was the last time so I snuggled up in bed with a book and one chapter in guess who, in the company of his father, pays me a little visit? Apparently someone had tried to turn his monitor off which set off the mobile unit's alarm. If there were any more escapes last night I didn't know about them. I left Mike in charge and promptly passed out.
I guess this means it really is time for a big boy bed, eventhough I don't want it. Mike almost bought a big boy bed for him the other day. It was a short platform bed with a hideout underneath and a slide. Thats just asking for a trip to the ER at this point.
Friday, July 13, 2007
We had the city inspection on our old house yesterday, not pretty. Just add it to the list and get cracking I suppose.
Thursday, July 12, 2007
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Chewy Granola Bars
2 cups quick cooking oats
3/4 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 T butter, melted
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
optional ingredients: a handful of chocolate chips ( I think I used about 1/3 a bag), or handfuls of dried fruit ( I've used a blueberry, cranberry, cherry mix) or raisins
Spray an 9x9 glass pan and set aside. Preheat oven to 350.
Spread oats and wheat germ on an edged baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, stirring often. This gives the oats a toasty flavor and brings out the sweetness in the wheat germ. In the meantime, combine the remaining ingredients in a small sauce pan and cook over medium-low heat until sugar is completely dissolved. When the oats and wheat germ are done remove from oven and turn down to 300. Add the oats and wheat germ to the sugar, add any optional ingredients and stir to combine. Pour into glass pan and press down. Bake at 300 for 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool in pan completely. Cut into squares and wrap individually in foil. They will be a little crumbly but will firm up if stored in the refrigerator. But save those crumbs 'cause they would be awesome over ice cream! Or store in air tight container for up to a week, if they last that long.
(adapted from Alton Brown's recipe)
Monday, July 09, 2007
Gryffin has adjusted really well. He has only asked to go home a couple of times. The dogs are adjusting too. They are constantly under foot and not sure of what to do with themselves but they will figure it out.
Yesterday Mike put the second coat of epoxy on the guest bath tiles and it looks great! No more neon peach and blue, Yippee! It has to cure for three days, then caulk which has to cure for another couple and then we will have two, yes two, bathrooms. Something I have never had in my life. Can't you just hear 'The Jefferson's' theme song playing in the background?
Our new appliances are here and in use. I love my new Velos oven! Lets see, I've made BBQ chicken, roast potatoes and steamed broccoli, bacon and fried eggs, baked potatoes and corn and am currently baking some chewy granola bars. One feature that kind of freaked me out was that the exhaust fan comes automatically. I didn't know this when I was making spaghetti and thought that it was either broken or possessed. Now I'm used to it and really loved it when I was frying chicken last night. I guess I have no more excuses for not cooking anymore. I also love our new refrigerator. Its the french door kind with a freezer drawer on the bottom. Biggest con- less storage in freezer. Not a big deal considering we have a deep freeze in the basement. Biggest pro- lots more room in the refrigerator. I mean a lot! Back to the Farmer's Market next Saturday. After having to live out of a cooler for five days, I missed fresh produce.
I plan on taking some pictures later today and will try to post them but right now I have to explain to a certain little boy that chasing the dogs around the house in his Cozy Coupe is not nice.
Monday, July 02, 2007
Mojo is of course exempt from this as the only attention he demands is an occasional fritch behind the ear and to be left alone the rest of the time. He is old and tired.
Java on the other hand is full of energy and always wants to climb in your lap. At 80 pounds that is not an option. He also sheds, constantly and terribly. I dust and vacuum and not an hour later it looks like I haven't done it in a week. Since Mojo is so old, Java's level of assertiveness has risen quite a bit. This concerns us.
We have decided that we must find a good home for Java. Mojo will stay until he decides to leave us. Everyday I feel guilty about not having the time to devote to them as I used to but priorities have changed. I will feel guilty when Java leaves but that guilt will subside knowing that he has found a good home. Which brings us to the most difficult part of this situation, finding a good home for him. I will not let just anyone take him. He is a good dog, happy and playful with a very unusual personality. We have had him since he was 8 weeks old and known him since he was born. I do not take this lightly.
It just makes me so sad to know that I can't do it anymore, that I have failed as a doggy mom.
Sunday, July 01, 2007
As requested by Ruth, here is the recipe for the cinnamon rolls I made for everyone. I can't believe we still have enough left for breakfast today, but they are pretty rich.
Dough: 4 large egg yolks, room temperature
1 large whole egg, room temperature
2 ounces sugar, approximately 1/4 cup
3 ounces unsalted butter, melted, approximately 6 tablespoons
6 ounces buttermilk, room temperature
20 ounces all-purpose flour, approximately 4 cups, plus additional for dusting
1 package instant dry yeast, approximately 2 1/4 teaspoons
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
Vegetable oil or cooking spray
Filling: 8 ounces light brown sugar, approximately 1 cup packed
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
3/4-ounce unsalted butter, melted, approximately 1 1/2 tablespoons
Icing: 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
5 1/2 ounces powdered sugar, approximately 1 1/2 cups
2 tsp vanilla
For the dough: in the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whisk the egg yolks, whole egg, sugar, butter, and buttermilk. Add approximately 2 cups of the flour along with the yeast and salt; whisk until moistened and combined. Remove the whisk attachment and replace with a dough hook. Add all but 3/4 cup of the remaining flour and knead on low speed for 5 minutes. Check the consistency of the dough, add more flour if necessary; the dough should feel soft and moist but not sticky. Knead on low speed 5 minutes more or until the dough clears the sides of the bowl. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface; knead by hand about 30 seconds. Lightly oil a large bowl. Transfer the dough to the bowl, lightly oil the top of the dough, cover and let double in volume, 2 to 2 1/2 hours.
Combine the brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl. Mix until well incorporated. Set aside until ready to use.
Butter a 9 by 13-inch glass baking dish. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Gently shape the dough into a rectangle with the long side nearest you. Roll into an 18 by 12-inch rectangle. Brush the dough with the 3/4-ounce of melted butter, leaving 1/2-inch border along the top edge. Sprinkle the filling mixture over the dough, leaving a 3/4-inch border along the top edge; gently press the filling into the dough. Beginning with the long edge nearest you, roll the dough into a tight cylinder. Firmly pinch the seam to seal and roll the cylinder seam side down. Very gently squeeze the cylinder to create even thickness. Using a serrated knife, slice the cylinder into 1 1/2-inch rolls; yielding 16 rolls. Arrange rolls cut side down in the baking dish; cover tightly with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator overnight or up to 16 hours.
Remove the rolls from the refrigerator and place in an oven that is turned off. Fill a shallow pan 2/3-full of boiling water and set on the rack below the rolls. Close the oven door and let the rolls rise until they look slightly puffy; approximately 30 minutes. Remove the rolls and the shallow pan of water from the oven.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
When the oven is ready, place the rolls on the middle rack and bake until golden brown, or until the internal temperature reaches 190 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer, approximately 30 minutes.
While the rolls are cooling slightly, make the icing by whisking the cream cheese and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer until creamy. Add in the powdered sugar, and whisk until smooth. Add just enough milk for desired consistency. Spread over the rolls and serve immediately.