Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Nothing new for Christmas

Its just an idea.  The idea that with the exception of the gifts already purchased, I will buy nothing new for Christmas.  Left are friends and a few family members that are wonderful enough to realize that handmade is essentially heart-made. 
At this stage of the game, 4 weeks left, that puts me a little behind.  Ok, a lot behind.  I'm good under pressure though.  I've perfected that skill due to being a life-time procrastinator.  Besides I really do love to cook, sew and knit which is exactly what all of this would entail.
(Spoiler Alert!)
Some ideas of what I can gift are:

Canned bread- I have a monkey's load of bananas to freeze today that will be perfect for bread.
Frozen dinners- Sloppy Joe's, soups & chilis, pancakes and French Toast
Mixes- Jambalaya, pancake

Snuggies- Don't laugh, they're warm and come in handy and I have a bunch of fleece and flannel in the sewing room
Placemats, pot holders and aprons
Eco-friendly grocery bags that aren't ugly or free advertising for a store because there's about 80 tons of fabric in the closet
Recycled sweater mittens, hats or scarves.  I've got a ton of sweaters that don't fit or some small flaw that can be cut around

The Trifecta- fingerless mittens, scarves and hats

Along with whatever hair brained, crazy, crafty idea that springs forth because that's just how this red-head rolls.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Freezyer Meat

I got quizzed on my previous post about how and what I used to do this so I will let y'all in my secrets:

Ground Beef
1.  I use a 80/20 blend because too lean a ground beef tastes like cardboard.  Fat may not be your friend but damned if it don't have flavor.
2.  I cook it in one or two batches in the biggest pot I've got.  I can do about 4 lbs at once.  It takes a lot of stirring to get everything browned evenly but just look at it as an upper body workout.
3.  I lightly drain the meat by pouring it into a colander.  I don't want to lose all the fat because it will lose flavor and dry out when reheated.
4.  I don't season the meat.  What?!  Freezing changes the flavor of some things.  Things like onion and peppers can become overpowering and bitter.  When it's time to be used I can just saute up what I need in the time it takes to defrost  the meat in the microwave.  This way I can make sure the flavors and seasonings for the dish I'm making are just right.
5.  I thoroughly let the meat cool before freezing.  This will keep the freezers temperature from plummeting when I put it in and also help when packaging.  Don't want to burn those fingers!
6.  Don't skimp on the packaging.  I am lucky enough to have a FoodSaver machine.  But if you don't, don't worry.  Cheap freezer bags are just that- cheap.  I've found that I had to double up on them which doesn't save any money in the long run.  Use a good name brand freezer bag like Ziploc Freezer Bags.
7.  Air is the enemy.  Don't overstuff your bags, 3/4 full at the most and about 3/4 lb of meat per bag.  After filling the bag, lay on its side and flatten the meat.  Open one corner of the bag and smooth out as much air as you can.  Then reseal and freeze flat.  This not only helps you fit more in the freezer but also makes defrosting quicker.
8.  Date and label.  No one like mystery meat.

1,  I use boneless, skinless breasts.  I also trim them of any fat.
2.  I put the breasts; however many I have or will fit, into a crock pot along with 1 to 2 cups of water and whole bunch of Trader Joe's 21 Seasoning Salute.  I cook this on high for 4-5 hours or until the breasts fall apart.
3.  I drain the them in a colander and let them cool completely.
4.  I use two forks to shred the meat.
5.  Package the same as the ground beef.
6.  Date and label.

Hope this answers some questions!  If you have more, just leave a comment.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Today I cooked up 6 lbs of ground beef.  What will I do with all of this loose meat, you ask?  Well:
1. Spaghetti sauce
2. Lasagna
3. Sloppy Joes
4 Shepherds Pie

I also cooked up 7 lbs of chicken breast in the crock pot to shred.  This will be used for:
1. Chicken enchiladas
2. Chicken and dumplings
3. Chicken noodle soup
4. Tetrazini
5. Salads
6. Chicken chili

I know, not very interesting.  Sorry.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Jump on the real food is over rated train straight to hell, it's called pre-school.

I do my damnedest to make sure Gryffin has healthy, delicious food to eat.  Not only at home but to take to school as well.  A nutritious wide range of good, whole food is what I teach Gryffin to consume.  This is being undermined by school.  The one place where all children should learn this!
This morning one of the mom's was sweet and brought breakfast for the entire class, unfortunately this breakfast consisted of (gasp) McDonald's pancakes.   Parents are to supply snacks and beverages once a month for the class.  Today that consisted of a popcicle, Koolaid and individual bags of Doritos.  Where is the food in this?
Well, there isn't any.  It's just sugar and shit.
Maybe I'm doing my child a disservice in making his diet chock full of veggies, fruit, whole grains and lean meat.  Maybe I should be feeding him pre-packaged, pre-processed, pre-digested, food-type stuffs where they have to use a 'Z' when spelling cheese because there really isn't any cheese in it.  Maybe then my child wouldn't come home from school bouncing and crashing, moodier than me with PMS.  Maybe then I wouldn't have to worry about his lunch going to waste because he gets to fill up on crap at school.  Maybe then I wouldn't have to spend time making a menu, shopping and cooking for it when I could just pull a box out, boil water and call it dinner.  Maybe then I could just sell my nutritional soul to Chef Boyardee and make life easier... until we all end up fat, sickly and on so many medications we rattle when we walk.  Not that we would walk because that would be too much to ask from our vitamin starved bodies.
If you couldn't tell, I'm really peeved.  I want to change this.  I want to start a garden at the school then at snack time the kids could all go pick their own carrot.  I want to bring in home made granola bars or zuchinni bread but the school doesn't allow any home made food.  WTF people?!
I have a hang up about eating food from people's kitchens that I don't know are clean, but at this stage in the game I would rather eat food from a dirty kitchen than a food like substance from a non-biodegradable crinkly wrapper.  Then again, I might get just as angry to learn that what came from the dirty kitchen also came from a commercially produced box mix or can.
What happened to real food in America's diet?  What happened to family not only eating together but preparing meals together?  
It's time for me to stop bitching and get to making dinner.  A real dinner, with real food and fresh ingredients that takes only about 5 minutes longer to make than the microwaved, pre-packaged crap.

Friday, October 16, 2009

My kid is so sweet.  Two little girls in his pre-K class have swine flu.  Gryffin felt really bad that they were sick so last night while we had the dining room covered in crafty goodness he decided (all on his own) to make a get well picture for one.  We asked him to make one for the second girl too since they are twins, which he did.  He was quite disappointed to learn that we couldn't go to their house to deliver them but cheered up when he learned that we could mail them.  When you're 4 there is nothing cooler than getting a piece of mail addressed to you.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Mike was off most of last week and it was awesome.  He and I squeezed in a couple of lunch dates while Gryffin was in school.  It's really rare that he and I get to go out just the two of us so even if its just a quick lunch and errand running it is always a treat.  I am so lucky to have a husband who is also a best friend.
So much went on while he was off, some everyday boring, some really fun and special.  I would love to go into details but its time to get Gryffin up and ready for school. 

Friday, September 25, 2009

Give us this day...

I jumped in head first and landed in flour.  I was at Satan's (aka Sam's Club) and saw they had 25 lb bag of bread flour for $7.  A loaf of bread at the grocery costs, when on sale, $2.50.  Stand back, I'm about to do math.  That's 2.5 divided, no multiplied, carry the zero, that's not right.  My brain hurts, let's just say that if I waste (shame) most of the flour I will still have saved a frillion pennies.  And with Gryffin eating PB&J's like crazy and toast with breakfasts, we go through a lot of bread.  Plus with Fall Soup season on the brink, what's better than some fresh bread with soup?
For years I've struggled with bread machines.  When they first came out I wanted one so bad.  Mike and his Mom bought me one for my birthday one year.  I used the hell out it until it gave up the ghost.  Got another one used and ran it into the ground too.  For over a year it's been sitting my cabinet taking up valuable real estate, but not for long.
I used to think mixing, kneading, proofing, waiting made for a whole day to make one loaf of bread.  And sometimes it does, depending on the recipe.  However, I've found a recipe that in less than 1 hour, most of it resting time, I can have a loaf of bread in the oven.
This recipe is from and is so quick, easy and delicious it's unbelievable that it requires so little work.

Rich White Bread

(Food Processor recipe)
Makes 1 loaf.

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 envelope FLEISCHMANN'S RapidRise Yeast
1-1/4 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons butter or margarine, 
  cut into pieces
1 egg
3/4 cup warm water (120° to 130°F)

Insert metal blade in food processor bowl. Add flour, sugar, undissolved yeast, and salt; process 5 to 10 seconds to combine. Add butter and egg. Begin processing, then slowly pour warm water through feed tube just until dough forms a ball, about 10 to 15 seconds (all water may not be needed). Continue processing for 60 seconds to knead dough. Carefully remove dough from processor bowl to lightly floured surface. Cover; let rest on floured surface 10 minutes.

Roll dough to 12 x 7-inch rectangle. Beginning at short end, roll up tightly as for jelly roll. Pinch seam and ends to seal. Place, seam side down, in greased 8-1/2 x 4-1/2-inch loaf pan. Cover; let rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 30 to 45 minutes.

Bake at 375°F for 30 minutes or until done. Remove from pan; let cool on wire rack.

Nutritional Information:
Per serving:
Serving size: 1 slice (1/12 of recipe)
calories 159; total fat 4g; saturated fat 2g; cholesterol 25mg; sodium 280mg; total carbohydrate 27g; dietary fiber 1g; protein 4g.


Just as an example, today I had the ingredients out, mixed and covered for the first rise in 5 minutes.  That gave me a 10 minute break to put on some eggs to hard boil, clean up the mess, empty and refill the dishwasher.  Then it was roll, put in the pan and cover for another 30.  During that time I put on my makeup, did my hair, brushed my teeth and ruined them with a cup of coffee.  Then the bake time was spent playing with Gryffin. 
Fresh, home made bread with only about a 15 minute investment of time. It took me longer than that to wrestle the behemoth bread machine to the counter, plug it in and program it!  Not to mention all the time saved by not having to curse at it, clean it and figure out why the crust was nasty.
My bread machine will be put in the "Donate" corner of the basement, along with the waffle iron, the old clothes and the numerous other things I felt I just HAD to have.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Manwich, schmanwich. I want real food!

Yesterday was a day that screamed for something warm, hearty and comforting for lunch.  I had cooked, crumbled ground beef, hamburger buns and peppers.  Hm, Sloppy Joe's!
A while back after reading the ingredients on a Manwich can I was surprised.

Tomato puree (water, tomato paste), high fructose corn syrup, distilled vinegar, corn syrup, less than 2% of: salt, sugar, dehydrated onions, dehydrated red and green bell peppers, chile pepper, tomato fiber, spices, guar gum, xanthan gum, dehydrated garlic, carob bean gum, natural flavors.

 Yes, the 2nd, 4th and 6th ingredients are sugar!  And exactly what are guar gum, xanthan gum and carob bean gum?  I want a sandwich not candy!  

The first couple of recipes I tried were OK, but around here OK isn't good enough to get a second try.  The one I tried last night was THE ONE! 
I did make some changes, so here is my version:

1 lb ground beef, cooked, drained and crumbled

1 cup ketchup
1 T mustard (I used Jack Daniel's mustard because I don't like the neon yellow stuff)
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
1 T chili powder
1 T paprika

1 small chopped onion
1 chopped green pepper
1 T chopped garic

Saute the onion, pepper and garlic until softened but not mushy.  Mix everything else in and heat through.  

Yesterday I made six pounds of this stuff, that is how good it was.  No, we didn't eat it all.  We had a little less than a pound for lunch, another pound in the fridge and the rest was put into freezer bags and well, frozen.  In the time it took me to make lunch, I made another 5 meals!

I can get there without a Compass

Earlier this week we received a letter from a local car dealership telling us that they were interested in our Jeep and we could trade it in for another car for little to no money.  OK, gimmick alert.  But our Jeep is a 2001 in excellent condition so lets just see if they could give us a deal we couldn't refuse.
We test drove a lot of cars and found one that we liked.  A Jeep Compass loaded with more features than I ever knew existed.  They offered us much more on our Jeep that we expected and brought the price of the
Compass down too.  Along with free oil changes for a year, it was a really good deal. 
But not enough for us.  We like our Jeep.  We like not having car payments.  The experience at the dealership Saturday reminded us that we like what we have, our life and lifestyle, our knowledge that we are defined not by what we have or don't have but who we are inside. 

Monday, August 31, 2009

8 Days A Week

In just 8 days Gryffin starts school. This morning we started transitioning into the school morning routine: Get up, dressed and make bed at 7:30, breakfast and both of us ready to leave at 8:15. School starts at 8:30 and is (maybe) 5 minutes away WITH traffic.
Today Gryffin will be my little chef. Mike's department is having a Bake Sale Fundraiser Wednesday so I need to whip up some brownies and mini bread loaves. Don't know what kind of bread yet but maybe I will bring you in on the adventure.
Tomorrow is Open House at school. I think Mike and I are more excited about it than Gryffin, but that's OK. I'm sure when he sees the classroom, kids and gym he will perk up.
This week I also need to finish up the freezer cooking for the neighbors. Their baby is due any day.
That about wraps up this week, except for grocery shopping, another Sam's run and whatever pops up in between. I think that's plenty to keep me out of (too much) trouble. But right now I think I will drink the rest of my coffee and keep letting Scraps pretend he's a lap dog.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Mmm, (almost) year old bread.

Yes folks, the date on the jar is correct. This bread was made in October of last year.
I've never know anyone I've given my 'canned' bread to to wait more than a few days before cracking it open so I just had to make sure for myself that it would last this long.
I hid the jar way in the back of my pantry so I would forget, which worked pretty well until this morning when I was craving something sweet but filling for breakfast. I had my doubts, I mean 10 month old bread, yuk. I unscrewed the ring and was happy to have to pry the lid off. That meant that it was sealed up tight this whole time. I just couldn't believe it, it was as moist as the day I made them and tasted just as fresh!
Any kind of quick bread can be baked right in the jar like this, just make sure to spray the inside with nonstick spray and when they come out immediately place the lid and ring on. When the middle of the lids are completely depressed they are sealed air tight, this is accomplished by the hot air in the jar vacuum sealing the lid on. You should hear a little pop when it seals. When the jars are completely cooled label them. Don't forget to label! No one wants to eat mystery bread that's who knows how old.
I don't know the true shelf life of these but I would have to assume they aren't the infinite lifespan of a Twinkie. Especially since they taste a whole hell of a lot better.

Monday, August 24, 2009

It's not a doughnut, but it will do

Last week Gryffin was begging for doughnuts for breakfast. I tried explaining to him that without dough you can't buy doughnuts. He didn't get it. My humor isn't even bad enough for a four year old to understand.
I looked in the fridge and spotted a can of crescent rolls and a jar of blueberry/blackberry jam. Hmm, I could do something with that. The addition of some brown sugar and chopped walnuts made it perfect.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Nemesis Thwarted

I have many Superhero powers, picking up toys, shoes and dirty laundry, cooking a fabulous meal from scratch, grocery shopping for 2-3 weeks in under 30 minutes and taking 2 hour bubble baths. My nemesis is laundry. The evil, ever growing monster of stink has been tormenting me for years. I HATE doing laundry. I'm down right terrible at it. If I remember to put it in the dryer it will sit there until the wrinkles are permanent because my memory is as long as a yawn.

Mike and I have had a long standing agreement that if he cooks, he cleans the kitchen and if I cook he still cleans the kitchen. Come on, he doesn't cook that often. Well, last night I traded him kitchen duty for laundry detail. I know, I'm getting the pretty end of the chore stick, but he can do laundry like nobody's business. It is HIS superpower, one of them anyway.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Today's Harvest

A sunny little windowsill will turn these red in no time!

Not bad for a day's work!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Yesterday's weather was so good that we forgot about the laundry monster taking over our basement and headed to the zoo. It was a lot of fun. Afterward we stopped by our favorite Mexican restaurant, Arcelia's. Oh holy chips and salsa, it was good!

PS: I've made some changes to the sun dress, no more trim under the bodice, the skirt finally goes all the way around, darts around the waist for a slimmer fit and a small bow at the back of the neck. Remaining: sew skirt on, add zipper and hem.

Friday, June 26, 2009

So-so sewing

This is sundress that I'm currently cursing (I mean, making). It's no where near finished. The skirt and waist trim aren't sewn on. The neck strap is hard to see but it's a halter style. Mostly because the patterns measurement of 40" is much different that my measurement of 40". There is a 6" gap in the back of the skirt. Good thing I have plenty of fabric left!

This is my rainy day skirt, hence the umbrellas. I didn't make the shirt, just an old black T-shirt I had laying around.

This is my Hawaiian blues skirt. Palm trees and dolphins, aaaah. So not me, but much cooler than denim shorts on a 100 degree day. Again, the T-shirt is an oldie but a goody from the closet floor.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Aaahhh, I'm melting!

Another triple digit day. Have I mentioned that the Jeep is out of freon? No AC means sweat for me. Luckily, other than dropping off a prescription and taking Gryffin to Day Out, I have no other driving to do.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Butcher, Baker, Ice Cream Maker

That is me today. Gryffin is 'helping' me make chocolate ice cream and peanut butter cookie sandwiches. Later I have to take all the meat I bought at Satan's (aka Sam's Wholesale) and vacuum seal it into smaller portions to freeze.

Garden Update:
TONS of Mexican Midgets (grape tomatoes) turning red, two huge Hungarian Hearts (Roma's) growing and more sprouting, bunches of cucumbers getting bigger and the last of our lettuce needs to be harvested. Plus, I have to take out the giganto broccoli that has taken out our green beans and remove the strawberry plants that are no longer producing.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Super weekend!

Metropolis, Il.

Just waiting around to save the day.

Gryffin meets 'the real' Superman.

Even the Caped Crusader showed up.

We had an awesome time at the Superman Fest. Gryffin got to meet a lot of Superhero's and ate a corndog the size of his leg. Before we left we filled up on Dippin' Dots and everyone but Gryffin regretted it.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Store bought potato salad, sort of

Last night I was going to fix some sweet potato fries to go with our pork burgers but didn't feel like: A. heating up the house or B. waiting for them to cook. Mike mentioned getting some potato salad from the market so off I went on my merry little adventure down the alley.
Hmmm, lets see, the Market's potato salad for $3 for a quarter pound of $1.30 for 1 lb of their baby baked potatoes from yesterday. I opted for the leftover potatoes and the idea of making my own potato salad, which silly as it may seem I have never done before.
But I will certainly be doing it again:

1 lb cold baked potatoes, cut into bite size pieces
3 T Miracle Whip
1 T yellow mustard
1/2 red pepper, chopped small
1/2 yellow pepper, chopped small
2 large green onions, sliced thin
good shake of salt
even better shake of pepper
1 tsp of celery seed

Mix until combine and fight over!

Thursday, June 04, 2009

More rain...

I don't know if this rain is good or bad. It's nice to get a break from the heat but yesterday it was so cold my nails turned blue and the tips of my fingers numb. Not to mention the fact that my tomato plants are now 5 foot tall. I have to get out to the back 4.0 and do a little farming. Cut back the 'maters so more nutrients will actually go to producing 'maters, weave the cucumber plants into the chain link fence so they don't overtake the yard, harvest lettuce and broccoli and remove the broccoli plants that actually went to seed. Then I get to deliver said lettuce harvest around the neighborhood because well, there's TOO much!
After Mike brought home the Fair Shares food yesterday the inside of our fridge turned green, leafy and packed. We received garlic shoots, which I'm really excited to use. When garlic grows it sends up pretty green shoots that look a lot like green onions. The farmer cuts these back to encourage larger garlic cloves. The shoots have a mild garlic flavor and are used like green onions.
What I'm not excited about is the mustard greens. I'm sorry but any green that you have to cook until its limp and lost all nutritional value I can't do. Unless any of you have a great recipe for it that you would like to share?

Monday, June 01, 2009

Up, up and a weep

Yesterday we took Gryffin to see the new Pixar flick, Up. It was Gryffin's first movie at a theater so we opted for the 3D version. We purchased our tickets and took Gryffin inside. His first words were, "Whoa, cool!" He and I went to look at the 'money wasters', aka video games, while Mike got the popcorn and drinks. Then it was time to pick out our seats. It was a good thing we got there early, by the time it was lights out the joint was packed. Gryffin, along with Mike and I, sat mezmerized by the movie. Not only is the new 3D technology amazing, the movie itself was awesome. Don't tell anyone, but Mike and I actually shed a tear or two. It was a wonderful, magical first expirience for not only Gryffin, but our family. We will definitely be seeing more movies together, but at $50 for the three of us I may have to get a job in order to pay for them. It was worth every penny though.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Rain, rain, go away!

It seems we may have to start building an ark. What Mother Nature doesn't understand is that my garden needs sunlight as well as rain. The tomato plants are going crazy, the lettuce has been enjoyed many times and is into the second & third harvest on some plants, the squirrels have enjoyed my strawberries (damn squirrels). I've got flowers on my cucumbers, a broccoli ready for harvest and buds on the beans. Being that this is my first attempt at gardening, I'm more than happy. I really only expected a salad, two at most.
Our new dog, Scraps, is coming along. He will now sit on command. I just wish he would calm down on command too. Being that he is only six months old, I'll take whatever I can get. I am signing him up for training classes to help him along though.
Gryffin really enjoyed his birthday party, complete with a Ben 10 omnitrix watch cake, which he got to cut with a samurai sword. His dojo was a wonderful place to have the party. They gave the kids karate lessons and did all the clean up. Can't beat that for free.
He received a scooter, a skateboard and a bicycle. Guess what I got him? A helmet with knee and elbow pads.
I'm hoping to get to the grocery store today, if the rain lets up. Better get to making that list!

Friday, April 17, 2009

I got the fever & the cure is more cowbells!

Gryffin has made a full recovery. Just one of those mysterious kid fevers I guess. Thank goodness, because we were afraid we might have had to cancel his birthday party tomorrow. That would suck.
Today I have to bake his cake and decorate it. He's requested a Ben 10 cake with all the aliens on it, our dog Scraps on it and sprinkles. I'm pretty sure I can do all but the dog. I also have presents to wrap, goody bags to cram full or stuff, pack up the plates, utensils, napkins and cups. Oh yeah, and I have to plant the peppers and tomatoes. That should be enough to keep me out of trouble, hopefully.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

I haven't been killed by an avalanche of dirty clothes; although, they have formed a union.
Here's a quick update in bullets:
  • trying to get ready for Gryffin's birthday party next week
  • adopted a puppy
  • upped the antidepressant/anxiety meds
  • made Easter dinner for my chosen family
There was a lot more but my memory sucks, sorry.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Home Sweet Home

We returned home late Sunday night. The trip and visit was wonderful. Gryffin got to catch bugs, explore a cave, tour the Mothman Museum and pee in a cup. I think he was most excited about the last. We got stuck in deadlock traffic somewhere in Indiana and he just couldn't hold it anymore so we made Grandma hold the cup. Hee hee hee.
Gryffin was really good at keeping himself occupied while strapped in, he only watched one movie each way! On the way there we traveled at night and after the first couple hours he slept. On the way home he colored, played with his superheros and talked to us, kept us laughing the whole way. Damn, I love my kid.
His birthday party is the weekend after Easter at his dojo. Gryffin keeps telling us that he is determined to be a black belt. Hey, we need a ninja in the family, who doesn't?
The neighbors have been asking about when we are having our next party. We haven't had one in a few months and since we average one a month they are in withdrawl. So am I... maybe it will be warm enough for the Trailer Trash theme party. I can see it now... friends dressed in there trailer park best, empty beer cans turned into party lights, cheese that comes out of a can, pigs in a blanket and really cheap liquor. Or maybe a Wino and Cheez party, how about I make a bunch of egg rolls, crab rangoon and Chinese food or maybe even board game party. Of course the one theme I will never do with my crazy arse neighbors is truth or dare!

Thursday, March 26, 2009


We are driving to Ohio tonight to visit Mike's Uncle, Aunt and Nanny. Dianne is coming too, she's kind enough to have offered the use of her living room on wheels, aka- van. This thing has a TV with DVD player and is game system compatible. She's also been kind enough to volunteer to ride in the back with Gryffin because I get car sick so easily. Man, I got the best mother-in-law ever!
It's about an 8 hour drive, so with stopping for dinner and all the bathroom breaks Gryffin requires, it should be about 10-12 hours.
I still have loads of laundry, cleaning and packing to get done. I also have to get some music downloaded to the MP3 and find a book to take.
Time to shut up and put up.

Monday, March 16, 2009

I would really love to share pictures of our new and improved back yard, but it seems I have lost my phone and need to tear the house apart.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


If you live around or near me, take your kid to the same Day Out program, hang out at the same coffee joint or know me in any way, shape or form- be warned. I am out of makeup. Completely.
I don't wear much, but what I do wear makes a huge difference. It covers the purple bags under my eyes and my teenage-like acne.
So, if you see a purple eyed, pimpled, disheveled and panicked woman driving like a bat out of hell today, it's just me rushing to the one and only store within 20 miles that sells the only makeup I can wear.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Well that was a nice weekend. The weather was nice enough to open the house up and air it out, for the boys to play outside and clean up the yard and for me to crank up the music and clean. Yesterday the time change hit us like bricks, but we still got a couple things done.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Kiss My Grits!

Finally, a food experiment that turned out edible. More than edible, I'm even having this for breakfast today.
I went to college in the south where grits are served breakfast, lunch, dinner and sometimes desert. I learned that their flavor changes depending on what they are paired with, everything from savory to sweet.
Currently living in the Midwest, I missed them. Most people here have never even heard of grits, let alone tried them. I'm thinking of starting an Eat Your Grits Campaign to enlighten this part of the country.
Enough of my babble:

Bacon, Shrimp and Cheddar Grits

1 pkg pre-cooked Trader Joe's grits (or whatever grits you can find, just follow the package directions)
6 slices bacon, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1.5 cups frozen salad shrimp, thawed and dried well with paper towels
1.5 cups shredded low-fat cheddar cheese, reserve 1/2 cup
1/2 cup fat free 1/2 & 1/2
Salt & Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350.
In a skillet, brown the bacon and onion and drain on paper towells.
In a sauce pan, heat the grits and 1/2 & 1/2. Add in a cup of the cheese in small handfuls, stirring until melted. Turn off the heat and add in the bacon, onion and shrimp. Add salt & pepper. Stir to combine.
Spray a casserole dish with non-stick spray and dump the whole pot of lovely goodness in. Sprinkle the top with the reserved cheese and place in a 350 degree oven until the cheese is bubbly, about 20 minutes.

I served this last night with grilled pork chops, steamed broccoli and corn. I could have skipped the chops since the grits had plenty of protein and are REALLY filling, but I wasn't sure if my boys would like them, but they did. Who couldn't love bacon, shrimp and cheese anything?

Next time I may just add in some veggies and make it into a complete meal casserole.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Anti-Sneaking Spotlight

Last night Mike installed a covert tactic to dealing with a sneaky child... a motion activated light switch. He put it in the hallway outside Gryffin's room and it works like a charm. I know when Gryffin gets up in the morning, even without having my hearing aides in. My husband is so smart.
There were two of these handy dandy little gadgets in the package. The second will go in our closet, sometimes its just too much to flip a switch in the morning.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Crappy Cakes

I cannot make crab cakes to save my life. Tonight I had a wonderful dinner planned of crab cakes, sweet potato fries and cole slaw. The cole slaw and fries were good. The crab cakes were more like crab slag. Luckily, the corner market was still open and I picked up a couple of pork steaks from their hot deli. This of course, was after Nick the Butcher gave me a hard time. He knows whenever I hit the deli around dinner time it's because I've botched something.
My guess is that the crab cakes were too wet, or I shouldn't use canned crab or they hate me. No matter which it is, most likely the last, I am not going to attempt them again. I know when I've been beaten.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Can you Lent me some seafood recipes?

Seafood Chowdah'
(this recipe has been adapted by me from Ina Gartner's Lobster Corn Chowder)
(and can be Lent suitable with the omission of the bacon)
(complete ingredient list at the end of this post)
(just couldn't stop with the addendum's)

1. Brown off the bacon bits, remove with a slotted spoon to drain.
Heat the seafood stock along with the sherry, milk, herbs and spices.

2. Add in the corn, onion and potatoes. Cook over medium high heat until potatoes are barely tender.
Keep warming that stock!

3. Combine stock with 1/2 & 1/2, corn and potatoes. Simmer on low for about 5 minutes.

4. Add in the crab, shrimp, bacon bits, and peas. Simmer another 5 minutes or until the shrimp and peas are done.

We love this soup. It's hearty with the perfect balance of sweet from the crab and salty from the bacon. It also holds up to reheating really well; although, I don't know how well it would freeze.

Seafood Chowdah'

32 oz seafood stock
1/4 cup cream sherry(optional, but makes a huge difference)
2 cups milk
1 T Old Bay
1 tsp paprika
2 tsp thyme

Add to large saucepan and cook on a low simmer.

4 sliced bacon, chopped (If not using, substitute 1 T olive oil)
1 lb cooked crab meat, chopped
1/2 lb shrimp, peeled and cooked
3-4 large Yukon Gold potatoes, chopped (I leave the skins on)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 lb frozen corn
1/2 lb frozen peas
1 cup Fat Free 1/2 & 1/2
Salt & Pepper to taste.

Ok, but I'm not wearing overalls.

Yesterday I received a much anticipated package in the mail. Seeds! I'm planting my (first ever) vegetable garden. Not now, of course. It is still too early despite averaging one or two 70 degree days a week. I do plan on starting the seeds inside in paper egg cartons. Why? Because I refuse to spend money on stupid little plastic trays that only end up in the landfill. Woo Hoo, I feel my tree hugging, hippie traits rising to the surface again! Break out the tie-dye and crank up the Dead! Just kidding, although I do own both.
I have this dream of walking out to the back 0.40 and cutting some lettuce, spinach, tomato and pepper for a salad every evening, picking and snapping green beans and cutting into a fresh, ripe cantaloupe. Now I know this dream may not happen. I may just end up crying over dead, wilted vegetation, but at least I know I'm going to give it my all.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Food for thought

Hmmm, the government is looking to take a larger stake in the banks. It's not that I distrust our current administration, consider the alternative, but I'm thinking a shoe box or mattress might be best for my money.
It would still earn the same interest rate.

Again? Crap.

I'm sick, AGAIN! My head feels like it's going to explode. Mike thinks he may have found the problem to my prolonged illness last night. There was mold in our humidifier. I am really allergic to mold. It's amazing I survived living in my egg-donors house. He put a little bleach in the water to kill it off so hopefully, I can recover quickly and finally.
I can't let a little thing like lack of oxygen keep me from putting the house in order though. Mike was sweet enough to get the laundry started last night and scrub the kitchen. He's a keeper! Today I have, have, have to clean the bathrooms and change some sheets. I can handle that. I think.

Friday, February 20, 2009

I haven't fallen off the planet. Our beloved 14 year old Husky, Mojo, passed away this week. I hope to be back to regular posting soon, but not today.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Up on the rooftop...

The other day I was in the sewing room making a Pink Panther scarf for a little girl's birthday present when I noticed a spot on the ceiling. Crap, there's a leak in the roof. This morning we promptly called our roofer who true to his form said he would be here in a few hours and arrived not an hour later. Hail damage, grrrr. He gave is two options: the cheap quick fix or the $200 not going to have this problem again fix. We, having learned our lesson on quick fixes a long time ago, opted for #2. Unfortunately, he also let us know that there are about 10 other hail damaged spots that pose future problems. That does not make for a happy Monday, but it could be a lot worse. I will take this hit and count my blessings.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Premature Posting

My last post now seems like wishful thinking. I'm still battling what Gryffin calls "the little green things" in my chest and head. Last night as Mike went to the drug store for cough medicine, Gryffin covered me with blankets and brought me one of his favorite toys to snuggle with so I would feel better. I don't know how my kid got to be so sweet but I'm damn thankful for it.

Thursday, February 05, 2009


I've been sick, again. But thankfully, I'm pretty much over it now, which is good because for some reason the house looks like I've been sick for a while. Toys, clutter, laundry, dishes and an empty pantry are the sure signs of my neglect. At least they are all easily remedied.

Thursday, January 29, 2009


With no Day Out Tuesday and no karate class yesterday, Gryffin was getting a little restless. (Understatement of the year) I give my kid credit, when he's hit with boredom he's also hit with creativity. He came up with the idea of throwing Mike a surprise party, with cake and streamers and sign. Damn, my kid is brilliant. I knew Mike could really use a good cheering up after having a few rough days at work, so it was party time!
Gryffin helped me bake the cake, crumble it up into the icing and stir into a stiff mess where we scooped it with a melon baller and froze it. Then we melted some chocolate and dipped the cake balls in. We made a lovely, delicious mess. Mmmm, red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting, covered in white chocolate. Gryffin also picked up all of his toys to make the house 'nice for Daddy' and he helped me hang the streamers and drew a volcano on a piece of paper emblazoned with the words, 'We Love You'. When Mike pulled in the drive, which he had gotten up at 4am to shovel, Gryffin and I hid behind a chair waiting. When he opened the door, we jumped up and yelled (of all the original things) Surprise! I really don't know who had the biggest smile, Gryffin for pulling it off, Mike for feeling so much love it melted some snow, or me being a witness to the wonder of my son and husband, and being the luckiest woman on the planet.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Winter Wondermeal

We have enough snow on the ground that I can no longer see the neighbors grass sticking up. That's a lot of snow, folks. Oh, and have I mentioned they just NOW got rid of their Halloween pumpkin and put up a bunch of bird feeders? I hate birds.
Last night as soon as Mike got home I sent him right back out in it with Gryffin. They played in the snow for about a half hour before it got too cold so I could work on picking up the house. Nothing destroys a house like a cabin fevered little boy and a lazy mom. I at least had a nice hot Shepherd's Pie waiting for them though. It was the perfect dish for a cold, snowy day.

Shepherd's Pie

1 lb ground lamb
1 lb frozen mixed veggies
8 oz can of tomato sauce
1 small onion, diced
2.5 lbs yukon gold potatoes, chopped with skins on
1/2 cup or so of Fat Free 1/2 and 1/2
Garlic powder
Salt & Pepper

Put the taters on to boil. Cook the lamb and onion together until the meat is no longer pink and drain, return to pan. Slightly steam the frozen veggies but do not cook all the way. This will get them to release some of their liquid. (I forgot to do this last night so mine was slightly watery, but still good) Add the veggies and spices to the meat, stir in the tomato sauce and place all this in a big casserole dish sprayed with non-stick spray. When the potatoes are tender, drain and combine with the 1/2 & 1/2. Using a mixer, whip them into a frenzy. Hey, you're making mashed potatoes! Spread the potatoes evenly over the top and stick in a 350 oven for about 30-45 mintues or until the potatoes are nice and golden. Let this rest for a few minutes before serving. (I also forgot this step last night, which was another reason it was a little watery)

This recipe can be used with ground beef or a combination.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

I doubt there is even two inches of snow on the ground and everyone is panicked. The weatherman, aka Guessman, has predicted anywhere between 0-967 more, way to CYA dude. Needless to say, all the schools have closed.
Time for an agenda redo.

Friday, January 23, 2009

My man is good!

Mike passed his test! He not only passed, but passed with a 90%. The national average is 73%. I am so proud of him.
Yesterday he came home with a big bouquet of flowers. I got gussied up while the boys waited for Grandma to show up. We shipped Gryffin off with her and Mike took me out for sushi. Mmmm, sushi. Saki on the other hand, I'll leave that up to Mike. We got some new movies, settled in on the couch with some drinks and called it a lovely evening.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I slept so hard I think my brain fell out. That's pretty rare for me, I'm usually a light sleeper. On the rare nights when I do sleep like last night, I have the hardest time waking up. Couple cups of coffee, a shower and Gryffin waking up in a good mood helps.
Yesterday I watched the Inauguration. What a moment in history! One step closer to equality for all and hopefully better times ahead for the nation (and world).
Last night I did something I haven't done in forever. I made pizza. It was so good that I forgot to take pictures before we devoured it. Gryffin ate three pieces! I know that I've posted the recipe before, but knowing me I forgot to label it so here it is:

Freezer Pizza
3/4 cup warm water
2 T olive oil
2 c flour
1 t sugar
1/2 t salt
2 t yeast

Place the above in order in a bread machine and turn to the dough setting. Let that baby do the work. When its done, pour the dough out onto a floured surface and roll out until the size of your pizza stone. Prick the center with a fork to keep it from bubbling up and bake for 10 minutes on a pizza stone at 400. Carefully remove the crust and top with your faves or freeze for use in the future. If not freezing, return to oven all topped with goodies and bake addition 10-15 minutes.
To cook from frozen: no need to thaw, just top with what you like and place on a pizza stone in a 400 degree oven until cheese is bubbly and crust is GBD (golden, brown, delicious), about 15 minutes.

We just had a simple pepperoni one last night. While making it I read the label on the cheese and got really ticked at Sam's Club. They have stopped selling the 2% low-fat Kraft shredded cheese in favor of their own which is definitely not low in fat. 9 flipping percent! I cook as healthy as possible and this will not work. I'll just have to go back to looking for the low-fat stuff on sale and stocking up. Luckily, it freezes really well.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

There's a dusting of snow on the ground, it's cold and I'm out of coffee. At least one of those (the most important) can be remedied. I just hope they haven't closed Day Out because of the snow. I know Mojo is happy to have it. Nothing makes and old Husky smile like snow and maybe a good belly rub and some table scraps.

Mike takes his Series 7, investment broker's test, on Thursday. He's been studying like a madman and after spending 15 years in the industry, I know he will do well. Don't go asking him to be your stock broker though, he plans on staying behind the scenes. Sometimes I miss having a job. Most, if not all, of you know that he and I worked together for over 10 years. From what I've heard, I wouldn't want to go back there though. Times are a changing, for better or worse who knows.

I definitely plan on catching some Inauguration coverage today. Yippee! My side won, now let's see what they can do. Sorry Dad, don't mean to rub it in.

Ok, the jammies and robe aren't cutting it and Gryffin won't share the blanket so I better get off my duff and put the homeless look away. Or maybe I'll just pour another cup of coffee to warm up.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Ok, we're safe. Infact, better than safe.

The seafood chowda' turned out lovely. I won't post the recipe just yet, as it's not perfected. Next time I will use all seafood stock instead of half seafood, half veggie. I will add more crab and salad shrimp, lots of paprika and maybe even some other kind of whitefish.
I am really proud of my first attempt though. I just need to learn how to cook for us and not the whole neighborhood because even after delivering some next door to P & S, I have about a gallon left.

Oh Lord, I think it might be takeout night

I'm currently trying to make a seafood chowder, with corn and potatoes, crab and shrimp. I'm not real confident about it, but we'll see. Stay tuned for the sordid details.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

You know it's gonna be good when...

You're wearing killer boots,
Got Loretta Lynn, Social Distortion and Elvis Costello on shuffle
And with an empty house
Are cleaning.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Damn, I'm good. (And humble)

I've been trying to get Chicken & Dumplings right for months now. And I've finally done it.
I started off making my own chicken stock. I had roasted a chicken for Monday's dinner and saved the carcass. I put that and an onion, bay leaves, fresh parsley and rosemary, some Trader Joe's 21 Seasoning Salute and water into the crock pot yesterday morning on high. I let that simmer away until about 3:30.

After straining it into a big stock pot, I got this lovely golden stock. I then made the dumplings, which are so easy:

1 cup flour
1 t baking powder
3/4 t salt
1 T shortening
1/2 c milk

Mix the dry ingredients and then cut in shortening. Add the milk to make a stiff dough. Roll out on a floured surface until 1/4" thick, cut into 1" squares. Bring the stock to a boil and add the dumplings one a time to prevent clumping. Let them boil for about 10-15 minutes.
I then added the leftover chicken meat, minus the skin and a bag of thawed peas & carrots. I dissolved about 2 T cornstarch in a cup of low fat milk and added this to the pot. I turned the heat down and let this simmer away until nice and thick.
This is the hearty, thick, uber-yummy Chicken & Dumplings that we had the pleasure of devouring last night. In fact, I had to keep myself from eating the leftovers for breakfast this morning.
From now on, I'm making my own stock. It truly made all the difference in the world and was so easy to just throw in the crock pot. I'm sure that if I freeze it, I can just pop out a couple cups and make a smaller batch of Chicken & Dumplings in no time.
Which on a single digit temperature day- like today- would be an awesome way to warm up. Of course, last night Dad gave me the wonderful idea of making Pork & Dumplings, using ham stock. Mmm, I've getting hungry all over again.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The visit with Mike's Aunt & Uncle was short but good. And I got a clean house out of it. Yesterday I hit the grocery store for some Can't Pass Up deals. With the uncertainty of the economy we have decided to stock up on frozen and dry goods. I got 5 boxes of cereal and two huge bottles of laundry detergent for $30. Doesn't sound like a deal until you realize that these purchases got me a $15 off coupon for my next trip to the grocery. Plus, they were things that I needed anyway.
We also stopped by Lowe's to pick up a shelving unit for the basement. Mike set it up next to the deep freeze and I'm going to spend some time today cleaning the upstairs pantry and putting the extras in the basement. This is a much needed task since I overloaded a shelf in the pantry and it tipped backwards spilling all my canned goods over. Oops! Luckily, nothing broke.
I also got a loaf of Honey Wheat bread baked yesterday and have a chicken defrosted for roasting today. I think along with a little laundry that will be my course of action for this cold Sunday.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Maiming Mood LIfted

I'm no longer in a maiming mood. My jaw is well enough to eat some cereal and drink coffee. That's really all I require.
We are getting some out of town guests this evening and Dianne has been kind enough to agree to watch Gryffin while I scour the house. Something about out-of-towners makes me want to make the house perfect. That and the fact that I really haven't had opportunity to get much cleaning done this week. Note to self: never schedule an appliance repair, chimney sweep and dentist appointment all in the same week.
Along with cleaning today, I have to hit the grocery store and maybe pickup a little firewood. Better get started by getting out of PJ's, slippers and robe.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Dental hygienists should be shot in all four appendages, hung from a tree upside down and used as a pinata until their teeth fall out. But this is just my opinion and only a temporary one at that. I'm sure once I'm able to move my jaw again the anger will subside. A little.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Ice, #*&%!

Ice hit last night and the schools are closed. Damned ice. This was to be Gryffin's first day back to Day Out since before Christmas and I had a bazillion things to do. Oh well, I guess they will just have to wait. At least there is still hot coffee.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Pinching Pennys

Here are more of my strategies to saving (or avoiding spending) money.
1. Use cash, when it's gone it's really gone.
2. Break bills, never give change away. When you buy something use bills and let the change collect. Once a week I clean out my wallet and put the change in a big jar on the dresser. When that gets full, I turn it in for anywhere from $40 to $100 at a time.
3. Save first, set up automatic transfers to your savings account on payday.
4. Use credit for bills, I have every bill I can billed to my credit card and an automatic payment to my credit card set up from my checking account. That way, I rack up the cash back bonus and use it, along with all that change as a Christmas Club.
5. Calculate the cost, I keep a small calculator in my purse and use it to figure out price per ounce or unit. I did this the other day at Target and found that buying 72 Pull-Ups was cheaper by $.10 a diaper than buying the pack of 44. This also comes in super handy at the grocery store.
6. Clearance, Clarence. I only buy clothes from the clearance racks. This goes for me, Gryffin and Mike. I usually don't even waste time looking at the full-price stuff.
7. Coupons, we usually only go out to eat if we have a coupon for the restaurant or we get it as take out to keep from having to tip. Plus, when you eat out if you order water that's a good $2-$4 savings per person. I even go so far as to ask for hot water and bring my own tea bags.
8. Track the sales. It seems like our grocery store has the same things on sale about once a month. By keeping track of what goes on sale when you can figure out when to stock up and when to hold off. Take spaghetti sauce, our store puts it on sale every other week. I only buy enough to last two or three weeks because I know it will going on sale again soon.
9. Wash in cold. Mike is going to kill me for this one but, I wash everything in cold water. We use a good detergent and Oxy-Clean, so cold water gets everything just as clean. Every once in a while I do a load of bleaching, this is the only time I use hot water. I also skip the extra rinse cycle. It is also important to clean out the lint trap on the dryer EVERY time you use it so it can work efficiently and not be a fire hazard.
10. Don't go shopping unless you NEED something. Wandering through Target is a nice way to spend a few hours but it can turn into an expensive trip. I also try to leave Mike and Gryffin at home, this makes for a shorter run.

Crockpot Beef Stew

My attempts at crock pot cooking have either been hit or miss. Not just miss by "it needs something", I mean hit by " eek, gross, throw it out- NOW". My last attempt was of the latter category. Chicken and Dumplings that turned out to be Chunky and Dump It. Today I'm trying beef stew. I really, really, really hope this works out. This is what I did:

1 lb of stew meat
1 lb of baby carrots
1 lb of potatoes, chunked
1 onion, sliced thick
1/2 cup flour, seasoned with salt, pepper and TJ's 21 Seasoning Salute
1 T olive oil
1 can beef broth, low sodium, fat free
1 can tomato sauce
1 T garlic, chopped

I coated the meat in the flour and cooked in the olive oil until just browned. I added this along with everything else to the crock pot and set on low. It's 10:30 am now so I'm hoping to have dinner by six.
I'm also hoping it tastes good. Stay tuned...

UPDATE: It was awesome and perfect and perfectly awesome. Dinner at six, Mike home at 6:30 and I'm really hoping to get a book, bath and a glass of wine in- all at the same time.
MMmmmm, coffee.

That's exactly how I feel this morning. A rough night of no sleep past 2 am and an early morning of Gryffin being up at 6:30, that ought to make for a lovely, groggy day. Oh well, I've made it through worse situations.
The New Year brought about new changes to my daily routine and a review of the budget. I didn't keep up on what I was spending on Christmas and went a little overboard. Along with getting the fridge fixed, the chimney cleaned and a dentist appointment this week, things are going to be tight. Tight like trying to cram my fanny into a pair of size six skinny jeans that just came out of the dryer. That's OK too, nothing a few paychecks and eating out of the pantry won't cure. But all of this did make me realize something... my envelope trick works- when I use it!
You see, I have in my wallet six envelopes labeled: Fun $, Me, Grocery/Lottery, Jeep, Sam's and House. Every payday I fill each envelope with the allotted funds, the Fun $ gets $50 for eating out, movies, etc. The Me one gets the same, this is my allowance. The other envelopes get their allowance. When the envelope is empty, no more spending! This week the grocery and house envelopes got emptied immediately. These are the days when I wished we got a paycheck every week instead of every two. But I WILL make do. I'm bound and determined to get back on track.
Speaking of getting back on track, I better get some laundry in while Gryffin is embroiled in a battle of good vs. evil playing with his Batcave.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Fat Free Gravy

Do those words make you cringe? Do they make you think of jarred, gelatinous goo that tastes a lot like poo? Think again, my friend.

My husband is a gravy lover. I've always liked the taste of it, just couldn't stomach the fact that it was so fatty. Last night for dinner I made mini meatloaves, broccoli & cauliflower and mashed potatoes and FAT FREE GRAVY. It was solely done as an experiment and I really didn't think it would work, but it did. Here's how I did it:

Fat Free (yet yummy) Gravy

1 can of fat free, low sodium beef broth
2 tsp onion flakes
1 T cornstarch
1 tsp browning sauce- you can find this in the spice isle or sometimes with the nasty canned gravy

Add about 1/2 the broth along with the onion to a sauce pan, bring to a simmer.
Add the cornstarch to the remaining broth and mix until dissolved. Add this to the pan along with the browning sauce. Whisk together and let simmer until thick.

Even more surprisingly, this gravy stood up for leftovers the next night! Hmmm, I wonder if it would freeze well?

Friday, January 02, 2009

Avalanche to crafty, at last!


After. That's Betsy in the corner, she was a Christmas present from Mike. Yay!




New Year's Eve was just as I had predicted... Gryffin and I asleep with Mike playing video games. I think he kissed me at midnight. Our New Year's Day was just as kicked back. Gryffin helped Mike take down the outdoor Christmas decorations and I cleaned out the avalanche room, aka- sewing room. It had accumulated all the bits and bobs for wrapping presents along with all the other stuff that needed a temporary storage spot.
When I got it all in order, I sat back and admired my work. I wanted to start something crafty but found that the mood didn't last long. I was exhausted. I'm thinking this weekend I will get my craft on and at least start something fantabulous.