Friday, October 31, 2008


First and foremost, I'd like to welcome my dear friend Quick Witted Chrissy to the world of bloggety things. I take full blame for sucking her into the vortex because some schmuckatelli responded to an ollllld post (in their moronic search for pronographic content) calling me names via that "anonymous" nomenclature. I felt it necessary to require identity so that if someone insisted on disagreeing with me, they can do it to my "face". So she got an account and figured she should put it to use. Now she can call me names to my face and for posterity on my blog (and hers). Yay, more entertainment! (If you haven't noticed, it doesn't take much for me really.)

Second, since we live on the ghetto side of the good neighborhood, we mooched trick-or-treated on the really good side of the good neighborhood. Clone was dressed as Tinkerbell and Beast was ... slashed? I would have loaned him my clothes for a cross dressing costume, but I wasn't going to share my shoes! He was a good and dutiful brother and escorted Clone while Devildog and I were lazy shiftless parents following them in the Mom-bus. They thanked the neighbors and they didn't walk on the lawns. There were fewer houses handing out candy, I suspect because Halloween fell on Friday and lots of churches have alternative activities. Plus it's Florida/Georgia weekend (GO NOLES!), so there was plenty elsewhere to be doing (intoxication tailgating) Seriously, we may have gone to 10% of the houses giving out candy and worked the neighborhood an hour and a half TOPS.
And the kids came away with this:
And my husband has this thing about sorting the candy. It all got dumped together again anyway but he likes to take full stock of the loot. The piles were falling off the coffee table so I grabbed bowls (and they're all Tupperware...) to corral the candy.
We have a bowl each of Hershey's miniatures, Butterfinger, Snickers, Milky Way, 3 Musketeers (a favorite of mine), Reese's cups (another favorite of mine, probably my #1), Skittles, irregular snacks like popcorn, pretzels and gummi snacks etc, and those odd caramel/taffy candies that I can only assume die hard seniors insist on handing out. They were good parents back in their day and didn't aid their children in such consumption apparently.
Moving on to the piles, we have M&M's (regular and peanut), KitKat, Starburst, Crunch, Twix, Hershey's, Almond Joy, some Junior Mints, DOTS, Milk Duds, and a few SmarTies, Sugar Baby/Daddy, Twizzlers, Sour Patch, and a Take 5. Beast got a full sized Zero bar. Then There were the perfunctory DumDums, Tootsie Pops, Tootsie Rolls (in flavors even), and someone threw in a small page of stickers for good measure. Clone's prized treat? A miniature thing of fuschia Play-doh.

The kids were told they could have one piece of candy tonight. I suspect I'll have the revolving door unlatched tomorrow to safeguard my sanity. "If you MUST bounce, do so outside!" We got home shortly after 9, went through the candy and I sat down at the computer. I was trying to upload the first picture, and was called by the Devildog to see this:

Because mooching is an exhausting line of work you know....

All Hallow's Eve

I was stalking Pioneer Woman again, so my post is shamelessly "inspired" by her post about her kids' costumes. I understand and recall, it was supposed to mask one's true identity from the evil spirits so they couldn't bother you. Ya know, like Uncle Robert trying to tell you which specific floorboard held the loot? It's progressed into a creative free-for-all of sorts on many levels. I've seen some tremendous effort and energy expended all for the sake of a good laugh and scare on Halloween. What costumes have you done?

I've been a dead bride - complete with a lipstick blood line down my face. All because Honeymoon Hannah here decided to step in front of the television while the football game was on.

I've taken Devildog's cammies and worn them to work at a military assistance agency on Halloween. I made sure I was un-uniform about it, but other branches thought I was legit. I nearly got taken aside by a Staff Sgt for a "period of instruction".

I've gone as the Tupperware Queen when I sold the stuff, so I could try to drum up business...sort of worked, but my execution was lacking I'm sure.

I've been the frazzled House-frau: pajamas, slippers, curlers, hair askew, green face mask. The trick? Noxema and food coloring, mixed well in a separate container and don't directly touch the food coloring (don't ask how I know). It never occured to me to slather a layer of noxema on first and let it set before I slathered the green layer. I could have avoided a need for exfoliation lol.
I might try this trick next time I go to a football game...(note to self, add food coloring to shopping list) maybe I'll be seen on the Jumbo-tron...

I'm always running around on Halloween, and stuff always gets scheduled for that day for some reason. I don't get the "home day" I'd like to prepare. And lord knows what Beast will concoct for his costume. It's no suprise he isn't prepared for this, as he's not even been working on the science or history fair projects that should be in the works by now.

And now my hands itch for some reason.....making it a challenge to type. Nevermind the fact that I should have been in bed 2 hours ago....I will use the excuse that I was waiting on laundry and that's why I was up. It's my story and I'm sticking to it. See? the house-frau thing really wasn't that much of a stretch for me either....

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Who's in your pocket?

I said the other day that I dislike election season. I keep getting giant oversized flyers and post cards from candidates spouting what they think is rhetoric I want to hear. As I said before, I am willing to share my opinions with the candidates, but they need to come see me and find out what is important to me. I'm now getting phone calls with pre-recorded messages from candidates....and I know I put my number on the national do not call registry. I just got another call from a candidate saying "vote for meee!" and he was kind enough to give his website address. I was almost convinced I could research this candidate more, till the last line of the biography... noting an affiliation with First Baptist Church, the megachurch that takes up more city blocks than city government buildings do. I've also been privvy to information about certain aspects of that particular church that make me wonder where they stopped being a true house of God, and became such a force in this city that garners both such favor and disdain. If you haven't noticed, I don't like this church, more on principle than personal experience. And if you haven't read my own history, I married a Baptist, so I'm not bashing that particular faith, just this particular organization's propensity to take over things. I don't vote for candidates affiliated with this particular church because I have concerns of these individuals mixing religion with politics in such a way that it utterly perverts the process. My husband thinks it's stupid of me to think this way, but after all it's not his vote, it's MY vote. I don't question his logic on his vote. Some vote on the pro-life/pro-choice platform, some on economics, some on another aspect of the campaign. I try to look at the overall picture and locally I look at which apple tree they've dropped from on their way to the candidate registration department at the Supervisor of Elections office. Yes, dear candidate, I do judge you by the company you keep. Choose your friends wisely.

As the CapitolOne commercials end with "What's in your wallet?", I'll ask the candidates, "Who's in YOUR pocket?"

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Coffee!!...must....have COFFEEEEEE!

I was awakened by a phone call this morning, in the middle of my multiple snooze button interactions. While I was taking that call, Devildog got up to get Clone ready for school. He's my hero like that because a well digger's backside has nothing on the current temperatures normally reserved for March around here. I finished the phone call and got up to make Clone's lunch and my coffee. My hero made the pot of java this morning, and he amassed additional brownie points for that act of love too. I was looking for certain containers for my Clone's lunch and started putting away some of the dishes in the drainer, in order to locate said containers. Apparently, some of us need coffee to make coffee.

I found the brew basket in the dish drainer.

"How did you make coffee without this?" (holding up the brew basket for Devildog to see)
::quizzical look::
::maniacal cackling::
He opened the top of the coffeemaker and pointed to it saying "Like that"

It wasn't a total failure, because coffee made it INTO the pot for consumption but it was certainly an amusing start to the day.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Never trust a skinny, or sober, chef

We decided to cook our own anniversary dinner. Since a base was stolen during a World Series game, Taco Bell gave away a free taco to each person today that came in from 2-6PM. So we got the tacos and gave them to the kids, and then made ourselves a kick-A dinner.

Steak, pan roasted potatoes, corn, garlic bread (couldn't go a day without scorching something) and Pioneer Woman's Whiskey Glazed Carrots OH.MY.LORD. those carrots are good. I am SOOO making this for some get together or another...I must share this glorious gift. When I was cleaning up, I couldn't help but slurp the glaze. It was THAT good.

While shopping for the steaks, I wandered down Publix's wine aisle in search of a Pinot Grigio Veneto since Devildog's sister gave me a yummy bottle last Christmas from a winery in South Carolina. I ended up with some Barefoot Pinot Grigio in the little bottles. I figured since I love the White Zin, the other offerings would be worth trying.

So I was drinking while cooking, and cooking with alcohol to boot.

And now you see why I was slurping the glaze?

So if you have a skinny chef, at least make sure they're drunk-just a little so there aren't accidents of drunken stupidity. And of course, since the other chef was not skinny and hasn't been since 1997, and he was following a method found on page 84 of Weber's Real Grilling, it was all good. He didn't need to be drunk, but he did have some beer while he cooked. Who knows, maybe it was a sacrificial beer for the good of the beef.

Now this is the kind of stuff I like. Cheezoid things like cooking dinner with my husband, rather being left isolated in the kitchen while he was electronically entertained, are sometimes fun and/or interesting. There may be hope for us yet. So, since I'm still in a bit of a food coma, here is my picture of my consumption on the pretty plates I scored at the thrift store. They actually match the remaining few pieces china my grandmother managed not to break in a fit of rage so it could be left to me and my little younger sister.

The steak looks burnt, but it is indeed not. That is from the rub used in the preparation for grilling the steak. This steak was ohmygawddelicious. Devildog said it tasted like a steak from Longhorn. I wouldn't know, or remember. I think the last time I had a steak from there, it was still blinking and my kids were not cooperative. I don't like meat that still moves, makes noise or even blinks. I want insurance that it's dead. Devildog didn't fail me on this one either. It's especially sweet of him, since I failed to avoid burning his bread. Persnickety wonders why I hover when I cook, and it's because I have ADD and will get sidetracked and burn something. Like the garlic bread. And since Devildog won't go near carrots unless they're microplaned into a salad or baked into cake, I gave him my bread that he didn't need. We both left food on our plates. We'll enjoy lunch tomorrow.

another year, another ... something

We've managed to not kill each other another year. We're almost halfway to my parents' record of 33-ish years. We've made more compromises than we'd care to admit, because a bloody mess would have been difficult to explain. Plus we figured that someone should teach the valuable life skill to our children in the form of a living example of a working model. OK, so it's merely a work in progress and we are not anywhere near what we envisioned 14 years ago, on a Friday afternoon at the county courthouse. Of course we were drunk with postpartum everything, post-bootcamp-reunion hormones, and him bootcamp-reunion plus just hormones. We did it backwards, but we did it. Courthouse, followed by a brief reception from the Wendy's Drive Thru, then on to pick up his Step-mom from work, since we had her car. Later that night we went to a movie, and then stopped at my parents' house to inform them of the goings-on that day. It was much less contention than trying to get the splintered sides of our families together for a momentous event. Corralling cats would have been easier and less stressful.
Tonight I was struck with the urge to bake my peanut butter chocolate chip cookies, and went with it. I actually had just enough ingredients to make it happen. So while he was off bleeding orange again, I baked. The temperatures are vastly cooler than last week's eighty degrees, so baking was not going to overheat the house. I planned on getting some cookies prepped in advance for the winter holiday baking frenzy I want to enjoy but never do. I scooped some of the batter out, and baked some cookies. The kids helped. As I tucked the clone into bed the timer buzzed and I told her I had to leave or the cookies would be burned. She said she likes them that way, which was met with "if I burn them you can have them after school tomorrow." The Beast likes burnt food too. I have weird kids and I'll be the first to tell you that.
I made one big cookie for the husband....and when I showed it to him he said "that's a big'un.
"It's yours"
"and it's not even burnt"

Welcome to the dark side. We have cookies.

Monday, October 27, 2008

still not a winner

The other night Devildog rolled over in his sleep so much, and in the same direction, that he literally rolled himself up in the covers. I woke up feeling cold, and my normal tug on the sheet and blanket didn't produce results. (Can you tell this is a regular occurance in our house?) In my quest for covers, I woke him up, but I was able to go back to sleep. Then today I was at work, when I don't normally work on Monday. He called to ask what I was doing, and then got annoyed because I was working, essentially deviating from my "routine" work schedule. With the stuff on my calendar, his work schedule and our anniversary falling in the middle of the workweek, I needed to work today or risk rushing and cramping my time later. He complained that he hasn't seen much of me in a month, citing much of it being my doing. Some of it yes, but not all is my doing. He works a funky retail schedule that is less than conducive some weeks. The past couple months have been squirrelly in general. My work schedule and the other things I committed to doing aren't typical either, especially that week last month where literally EVERY thing was rescheduled into that single week. Then I'm feeling caught in the middle of another situation, and trying to stay out of it, because I could easily get caught in the trap of "pot meet kettle". When you get strong personalities together, there is inevitably going to be some contention. We're all human, but there isn't any need for whining and griping when a simple conversation can alleviate some confusion that leads to dissention. I understand the differing sides of both these situations. I'm just trying to pull out my diplomatic hat and be careful about how I handle these challenges. Lord knows, I have a temper and know how to use it. I end up leaving a mess in my wake though, and it's just NOT pretty that way. But being the tactful diplomat is much more productive most times...and certainly easier to clean up after wearing that hat. I just hope it's a proper fit, unlike my bed covers are apparently.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Diva Day

I love my new haircut. I was able to wash my hair this morning before church, and it dried before we left (late of course-fantasy league vortex got me). Friday, I scored some kick-butt boots at a consignment shop that was consolidating with another location. The price was good on the boots anyway, but 50% off was even better, and opened the way for another pair of diva shoes and a nicer t-shirt style top. The boots hadn't been worn either. In any case, I've already gotten my money's worth from those boots. I wore them Friday night to a party. Today I wore the boots with a lightweight denim jacket over a wrap dress that I feared would languish in the closet for lack of closed toe shoes in cooler temperatures. And no comments about Florida's "winter". There isn't much meat on my bones, so it doesn't take much to heat or cool me. In any case, I was looking quite the diva today and got lots of great feedback from those around me. It really does a person's ego and soul a bit of good to get unsolicited compliments. I do believe I had a "diva walk" about me today as well.
Then I got invited to go to the football They had an extra ticket, and were happy to fill the seat. I said I had to definitely change clothes because I was not going to the game looking like a diva (not that I would have curtailed my cheering because of my attire). I admitted to making fun of women showing up at the football games, dressed in diva-wear, apparently in hopes of picking up a man. It's faulty logic, if that is the case.
If you really have no interest in football, you're in the wrong place to look for a guy. There's almost a 100% chance that he's there for the game. This guy is not for you. You're setting yourself up for misery. He's not going to change his stance on football just because you're sashaying your cash and prizes around him, in an attempt to distract him from the game. He's going to continue to enjoy football and leave you to your own vices. If you want his company, you're in for a sore disappointment. Instead of the stadium on gameday, you need to go elsewhere, like Home Depot while the game is on. THOSE guys in the big orange box store either have an emergency and don't have time to talk to you, or they don't care what's going on in terms of football. It stands to reason that the employees there probably are an exception to this logic of mine. So, rather than make it apparent that the air between your ears is swirling at a massive velocity, avail yourself to those who aren't going to make you a football widow. Your only other alternative is to educate yourself about the game and become a fan. Which, is way more interesting to guys than the diva deal you have going on there. Thankfully someone helped educate me about the game about 10 years ago. I've met many of the male species that find it refreshing that I "get it" and I love to watch the game. They also appreciate that I don't ask certain questions in the middle of a big play (or any play for that matter). A smart diva knows these things, and becomes hoarse from cheering at the game. Thankfully I have a keyboard to enable me to convey this to you, because I don't think my voice will hold up to the talking.

I just can't win

First, I need to vent just ONE tiny second, and really don't require a response to this portion of my blog entry. I can't wait for election day to be over. EVERY day the mail is delivered, I get at a minimum of 2 campaign flyers. MINIMUM. TWO. DAILY. Can't they figure out a better way to spend money. How about knocking on my door when I'm actually HOME (which isn't as often as it was a month ago) and getting my 2 cents. "Campaign season" is just about as bad as being sent to the yard to get your own switch, and then having to anticipate the sting for what seems like an interminable amount of time. Meanwhile all you're thinking is "Just smack me and get it over with so I can deal with it and move on from here."

Which interestingly enough, is kind of how I'm feeling at the moment. I can't seem to win with my family. Mostly my clone and my spouse. He's still pissed about the whole hair thing. I'm not even going to give it credence anymore.

Then Clone missed me today while I ran errands. I just didn't want to be distracted and aggrivated by children in the grocery store etc. They run off with my cart right as I turn to deposit a purchase into it for one thing. That was nice to control my own shopping cart. But she missed me. And after Devildog made burgers (his are da shizit) for dinner and I was puttering, I had to pee. Sorry, it's a human condition to eliminate liquid waste, I just choose to talk about it. I was reading something and enjoying the quiet. Apparently I was gone too long again. Clone was thirsty. She walked PAST the dad, and came to ask me for milk.
She walked past Devildog, who was sitting easily 20 feet closer to the milk, not behind a closed bathroom door on a commode, and not doing anything but watching ask ME for milk. Not just because she was thirsty.
Because she missed me. MISSED ME. WHYYYYYYY??? Nevermind, don't answer, I don't have the energy to entertain it.
Upon my departure from the water-closet (yes it's that small here), the conversation went like this: (Dev-DH. Me-Yours Truly)
Dev "You made her cry" (because I told her to go ask him since I was on the potty)
Me "I was on the toilet. She walked past YOU to get to me"
Dev "you made her cry"
Me "But I was ON the toilet!"
Dev "She hasn't seen you all day"
Me "you're gone all the time and nobody cries about it"
Dev "because nobody loves me"
Me "No, that's because I make everybody's life easier"
::crickets chirping::


Thursday, October 23, 2008

There comes a point when inefficiency must end

And for me, when it gets to the point that I am in public looking like this:

(meaning: hair coiled into a "bun" and a scrunchie slapped around it)

It becomes time to sit down, restructure, and cut some losses:

So that something can operate more efficiently:

And yes, the current cut is shorter than last year's de-maning of sorts

And the DevilDog....
He's really not happy with me for a few things today. Most notably this:

But I have to argue, if the girl is smiling THIS much because of something as simple as a haircut of her own choosing,

How can I deny her the joy, that included a dance in front of the mirrored column?

Seriously the girl got up in the chair, put her finger where she wanted her hair to be and said "I want it here, but keep this (pointing to the face-framing layers mom installed last year) because I like that part." It was only about 3 or 4 inches she wanted gone, which was all split ends anyway.
LaNae, the manager at the Hair Cuttery, said "OK, so I have my marching orders mom, and apparently that's all there is to it"
I happen to think LaNae absolutely ROCKS, because as rarely as I am able to visit her chair, she never fails to make me look better than when I walked in the door. And she helped make my clone smile THAT much with her first "official" haircut not performed by mom.
DevilDog came home from work, started making small talk asking what we did today. I waited for him to notice the hair 6 or 8 inches shorter...and in the middle of a sentence he said "HEY! you got your hair cut!" Then got no specifics from me when interrogated about Clone's hair. I told him she wanted it that way. I commented that he wasn't mad about my hair and that was met with something affirming the fact that I'm a grown woman with my own mind and ability to choose my hair style. He grunted something about Clone's hair not meeting with approval, him taking care of her hair till she was 16, and some other stuff that quite honestly, I didn't hear over my own cackling at him. He was so disturbed by this, it apparently required beer. He's not really talking to me at the moment. But that's ok. I'm incredibly bemused by his disturbance, and just typing this blog post is an exercise in stifling my laughter.

Friday, October 17, 2008

I'm on duty

And have been since the middle of last night. My clone has been combatting a tummyache that accompanied the losing of contents. I feel so bad for her, and it makes me revert to the doting mother syndrome. My baby just wants to be left alone though. She tried to go to school, because that girl just can't stand to miss a day. Try as she might, certain things like ADD tendencies and being my clone render her short on the stick quite often. Last time there was imminent danger of missing a day, she whined with hysterical sobs that perfect attendance was the only award she got at the end of the year and if she stayed home, she wouldn't get ANY award. So again, today she gave it the college try. I had that facilitating of a peer group thing at the church this morning, and I would have been leaving the group with one facilitator. The one co-facilitator that had a deathbed in-law, now has a dead in-law. So she wasn't going to be there. I was geared up to leave early and get there on time to help set up because my past tardiness has frustrated my team. Then the girl woke up in the middle of the night and proceeded to get sick. DevilDog has a weak stomach like his mother, and they both are self-proclaimed sympathy pukers. I got a fair portion of my father's iron stomach. Somehow DevilDog held his stomach and its contents for the better part of a couple hours, and didn't lose it. I'm so proud of him, and bragged about it to my friends. Seriously, it's the little things that mean a lot right? Lucky bugger that he is though, he had to go to work. EARRRRRRLY, before the sun appeared on the horizon's butt-crack. Then he got to stay and work late. So my plan for grocery shopping was punted by the wayside. Clone has been sleeping on and off all day since I picked her up early from school. She ate some of my chicken noodle soup and went back to sleep. Then when Beast's viewing of "Forrest Gump" proved to be too loud for her liking, she slunk off into my bed where it's quieter. (It IS after all, why I like my room-the potential for quiet.) And I'm still here on duty, craving a HAMBURGER of all things. Ground beef is on my shopping list but again, I'm on duty and don't want to leave Beast to tend a sick sister while dad gets to work late. And my back is killing me, so I'd end up having to get a fart cart as Persnickety calls them...which the pain savings for using that will be negated by my having to lift things like milk, meat and the like. I'm bebating the rum or the ibuprofin at the moment...and I realllllly want a hamburger. *sigh*

UPDATE: DevilDog stopped at the grocery store on his way home from work and got stuff like creamer for the coffee and ginger ale for the clone, and cans of soup she's not likely to eat while the pot of my mom-made soup is available. He contemplated getting me a double cheeseburger that I would have relished as I happily devoured it. But thought about the money he'd spend and decided a grocery store stop was more economical, even though it would have been cheaper to get a double cheeseburger for me than the sushi he procured. That's fine and dandy by me though, because earlier today while starving and on duty, I longed for a burger and/or sushi while I ate a grilled cheese sandwich. Which reminds me, I should ask if he bought bread. I realized why my back is killing me. The clone was getting sick this morning and I grabbed her and flew to the bathroom with her. I wrenched my back moving my puky baby. The things a mother does for her children. Ice packs and ibuprofin are my friends right now. And if dh will help me make the bed, that bed will be a friend too. Which, he just kissed me goodnight and informed me he's sleeping in the clone's bed. I guess I'm on the futon unless I can muster the ability to get the sheets back on my bed.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Spuds to Soup

I concocted some potato soup yesterday while I was busy concocting yesterday's dinner. It's a combination knock-off of several recipes I've seen in my life. I used to make breakfast casserole fairly often enough, but my middle child didn't eat it because he didn't like sausage (and he's the one with the "strappin' country boy build" even), but the other members of the house devoured it, myself included. At least I did till I discovered the pesky allergy, but I did make it occasionally for the remaining members who didn't turn up a nose at it. And yes, I snuck a bite or few...and paid for my choice. I haven't made this in ages, and my husband used the ground sausage intended for the casserole because in his mind sausage biscuits trump breakfast casserole that he doesn't know how to make. So, I had a partial bag of hash brown potato cubes loitering in my freezer.  Due to a shortage of a cast iron skillet, preferably 12 inches in diameter with a lid, this bag of miniaturely cubed spudlets continued to languish. In short, I won't make hash browns anytime soon. I have an onion that needed attention from a pan over heat before it was going to require a Monday Night Eviction for Trash Day. Onion means it's mine and the kids' food, but I will still offer DH a portion in case he changes his mind. Stepmother scars heal far too slowly. But I pressed on, because at that point, my attention was soon needed elsewhere.

I preheated my old inherited-from-mom Corningware casserole on medium heat. I imagine a good dutch oven would be ideal for this but I never seem to get in on Pioneer Woman's blogtests before they go to selection of a winner. Dimmitalltohell anyway. I use what I have, my mother's old Corningware that does go from stovetop to oven to table to microwave. I don't let my children mess with it because once this stuff is gone, it isn't replaceable and the new stuff won't go on the stove like the original does. OK, A.D.D. is raging and caffeine is simply not an option. Neither is rum, but I digress further. 

Let me just start over....
-Chop the onion while you preheat a dutch oven or soup pot on medium. Or chop beforehand, I don't care. Just don't burn the pot, and certainly don't burn the house down.
-Melt butter. Don't spill it, just plop the solid form in the cookware and save yourself a dish to wash. 
-Slowly cook onion on medium to medium-low heat. I tell you to cook slowly so the flavors come out of it. It's called "sweating" the onions. 
-Once the onions soften and near translucent, toss in the frozen hash brown potatoes. Stir around to coat the potatoes with butter and onion flavor. Cover the pot. The idea is to melt the ice crystals and turn them back to water because it steams the potatoes.
-When the potatoes start to soften, pour chicken broth in there and put the cover back. Yes you can allow it to get bubbly, but no raging boil or it will burn. (Don't ask how I know)
-Cook till potatoes are soft, and then mash it up. Use a hand blender, a potato masher, a whisk, a fork. This breaks up the starches and thickens the soup some more. Of course you can also cook it down some more and reduce it. (BTW, Persnickety, I think the other word we were trying to corner for the Beast is "induction". No I haven't looked it up either.) In any case, this is where you can tweak the consistency to your preference. If you leave it alone, you'll have a textured soup. If you mash it up, then it will smooth out a bit. If it's truly too thin, throw some mash' tater flakes in to thicken it up some more. 
-At this point, add some milk, cream or half & half. Stir well and allow to meld with the contents of the pot for a few minutes. 
-Allow to cool overnight, then reheat the next day. WHAT? we all know it tastes better on day two anyhow! 
-I did season the soup at the end with salt and pepper, but waited till the END so the cooking wouldn't overly intensify the salt and pepper. 
-My kids didn't care for it till we grated some cheddar cheese into it. I added some sour cream in mine. I'd imagine any number of additions would make a nice soup/chowder out of this. 

But I figured I would share my ADD ramblings concoction with you as promised. Not bad for a half-yankee raised in the south by Depression Era father and a mother who could screw up a box of mac & cheese.

Food and Gratitude

I just finished consuming a bowl of some KICK A potato soup that I made. YUM-O-LAH! I'll post that recipe later, because I have to run out the door in a few minutes to get the kids to class. Which reminds me, I need to gather up the stuff I'll be doing while I wait in the parking lot. I could go to Mass, but I don't. No excuses, I just don't. I'm also not going to elaborate on it either. Anyway, yesterday I came home from work, and a 80 mile round trip utterly exhausted, legs aching to hades and back and starving so bad I had what Pioneer Woman calls LBSCBDO. In short, mama was stark-raving-crazy-hungry. The DH was ambivalent about HOW he wanted the chicken cooked, but I knew my first suggestion was not his desired meal. So I went about making it differently (and it was good too). While I was waiting for the meal to finish cooking, I decided that after seeing a recipe in a magazine at work for potato soup, that I wanted to make some for my crew. And if they didn't want any, then I would eat it. They can have the hot dogs that I'm allergic to for their dinners. In any case, I made potato soup last night in preparation for tonight's dinner because I was already on my feet, dead tired, cooking anyway and knew I wouldn't want to cram in a haphazard meal on a Wednesday. It involved a bag of forlorn hash brown potatoes that were in the freezer, onions, chicken broth, and milk. I'll give the instructions later.
In any case, sure enough I was just DONE when I got home from work today. I really need to replace my shoes, all the supports are long past shot. Brooks shoes are not cheap though. So, on my way home, I was just looking forward to stretching out my legs and catnapping in preparation for the length of time I would be in the parking lot at church with one or the other of my spawn. And I did just that today, so I'll be nice and awake when I'm busy clipping coupons or knitting, or something. On my drive, I got to an intersection involving an overpass, and my left turn takes me under that overpass, that almost always has a panhandler. The light turned green as this guy was getting some money from 3 cars ahead of me. It's been pleasant weather, so my windows were down at least halfway. As I drove by the guy (c'mon, that light takes forever and a week, I wasn't missing the green light), dude was COMPLAINING about the amount he was given. "Sev'nty five cent!?!?!?" with such incredulity that it made me complain aloud to no one in particular that he was such an ingrate and how does he know that the person being generous had just that amount to their name and gave HIM their last bit of money. Appearances aren't always what they initially seem, and that's more the rule than the exception in this world. Integrity doesn't mean much to many people, and gratitude surely escapes plenty of the oxygen-sucking masses as well. I can't say I've always been grateful. I've had my share of selfish, greedy and unappreciative moments in my life, and probably more will sneak out of me. I'm human, and I know this other guy is too. But what really torques my last nerve is that someone has the balls enough first of all to stand on a corner and beg for money (because as big as my set is, I can't see myself standing on the corner and sacrificing my dignity that way), THEN get bigger cajones by complaining about the difference between his expectation and the reality of what he was given. I'm glad my last seventy seven cents are in my bank account and inaccessible to me at that moment in time. I might have thrown them at this guy's head.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Gravity returns and I have fodder

I have been busy, and distracted with other things. I'm also making feeble attempts at productivity and cleaning something daily in my house. It's a failure at worst, progress at best.
I've stopped for the night basically and was gabbing with my gang in the chat room where I frequent. Someone mentioned another stimulus package in the works up in DC. I wouldn't know, since I do not watch the news that is full of doom, depressing information, and sadness. I can talk to a human being and get that kind of stuff, I don't need it fed to me. Plus with the lovely world of internet I can find it, or have it sent to me directly to read at my leisure when there aren't forty other things needing my attention at that VERY moment the news airs. Since there are forty things needing my attention 24/7, and there is news running on some channel 24/7...the attempt at forty other things wins. I didn't even know there were TWO tropical storms brewing out in the ocean. I'm kind of living at the bottom of Maslow's hierarchy at the moment and governmental crap isnt 100% top priority for me right this very second. In any case, I commented that any SAHM can balance a budget since it has to be done all the time on a small scale. It doesn't take a degree from an "Ivy League" university to run stuff effectively. Dave Thomas dropped out of high school, and there are plenty of Wendy's restaurants slinging food out windows daily. Apparently all those big schools of snobbery just teach their students how to make stuff all FUBAR.
Which if you really want it FUBAR, call the ordinance guys in the Marine Corps. They can FUBAR for ya.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Rum is worth the drive over a phone call

So my adventures the past couple weeks culminated with a harried Friday. What should have been a celebratory rum-thirty ended up being a frustrating one needing a drink before it started. I left you with my calling the ABC store nearest my house to inquire about the price and availability of Whaler's Vanille Rum. This store is less than a mile round trip from me. A mere mile-ish, gas sipping ROUND TRIP. The other stores are a few miles away at best for the next closest. Total Wine is 7 miles from my house, and I venture near another ABC store to get to Total Wine.

The call to ABC:
Answered with store name, and employee name.
I asked if they had the rum in stock (it isn't always available at this location) and how much it was.
"Hey! We got any Wader's rum over there?"
"No, Whaler's W-H-A-L-E-R-S" (I realize my half yankee tendencies aren't always heard correctly by those not exposed to yankees much. It's been a long day, my diction may have been lacking. It won't be the first or last time)
"Oh that, yea we got that"
"How much is it?"
"round about $10.99 or so"
I thanked them and hung up to call the competitor.

The Total Wine call:
"Thank you for calling Total Wine, this is ___ ... " (I sadly misplaced the rest of the greeting in my mental files. I've got a massive headache- probably due to my Beast's discobobulation of plumbing that contributed to dehydration)
My request for information also included the store hours because it's 7 miles away and required time to get there before closing.
She told me the time they closed and then I asked about my requested product.
::keystrokes:: "As of this morning we had eleven bottles, but I can't accurately say how many we've sold today."
I asked the price.
"It's $10.79 ma'am."
I thanked her and hung up. I then drove fourteen miles round trip for what I wanted. I then went to the ABC website and let them know their associate's lack of phone etiquette sent me to their competitor. The price was comparable. It was the principle of it, and due to the headache I didn't dare crack open the rum. I'd rather avoid the pitfalls of drinking while dehydrated. If I'm going to have a hangover, it better be worth it. The time and gas spent to get the rum was worth it for customer service that was worth a damn.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Once again, the devil throws sand

It's been a *challenging* two weeks to put it succinctly. I'm so glad resets are done, only for the physical toll they take on me. Then today I strolled into the peer group thing I'm doing, and was met with a semi-stressed co-facilitator. The third facilitator had a major family emergency. Another group from the church snagged the meeting room we were scheduled to use, which meant physical arrangements had to be altered. Then I spilled coffee in the storage closet, and had to clean it up. I did find something that should've gone to the parish office 2 months ago in the plastic bin that accepted my coffee mess though. (Hey, I'm trying to find the bright side here.) Then I got politely reamed for not getting there early enough to help (um, a phone call last night with the heads up that we were down one facilitator would have been helpful). I ran errands, ate lunch, got my clone and headed off to visit the vampires. Donating blood leaves me less than 100% till late at night, or even the next day. So I was fine with the kids skating on the patio while I attempted to rest on the futon Persnickety gave us. I was happy not to have to fight the kids for space on it too.

Not 10 minutes into the rollerblading excursion I heard the Beast emit "auuggggggh!" and stomp through the house to the front yard to shut off the water to the house. He slid and broke a pipe that was exiting the house. It wasn't just any water spraying the patio. It was HOT water. For the third time. In four years. DH denies having repaired it before (feeble memory that man has) after one of them hit it previously. I went to the orange Man Store to get the parts for the repair. I annoyed asked the associate for help with something else outside plumbing but in the next aisle. (Hey! He wears the orange apron, his job is customer service. I was no more annoying than the customers my husband describes visiting his orange store). DH starts cutting away the pipe and gets to the point where he needed the channel locks to open the PVC cement to make it all happen. I get his keys, go to open the back window of his truck and nothing. I mean nada. Not a click, whine, whir or breath. Go open the door, more of NADA. I holler over the house "HONEY! We gotta jump start your truck too!" I went for my keys, met him inside and told him he left his parking lights on all day. He came out with the flashlight to get the channel lock since he knows precisely where he stashed it. I got my jumper cables and moved the van, got things connected and gave it some gas for good measure. That battery was D-E-A-D. I waited 10 more minutes, and nothing. I checked the cables, and the negative on my van slid off the post. By this point, nothing is a big suprise to me today. But it wasn't any more pleasant. I finally got the truck jump started and drove it around the block. By then, DH was late for work. A few hours before (but after the pipe fiasco started), I put chicken in the crockpot, so my house was smelling good and my tummy was hungry. I returned, and I was about to make a plate of food for myself and I learned that my husband's repair sprung a leak. Off to the orange store again for more of the same parts (should have bought the "Pro-Pack" I had in my hand...damn). Don't ask, I didn't do this plumbing job. It was here when we moved into the place. We work with what we're given.

Then, I decide to call ABC for an inquiry of price and availability of my brand and flavor rum. THAT alone is worth its own separate blog post when I don't already have a headache. For now, I'm going to turn on the water to the house so I can pee and flush the toilet, and pray for a good seal on that plumbing repair. Which I would love to share pictures of, but I still haven't located the battery charger....
Anybody have a broom?

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Appealing to my inner diva & tightwad tendencies

OK, so I found myself distracted and sidetracked on some other blog after searching for something real estate related. Don't ask, you're doing well to be reading this as it is. My A.D.D. has gone off the wall lately. I will blame work this week - extensive stuff going on and I'm glad to be almost done. Now, back to where I started with this. We want to buy a house, so I was searching for stuff, and used a handy-dandy search engine to find out about a company, subsequently finding a blog about telecommuting and other stuff this chick shares. I of course followed a blog roll link too. One of her blog buddies listed something for this new website due to launch later this month. is giving away a free bag every hour for 24 hours.
I like a few of the styles I see so far, and have shared samples of what I considered when I registered. You now have the opportunity to do the same. Go scope it out and see for yourself. While you're there, enter to win one. Just a first name and an email address get the job done. I am glad they appreciate my valuable time and don't ask for my life history or firstborn (not everyone is cut out for dealing with him anyway). Plus I doubt my A.D.D.-laden brain could handle the process at this point.

Handbag Planet’s Free Handbag Every Hour Official Rules.
Handbag Planet’s Privacy Policy.