31 December 2010

"I Think In The Day's Resolutions, Not The Years. " ~ Henry Moore

My day's resolutions... 













This year I wish joy, peace and happiness to my family. To my friends. To those who have knowingly or unknowingly touched the lives of my family and I. But most of all, I wish them all the gift of life in every moment, of every day, they still have yet to live...

29 December 2010

The Dangers Inherent In Using Your Mother' s Cell Phone To Post Comments On Your Tumbler Account...

Danielle decided to force herself to attend Driver's Ed. so that she can become one of the mobile masses. To limit the pain of this adventure she elected to take the classroom portion in one fell swoop in a one week long torture session.  Day one of this vacation was postponed due to inclement weather.  Go figure.  Eight inches of snow A little bit of snow and the area businesses roll up their welcome mat.  OK.  Maybe it was a little more than a little bit of snow relatively speaking since most of our town did not get hit as hard as everywhere around us.

Kelly, who lives in a city about two and a half hours southeast of us, were blessed with more than a foot (that would be twelve inches for those individuals like myself who are measurement challenged) of the fluffy white stuff than we did and SHE still went to work.   (of course that may have been because there are no dirt roads in a city... and they have more than one snowplow...and they do not live in mountain territory... and they have smaller paved driveways than we do)

Back to Danielle's Adventure in the land of higher education...

Day TWO, that would have been yesterday, was a very bad, no good, sucks to be her kind of day... at least from Danielle's perspective.  Although it did start off with a large cup of coffee for her, apparently, that was the only high point in her day.

Danielle didn't get to eat breakfast because she couldn't drag her butt out of bed in time for a shower and food.

She got to the school which is three towns south from us and I got to drag MY butt out of bed to drive her a little early.  Now normally, this would be a plus, but not when it is about twenty degrees Fahrenheit outside, a wind chill factor of about zero, wet hair from morning shower... and an office that does not open until precisely 8am.  Danielle is, however lucky enough to not have a mother like all the other fifteen and a half year old cretins (which couldn't possibly be true since you can't get a driver's permit in this state until you are almost seventeen years of age) according to Danielle (who is 'well' over the age of eighteen... by about four months) students who didn't just quickly dump their kids off to fend for themselves in this frozen wilderness... (apparently the reason for this became quite clear within about the first five minutes of class...) and who, instead, just cranked up the heater.

Danielle's class gets a ten minute break after two hours... with a bathroom that is not easily found. Ah, the tortures that coffee drinkers must endure at times makes me delighted I am not one of the addicted caffeine addicts. 

After another two hours of Danielle getting hit by flying airplanes, bits of rolled up paper, intense juvenile conversation loud enough to drown out the sound of the teacher's monotone and an unknown girl who likes to just glare at Danielle for no apparent reason intense elucidation for her classmates, a ten minute break that was very kindly extended to fifteen minutes which I suspect the teacher wasn't used to escape the mongrel hoards was bestowed upon these grateful and studiousspecimens of intelligence students for their lunch break.

Danielle forgot to bring a lunch.  Like I said, the morning cup of coffee was the high point of her day, because although her kind and thoughtful Mother brought her lunch (and another coffee), Danielle used my phone to do some texting.  Did I mention her cell phone battery died sometime during the class?  No escape from the unrelenting pain.  

Unfortunately, also for Danielle, her Mother (that would be me) decided to torture my best friend text Kelly who was at work and who can't respond to my texts.  Which was actually a high point I used to look forward to during my own day since I would try very hard to write things just to make her roll her eyes at me.  Yes, I know I am not actually there to see it... but the mental image is rather entertaining.  After yesterday, I have been banned from texting her at work.  Sigh.  I shall miss it until I can come up with a new idea.

When waking up my phone revealed that my daughter was not just texting... she was posting on her tumbler account.  I normally would have just shut it down and moved on to my morning endevor when the capitalized text caught my eye.  I had to laugh.  It's nice to know Danielle has strong, supportive girlfriends who can help her get through those tough times life has to offer.  So I asked if I could post the short communication here (protecting the not necessarily innocent, of course)
Friend:⁠ mon dani? is that you? art thou really there? don’t worry, i am getting on my noble steed (that may or may not be a plastic figurine) and am on my way!

Danielle: I am about to commit mass murder so you might want to hurry up with that. These children are demons. I’m gonna start throwing salt everywhere.

Friend: I’M STUCK IN STEED TRAFFIC! And you know how it is when you’re the only one with a noble steed and everyone is having a go at you…

Friend: THROW THE SALT. THROW IT.

Danielle: my hero! I await your arrival with baited breath!

Danielle: I’m going to keep the salt until I need to make my escape. I’m in the back of my classroom.

Friend: Oh if you’re at the back of the classroom then this would be a good time to deploy your zappy green lazer things! I implanted them in your brain for Christmas~

Friend: Be strong! You will survive! For tumblr and for Narnia!
I must go now... time for Danielle's day number three... (Still wondering when day number one is going to actually happen)

QOTD: "A day without sunshine... is night, actually." ~ Cheryl Caldwell from 'Follow Your Dreams (Except For That One Where You Go To Work Naked And Dance The Polka)'

27 December 2010

The Bizarre English Language...

So I am driving down to Rhode Island to have a 'girls night in' party and end up in what basically resembles a giant parking lot... six lanes wide.  Three lanes going in either direction.  This really gave me too much time to think... So I called Kelly and asked, "Why is it that a 'PARKway' is something you DRIVE on and a DRIVEway is someplace you PARK at?"

Yep.  I just KNOW she's rolling her eyes at me.  Life is good.

26 December 2010

The Fear Of Showing Your Horns And Tail When Visiting With Santa...

I was reminded recently how very seriously some kids take a visit with Santa Claus at this time of year... unless you are our daughter Rachel who fears no man who wears red...  

Every year there are always places that provide an opportunity for kids to meet Santa Claus, so they can tell him how good they have been the past year, and what they wish for on Christmas morning.  A chance for them to have a picture taken of this conversation with Santa Claus.

But what happens if your four year old child does not want to go visit Santa?  And what do you say to this child when you finally pry out of them the reason they do not want to see Santa... Could you keep a straight face when your child says, "Because then I'd have a lot of explaining to do?"

Have I mentioned lately how glad I am we only have daughters?

23 December 2010

Surviving Parenthood Requires Experience And Wisdom...

"Mom?"

"Yes?"

"What is the most important lesson you've learned in life?"

"Learning to have good judgment."

"Mom?"

"Yes?"

"How did you learn to have GOOD judgment?"

*pause*

"By using BAD judgment."

PS - Still no sign of the hidden treasure mentioned in previous post... now, if I could only remember what I did with that pirate flag... also in previous post... I wonder if there is a Pirates-R-Us and whether they have delivery service...

22 December 2010

Proof That Reusing Christmas Tags Is NOT Like Regifting Presents...

I have come to the conclusion that reusing Christmas tags is NOT like re-gifting presents.  Last year I was tagged with a Christmas Meme by Wiley Goes Walkabout.  For some reason, you do NOT want to tag me with any kind of Meme because I invariably do NOT end up doing them in the way they were intended.   Why this is so, I blame completely on the fact that I have been hanging out with my husband for WAY too many years.  Let's face it.  That much exposure is bound to have severe repercussions.  

Since, with the exception of one,  the many and varied meme's I have done in the past are no longer available in cyberspace for you to actually see the devastation I can wreak on a meme enjoy.  Besides, I'm on a treasure hunt at the moment (see the nightmare described below) so I don't have time at the moment to see if I have any copies saved... and believe me, YOU don't have the money you would need for the intense therapy sessions necessary for the experience you will just have to take my word on this.

Now, I said their was ONE exception and it was an exception in more ways than one.  Early in December of last year Wiley was WAY more prompt than I am about timeliness in celebrating the entire season... I really want to dislike her for that, but alas, I can only admire from a distance the organizational skills that will never be mine, Wiley Goes Walkabout tagged me with a Christmas Meme. This time I am actually starting this meme which you must admit, the timing is genius.  Nobody will be reading my blog.  I'm not tagging anyone to draw attention to the fact that this is a first for me.  Everyone will be busy with other things.  Like I said.  Genius.  It's perfect and I still get to remind myself why we celebrate Christmas... and it sure ain't about money, presents or being the most spoiled kid in the neighborhood.

This time around, instead of picking out victims friends and family because I am a an olympic underachiever in the sport of timeliness and realize it is only two and a half days until Christmas, I've decided to just dust off last year's list and add a little polish, post the links from last year and if you would like to participate, either send me a link to your Christmas List meme post or if you do not have a blog, feel free to email me with your Christmas List meme and I will happy to post it here on my blog.  

Last year's links to this meme:





1. Have you started your Christmas shopping? Christmas is a little different this year, instead of buying any presents (although there are a few exceptions to this, which shall be revealed in due course), our family agreed to take the money we would have spent and instead shared it with family members, who, like most people nowadays, are struggling with just the basics.  In the past, my husband and I have served many times on that same leaky boat with our kids.  Both of our families were there providing the bucket brigade that kept us afloat for too many more years than I even want to think about.  At the time we felt really down about it, like we would never be able to pay them back for their kindness... but in the intervening years we have learned the most important blessing you can have in life is family.  Family provides for each other emotionally, physically, financially and in so many other ways, that thanks are not necessary.  We are a FAMILY, full stop, period, end of story.  I do NOT wish any comments on this particular subject.  It is here merely to remind a few family members of their own words and actions on our behalf that said the exact same thing in the past and still, at the time we didn't understand.  We DO understand now.


Be aware that I have now used up at least a month's worth of my seriousness.  Just thought I would give you fair warning.


Our exceptions to the above are the pickles, the stockings and "The Christmas List" traditions.  Some things are just basic necessities in life. 


Like every year, I normally sew/shop the year round for gifts here and there so that I am not overwhelmed come Christmas time.  Last year I posted of the only problem I have with this method... trying to find WHERE I hid everything.  I have been tearing my house apart, LITERALLY.  Yet again, I have forgotten to create a treasure map to find all the loot.  You will notice how long it's been since I've posted.  I kid you not, I have been treasure hunting... and NOT in a happy adventure kind of way...  THREE DAYS SO FAR and nary a piece of loot has been discovered.  I told my husband that I rememberthinking, at the time of looking for a good hiding place, the place I had found was really perfect.  It was a place the kids would never think to look.  I have outsmarted myself.  I have not yet admitted defeat.  Granted it's only some of the stocking stuffers, but it's the principal of the thing.  I still have TWO AND A HALF MORE DAYS! 
 
2. Tell me about one of your special traditions.   We have some pretty special traditions.  Most from my husband's family in which there seven kids and money was tight.  So they made up for it in the most wonderful, ingenious way of throwing in a few gag gifts...
 
3. When do you put up your Tree? When the kids nagging enters the realm of audio torture...
 
4. Are you a Black Friday shopper? The only way you will ever catch me outside my house on black Friday is if I am dead and someone drags my cold, stiff corpse around.
 
5. Do you Travel at Christmas or Stay home?  If we can't afford to take a trip to Scotland then it's not worth getting off the couch, now is it? Seriously, tho', we stay at home with the kids when my husband is home and if he is gone, then it is spent with family.
 
6. What is your funniest Christmas memory?  The Christmas that my husband decided to get a level for my sister. (who is ADD and can't sit still.  If she is not taking a sawzal to a door frame to replace a door she grew bored with then she's roofing or adding another addition)  This was not just a small level... it was about 4 feet long or thereabouts.  He carefully taped off the windows and painted the rest of it a brilliant pink.  He told her when she opened it that he just wanted to remind her that she was a girl.

Meanwhile my sister had decided to get my husband a tool belt that she spray painted pink.  (I think they must have been channeling each other that Christmas!)  She told him she had wanted him to get in touch with HIS feminine side.

What makes this especially memorable is that the two of them, ON THE SAME DAY, asked me what I thought of the present they had decided on giving each other.   I had the hardest time of my life not giving either of them away.  We laughed so hard that Christmas that we were in danger of asphyxiation. 


Although, I must admit, after DECADES of putting world peace on my list, I can no longer decorate a single line on my wish list with it any more because our daughter Nina gave me it for Christmas last year... It feels really weird as it was always first on my list.
 
7. What is your favorite Christmas Movie of All time?  It's a Wonderful Life, hands down!  Then maybe Scrooged.
 
8. Do you do your own Christmas Baking, what’s your favorite treat?  Normally I bake Pumpkin Pie, Blueberry Pie, Mincemeat Pie, Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie, Apple Pie, Cherry Pie.  (Not all at the same time though.  I would probably be pushing maximum density if I ate all that!) This year, however, their WILL be store bought Pumpkin Cheesecake in my refrigerator or I WILL be taking up the life of a burgler.  There truly are only two words you need to know for Christmas.  See Thanksgiving, then lather, rinse, repeat.  My shallowness concerning this should disturb me... and it does...  AFTER consuming my fair share which would be all sixteen slices of said nirvana.
 
9. Fake or Real Tree?
(To the tune of Three Blind Mice...)
Three Fake Trees...
Three Fake Trees...
See How They Shine?
See How They Shine?
They range in size from one foot to six feet
The cats love climbing on such a tall treat
Yacking up the ribbon that they love to eat
Yes, Three Fake Trees
 
10. What day does the actual panic set in to get it all done?  "...and did I panic? I think not!" (from the movie 'The Mummy')  My mother-in-law taught me that I will NOT get everything done til the kids have all grown up and left home.  So I don't worry about getting it all done.



Addendum: I MAY panic if I can't find at least MOST of my hiding places this year...  have I mentioned I can't find them yet?
 
11. Are you still wrapping presents on Christmas Eve?
 Doesn't everyone?  I think anyone that doesn't is an over-achiever!



Addendum: These kinds of people need to come to my house for dinner...  have I mentioned how much trunk space we now have?
 
12. What is your favorite family fun time at Christmas?  Laughing at all the gag gifts.  No one is left out!
 
13. What Christmas craft do you like the best? Sewing the kids pajamas, although THIS year I have deviated slightly (rubbing hands together gleefully) but I can't say any more until AFTER Christmas morning.
 
14. Christmas music? Yes or No, and if yes What is your favorite song?  My absolute favorite Christmas song is a pretty obscure song called "Take A Walk Thru Bethlehem."
 
15. When do you plan to finish all your shopping?  It's done (see above)... Now I just have to find them all... in two and a half days.

I have decided to add a few questions to this meme because I feel like a few questions were missing.  Such as:

16.  Do you know the names of ALL of Santa's Reindeer? (without googling it!)  Yes.  Sleepy, Happy, Grumpy, Bashful, Doc, Dopey and Sneezy...  Hmmm, there's something wrong with this picture...

17.  When do you take down your Christmas Tree?  Ummm.  Easter?  Doesn't everyone?  I mean you gotta make room for the Easter Baskets...

18.  Hardest person to buy for?  My husband.  He always just manages to get his Christmas list in before the deadline. He, however, missed his deadline to get his wish list in this year... So ANYTHING is fair game... Just sayin'.
 
19. Easiest person to buy for?  He or she who doesn't get their wish list in on time gets either an under-roos jock strap or thong panties....Whichever will garner the best expression for the rest of us to enjoy when said present is opened.  :o)

20.  Angel on the tree top or star?  I must admit we have a sphincter challenged Angel. (She tends to lean to one side like she's trying to delicately pass gas...)

21. Most annoying thing about this time of year?  TAPE! You either cut too much, or too little. It sticks to EVERYTHING! I always cut my fingers on the dispenser. It always runs out when you still have 3 more presents to wrap.  I *heart* gift bags!


Addendum:  Have I mentioned I only have TWO and a HALF DAYS to FIND all the hiding places? 

22.  What do you want for Christmas?  I got my wish already.  My family is all home, safe and sound for the holidays.


I MUST go treasure hunting... If I don't come up for air before Christmas morning, it's because I've run up the Pirate Flag and have told my family that this year, they get to go on a quest to find the most loot... That'll be my story and I'm sticking to it...

17 December 2010

This Generation's Contributions To The English Language...

I consider myself sufficiently educated concerning the subject of living with five daughters enabled with PMS and the liberal application of chocolate bait to get them to retract their claws teenagers in general, even so, I have, at times, found myself feeling stupefied (with nary a magic wand in sight).  You see, a few of the expressions the progeny of this generation have contributed to the English language, are unrecognizable when attempting the actual process of meaningful communication.  Many of these idioms attain unbelievable, unbloggable depths and are therefor fit only for discussion at our dinner table... for the most minute dissection of not only it's idiocy, but the general consensus of intelligence of the poor sap to make the mistake of uttering it preferably when there are not any guests to be appalled, perplexed, startled, shocked, alarmed, aghast horrified by what passes for normal conversation in the Lemon Stand household...  Although I have it on very good authority that 'normal' is not a state of being, 'normal' is merely a setting on your washer...  Still, I wouldn't change it even if I could... because it's usually riveting enough to hold even the most timid of beings in the state of "rubber-necking"... You may want to get away from the bizarre tangents being travailed, but morbid fascination mesmerizes and you just have to see where that conversational road ends I have learned so much more than I ever wanted to know about subjects in life where my ignorance would not only have been bliss, it would not have adversely affected my chances of taking sustenance without it's irrigation from orifices not intended by nature from our dinner table conversations over the years that I have, without question, earned my PhD in the study of useless bits of information by now.

Granted, sometimes, I have been able to derive the intended meaning of a word or phrase from the context of a conversation...  For instance, when we bought the new car this past spring, our daughter Rachel looked at it and told me she thought it was SHINEY and I knew that surely SHINEY was meant as a compliment of the car's fashion and style... because I apparently do not have a gift in this area

Lately, our daughters, Rachel and Danielle, arbiters of all things 'hip' have been critiquing my sense of cosmopolitanism...
Rachel, "Mom! You can't be seen with that... It's so... so... 'ghetto'!"
Me, "Ghetto?  How would you know?  You've never been in a ghetto?"
We do not live in a city.  We live in a neighborhood where most of the neighbors could be considered edible... You can relax though, because we are NOT cannibals.  You may trust me when I say homo sapiens are very safe at our dinner table... Well, ok... homo sapiens are at least safe from being the LITERAL 'roast' of honor.  Most of our neighbors happen to be wild turkeys, wild rabbits, pheasant, deer, moose, bear... although I unequivocally DO draw the line on eating the squirrels... one must have standards...
QOTD: "One man's wilderness is another man's theme park." ~ Unknown

16 December 2010

Family Conversations From The Bottom Of The Bouillabaisse Pot...

Our daughter, Rachel, likes to cook and she loves to try out new recipes.  She is, by the way, a fabulous cook.  Much more inspired than I have ever been.  So it is no surprise that tonight we dined on Bouillabaisse that would have done my Grandmother proud.  (My Grandmother was an amazing cook.  To the day she died, she spoke with a slight Canadian French accent and most of the time, she would still throw her pronouns to the end of her sentences... In fact, during my husband's first visit to their house she asked him, "You want another piece of pie, you?" Of course, in my grandparents house, that was a rhetorical question as the piece of pie would already be lying on your plate before the question was completed.  Something I had never thought to warn my husband about because that's just the way it had always been for all of my life.  By the time we left, he was more stuffed than the turkey.)

While the Bouillabaisse was delicious, her father questioned her about the garlic she had used in the recipe after he ate almost an entire clove in one spoonful.
Husband, "What did the recipe say about preparing the garlic?"
Rachel, "It said to crush the cloves of garlic and add it to the pot."
Husband, "You might have crushed it's dreams or hurt it's feelings... possibly even spoke harshly to it before you added the garlic, but I don't think that was the intended method the recipe called for."
Rachel, "I thought you liked garlic."
Husband, "I do like garlic, but I normally like it dead first."
QOTD: "You can never have enough garlic.  With enough garlic, you can eat the New York Times." ~ Morley Safer

07 December 2010

Vay-Kay In The Abysmal Depths of Marianas Trench, Grokking, Naked Posterior, and Lemon Juice...

A very long time ago, Sarah, of Trying to Grok, sent me the following in an email... First, I want her to know that I kept it, and Second that I happened to come across it tonight of all nights and it has really helped me to cut short my current Vay-Kay in the abysmal depths of the Marianas Trench... THANK YOU  (be back tomorrow after I get some sleep)
Lemon Stand,

Someone recently sent me a card that read...
On the outside: Hang in there...sometimes life hands you lemons, but then you can make lemonade.

On the inside: Of course, sometimes life pulls down your pants, runs a power sander across your naked butt, then pours lemon juice on your raw, abraded buttocks. In that case, a cool citrus drink wouldn't really help it, but darn it...you've got to hang in there anyway!

I thought it was cute, and that you'd appreciate it :)

Sarah
Third, did anyone notice that there are SEVEN synonyms for Gluteus Maximus in this post? [Because this description of a tush, by the way, just HAD to have been thought up by a guy!  Gluteus Maximus my *ss! My rump is NOT at Maximus and describing your wife's backside as such will almost certainly earn you a night (if you are lucky) sleeping on the couch.]   Note to self: SEE, you CAN still be a smart alec at these depths...

[No Title]

I have absolutely nothing to say that anyone really wants to hear.  I really can not hear what anyone else has to say.

06 December 2010

The Recipe Exchange Revisted...

 I am WAY late (the story of my life) and missed the opportunity to participate in another recipe exchange.  Calista over at Each Day Is A Gift, invited me... and I missed the email until I was 'cleaning house' so to speak.  I've been searching on CDs and old removable hard drives for the following.  Success has finally been achieved!  I loved Army Wife's post!  It's made me want to just bake until the smell fills up the house and the mouth starts watering!


Back in December of 2006, Army Wife Toddler Mom had a special recipe exchange which I participated in. The Lemon Stand blog link will not work because in 2008 I had a series of surgeries and deleted my blog. I could not function much less write.  There have also been some folks looking for it and I hope it will make up a little for my tardiness.  NOTE: My husband is NOT deployed at the moment... this post was made back in 2006 without any changes.  Enjoy...

Sunday, December 03, 2006

The Recipe Exchange....

Army Wife Toddler Mom, is having a recipe swap. I Thought I would give you the recipes that we recently used to send care packages to my husband and co-workers. (Plus a couple that are my absolute favorites!)

I Hope your house smells just as good as ours did once we were done..... 



Banana Bread (We used this batter to also make miniature cupcakes that were a big hit with the kids...but alas, they could not be shipped to DH because they do not keep for long!)

1 3/4 cups Flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup shortening
2 eggs
2 tbs milk
1 cup mashed banana
(Secret....Add an extra banana in addition to the 1 cup of mashed banana...it makes the bread come out extra moist!)

Bake 350 degrees

Mix all wet ingredients till smooth, add dry ingredients and mix till no lumps.

Lightly grease loaf pan and bake about 60 minutes. Makes one loaf.

If using miniature cupcake pan, bake til lightly brown on top.

(Eat within a few days or freeze)

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

1 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup butter (softened)
1/3 cup packed DARK BROWN SUGAR
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
2 tbs milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup quick rolled oats
1/2 cup raisins

Bake 375 degrees

Mix all sugar, eggs, vanilla, milk and butter till smooth. Add flour, baking powder and baking soda. Mix till no lumps. Fold in oats and raisins. Mix well.

Chill Dough 2 hours.

Form 1" balls

Bake abt 10 minutes. Until center doesn't stay depressed when lightly pressed. Lightly brown around the edges if you like a drier cookie.

Makes 36.

If shipping these cookies to deployed troops, reduce cook time by 1 minute and they will stay moist during shipment. Wrap well.


Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup butter (softened)
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup packed DARK BROWN SUGAR
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
2 cups (12-ounce package) Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1 cup chopped nuts

Bake 375 degree

Beat all sugar, butter, vanilla and eggs till smooth. Mix dry ingredients in separate bowl (except Chips and nuts). Slowly mix dry ingredients into the wet ingredients till smooth. Fold in chips and nuts.

Drop rounded tbs onto ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake about 9 to 11 minutes until lightly golden brown. Decrease cooking time by 1 minute if shipping these cookies to deployed troops and they will stay moist during shipment. Wrap well.


Molasses Drop Cookies

2 1/4 cup flour
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp HOT water
1/4 cup butter (softened)
1/2 cup packed DARK BROWN SUGAR
1/2 cup dark molasses
1 egg
6 tbs COLD water
Optional 1/2 cup raisins, almonds or walnuts

Bake 400 degrees

My grandmother swore that the secret to getting these cookies cake moist was to SLOWLY heat the molasses in a double boiler. She would then use the pan as mixing bowl.

In a cup mix soda and HOT water. Set aside.

Blend butter, sugar and egg together until smooth. Add to molasses and mix until VERY light.

Add baking soda mixture and remaining dry ingredients. (except for raisins, almonds or walnuts) Mix until smooth.

Fold in raisins, almonds or walnuts, if desired.

Chill for 2 hours.

Spoon drop 2" apart on lightly greased cookie sheet and bake about 10 minutes or until center lightly springs back if pressed.

Makes 24

Wrap well.


Peanut Butter Cookies

1 1/4 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter (softened)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 egg

Bake 350 degrees

Beat all sugars, butter and peanut butter.

Add egg

Add remaining ingredients.

Mix until smooth.

Make 1" balls and place on lightly greased cookie sheets. Press fork onto top to make lines. (Secret: Dip fork in sugar before pressing onto the cookie EACH TIME)

Bake about 10-12 minutes. (A minute or two less for moister cookies...especially if sending to troops)

Wrap well.

Make 2 dozen


Ginger Bread People Cookies

3 cups flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp cream of tarter
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup butter (softened)
1/2 cup packed DARK BROWN SUGAR
2/3 cup dark molasses
1 egg

Bake 350 degrees

Mix flour baking soda, clove, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt, set aside.

Mix sugar, butter and cream of tarter til fluffy. Add eggs and molasses.

Slowly add the flour mixture. Mix well

Divide in half and wrap in plastic.

Chill 2 hours.

On lightly floured surface, use a rolling pin lightly dusted with flour to roll dough 1/8 inch thick.

Use a cookie cutter and place on ungreased cookie sheet. (dip cutter into flour between each cutting)

If desired, press chocolate chips, candy or raisins into cookies for the 'buttons'

Bake 8-10 minutes.

Cool and decorate. Wrap well.



Rice Krispies Treats (This one is right off the box)

1/4 cup butter
1 (10 oz., about 40) pkg. regular marshmallows or 3 cups miniature marshmallows
6 cups Kellogg's Rice Krispies cereal

In a large saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Add the marshmallows and continue to stir until the marshmallows have completely melted. Remove from heat.

Stir in the Kellogg's Rice Krispies cereal coating them well with the melted marshmallow mixture.

Using a buttered or silicone spatula, press the mixture evenly into a 13 x 9 x 2 inch pan which has been buttered or sprayed with non-stick spray or lined with wax paper.

Cut into squares when the mixture cools.

Makes 24 squares.

MICROWAVE DIRECTIONS:

Microwave butter with marshmallows on high setting for 2 minutes in a microwave safe mixing bowl. Stir together when melted. Microwave again on high for 1 additional minute. Stir in cereal, mixing until well coated. Press into pan as above.

05 December 2010

When You're Desperate... Desperate Measures Are Called For...

I want to know why there are times, like now, when it takes me an hour to type an average email to a friend and days to think up things with which to decorate my blog's white post screen of death?  There are times, like now, when it seems I've emptied my brain and all that remains is a vacuum.  A black hole within the midst of the universe of my mind. (Don't bother trying to figure out the meaning of that... it's futile, since I write these posts to myself for therapy and even I'm inching toward the nearest emergency exit door, just click on the closest box with an [X] and save yourself now...)  Now granted, there are times my mind produces thoughts that are so far out there, they're coming back, but at least then I can be assured that there is still life in my grey matter.  Neurons are still firing and I'm not dead, but just not aware of it.  Sitting in front of a blank, white screen for a really long time, and not being able to type a single letter, much less a word, feels like lemon juice being poured over a paper-cut.

So since I am in such desperate straits, I'm going to decorate my white post screen of death with the only email I wrote today... Actually, it's the only email I've written since last Thursday(My send folder is perpetually lonely...)  I haven't had time to have a consistent and reliable relationship with my computer. I've been very busy lately dismantling my upstairs bathroom sink, faucet, plumbing and seriously eyeing the shower stall and bathroom floor.  Today I dismantled my dryer door and tried for almost three hours, on the floor, in front of the dryer, trying to reassemble it again.  My husband came home and put it back together in ten minutes.  I think I rather dislike him at the moment. I think I may even have to take him up on his lovely offer to test the capacity of my car trunk space... Although, come to think of it, he's right about the truck being easier to slide the dead body out of.  I hate it when he's right.  I hate it when he comes home and does in TEN minutes what I tried to do for THREE HOURS!  I should have known how the day was going to go when I asked myself this morning, 'Why IS IT when I look for a phillips head screwdriver, the only tool I can find... is a hammer?' Desperation for blog fodder has left me willing to show how bad a friend I really am so I'm just going to post this proof of dweebness quickly, then exit... stage left.  Today has sucked.  Just so you know?  If I were to have a choice right now, between a slice of Pumpkin Cheesecake and keeping my promise to myself about a post a day... Well?  The only place I'd be decorating would be my very happy tummy.  Since you see before you a lovely, decorative blog post, my day has at least been consistent.  You can be assured that there is absolutely no slice of Pumpkin Cheesecake within my dominion... hence the hasty post so I can go commune with my pillow and dream of being plump and happy with an unlimited supply of Pumpkin Cheesecake...  Believe me.  It's been one of those days...


Important Communiqué From Moi...
Kelly and Elizabeth,
    As you can see, I am not very prompt about answering email (or anything else for that matter) Seriously, it's my greatest failure in life so I sincerely apologize.  As to WHY the two of you are receiving the same email?  Umm... I'm developing my multitasking skills.  Impressive, huh? I'm lazy and tired [ok, both of you please forgive me for rushing around trying to do about six things at once.  It's keeping my mind occupied and looking for that silver lining when I really want to wallow in self-pity.  So work with me here, ok? Please?] I probably should go get my Thesaurus and look up the word whiner just to make sure my picture is still there...

Elizabeth, you've been reading my blog? First, thank you for your kind words. (I have to drag my manners out and dust them off every once in a while just so I know my Mother would be proud of me.  She DID teach me manners, I just wasn't a very apt pupil) Anyway.  My honest reaction when anyone tells me they've read my blog (other than Kelly because, let's face it… she's put up with me for this long...) is: Ack! It actually sounds quite disgusting when I say this, but it's true, 'my blog is where my mind vomits'. I never realized until I started blogging, just how much I enjoy writing.  I didn't think it would work very well as therapy, but I was wrong.  At least for me, it has helped.  Oh, and I am SOOOOOOOO not going to write a book! Ack, again! That would feel something like having a really nasty virus with me excreting vast amounts of bodily fluids for days on end! So let's just not go there, ok? Besides, I can't imagine what subject any book I wrote could be… except, maybe... "How To Throw Your Own Fabulous Pity Party Complete With Party Hats, Balloons, Noise Makers And A Visit From The Police… Or Possibly The Men With Those Cute White Coats Who Are So Gentlemanly, They Actually Hold Your Coat To Help You To Put It On?"  Just the title length would put you to sleep.  Can't imagine a story plot either, although I have always loved the line, "Ahhhhh, the plot thickens..." .  Not sure exactly what that means but it just SOUNDS dramatic… So Sherlockesque(Not to be confused with Burlesque.  That's Not dramatic… that's just sex and although I know that sex sells… I can't see myself writing dramatic, steamy, sex scenes without laughing my butt off, because I can see myself picturing them posing as Gumby and Pokey… and I know that's just wrong...)

It's been insane around here this past week, but it matches my need to do anything but think about my doctor's visit.  I think ripping out the upstairs bathroom this week will be a major stress reliever.  Hammer+crowbar+me=a beautiful new bathroom (Kelly, you can stop laughing now… it CAN happen.  It may not look like something Martha Stewart (or Norm Abrahms, for that matter) would appreciate or be proud of… but when you come to visit… you can just leave the lights off when you use it... oh wait... it has no window.  Not to worry, I can provide you with a glow stick...) Besides, I've already learned about disassembling sinks.  Now, I know how to take apart my Dryer door using ONLY a Phillips head screwdriver! (The hammer was darn tempting tho'… I have to admit it took a lot for me to hold myself back on that one… Actually, I'm quite proud of my restraint…)  My projects are just growing in scope and size… At this rate, I'll be building a new house by next month…

Well, I think that's about as much torture communication as either of you can handle from me in one day.  So I will take pity on you and close before you are required to start immediate intense therapy to recover from it.

Hope you guys have a GREAT week!
IMPORTANT: This email is intended for the use of the individual addressee(s) named above and may contain information that is confidential, privileged or unsuitable for overly sensitive persons with low self-esteem or no sense of humor. If you are not the intended recipient, any dissemination, distribution or copying of this e-mail is not authorized (either explicitly or implicitly) and constitutes an irritating social faux pas. Unless the word absquatulation has been used in its correct context somewhere other than in this warning, it does not have any legal or grammatical use and may be ignored. No animals were harmed in the transmission of this email, although the Chihuahua next door is living on borrowed time, let me tell you! Those of you with an overwhelming fear of the unknown will be gratified to learn that there is no hidden message revealed by reading this warning backwards. However, by pouring a complete circle of salt around yourself and your computer you can ensure that no harm befalls you and your pets. If you have received this email in error, please add some nutmeg and egg whites, whisk and place in a warm oven for 40 minutes.

03 December 2010

How To Teach Your Kids That You Will Have The Last Word... And Assure Them They Will Love You For It...

I have discovered that my OUTLOOK program archived some of the posts and comments from my old blog.  As I recently said to someone, who knew it could do that?  My brain then immediately spit out (it tends to do that on occasion), "Probably every one else on the planet..."  Anyway, rereading them made me realize that I had not kept up with so many family and friends.  So since I have just oodles and oddles of free time in my life, I get to sit on a satin cushion every day and eat Bon Bons I sent off a few emails while I sat waiting for the kids to get out of school.

Letting my thoughts wander...

Relationships, I have pondered recently, are like wine are like flower gardens.  Over tend them and you'll be needing a ten step program, like too much rain, the flowers will rot and die.  Under tend them and your friends will drop you like Chuck Norris until the bar is restocked, and life slowly withers away from an abundance of weeds and a lack of water, nutrients and oxygen.   My every day worries (one word: teenagers), to-do lists (that are currently so long that the Guinness Book of World Records has confirmed it as a record), responsibilities and even laziness (*hand raised*) have created my particular crowd of weeds.  I have let these things wrap around me, making it almost impossible for me to see the rest of the flower garden that is my life.  So I now have a mental list of things I'm trying to remember every morning (see above for laziness because I'm sure you want to ask why I don't just write it down on paper like normal folk... or maybe have it tattooed on my forehead...) before I stumble or get dragged get out of bed in the morning, just so...  maybe subconsciously (I believe in miracles), I can attempt the unattainable work on what is truly important to me in my life (a very serious, AMEN)  and letting the less important things slide for a bit.  My family and friends are important to me.  Figuring out how to balance that which is most important with everyday responsibilities is incredibly hard.  I suspect it will be a balancing act that never truly stays balanced.  I am aware that it will never be perfect because, I am not perfect.  And that's ok as long as I do my best and don't give up.  

Hence the emails...

Thoughts wandering some more...

What does this have to do with teaching your kids that you will have the last word and they will love you for it?  I'm getting there...  I'm merely trying to describe the progression of thoughts that pass through my mind to arrive at said post title.  Come to think of it, my method bares an eerie resemblance to the children's book, "If You Give A Moose A Muffin"(Which, by the way, was actually my favorite out of this series.  I knew you were dying to ask that question...) 
 [Warning: The following has absolutely nothing to do with the post at hand.  It is merely a stray thought... I repeat, it is merely a stray thought... Please stay awake calm until the certifiable idiot writer has completed this thought process, and should you not be able to remain conscious, you will be awoken when it is finally over you will be returned to the current post at hand... We appreciate your patience while we attempt to dress said 'writer' in an 'I love me jacket' with this technical difficulty... "Why is it, that when your brain thinks/problem solves in this wandering kind of manner when you are a teenager, it's considered 'thinking outside the box', but if you think/problem solve in this wandering kind of way when you are forty-five, you are considered delusional and your doctor is likely to recommend that your family reserve you a bed in a the furthest geographical Psychiatric Ward?"  If this had been a real long thought, you would have been abandoned at the first opportunity, like a rat on a sinking ship, leaving you to the visual torture often accompanied by the stray thoughts of this particular writer instructed to click the box with the little 'x' in it for immediate relief close this web page.  We thank you for your patience.  We now return you to your normal current post.

**Alarm Clock buzzing loudly**]

Thoughts now getting lost...

I tend to pay attention to the wanderings of my mind which, on occasion, tend to drown (figuratively not literally, fear not) my family and friends in  long and descriptive narratives.  Guaranteed to put any of them to sleep. So naturally, they attempt to avoid me like the plague the minute I open my mouth.  Bless their little hearts, because escape from my loquaciousness is futile... most of the time.  One more reason to avoid visiting our house.  Fortunately for them they have learned to tune me out, I actually DO have an intelligent (my own personal descriptive opinion, others may believe otherwise, so be aware, results may vary...) thought.  

My wandering thoughts have arrived.  Thankfully, I'm a woman, so I know how to stop and ask for directions...

My wandering thoughts were of emails. Of family. Of friends we lose contact with... With those we reconnect with and learn all the wonderful things and all the disheartening things of their lives.  (NOW we have finally arrived at the actual post... just thought I'd point that out in case you missed it...) Which led my thoughts to a gift I received from my daughter, Danielle, that has created something that, hopefully, some day I can give back. 
 
This past Mother's Day, my daughter, Danielle gave me a blank, leather journal.  I had no idea what I was going to use it for, because I didn't want to use it for every day notes and then tear the pages out.  So the thought came to me to write notes, thoughts, memories, advice etc FOR Danielle, for her to have  just before I strangle her and hide the body when I am gone.  Once I started writing in it, I knew I had to write journals for all of our daughters, because they are all so very different and amazing and wonderful and, at times, incredibly awe-inspiring.  But let's be honest here, sometimes they are also incredibly awful.  So am I, for that matter.  It's what makes us human.  We are not infallible.

So I promptly went and bought four more journals.  This is actually less daunting than you might think.  I don't write in them every day... or week... or even month. Sometimes I write a book, most times it's just a sentence or paragraph.  Eventually, I'm sure I will have at least one single word entry.  It just depends on what is going on in our lives and the time I have sitting in waiting rooms for appointments, or waiting in the car to pick up one of the kids, etc.  

I now wish I had started these gifts to my children when our eldest was born.  There are so many firsts.  There are more diapers... and less sleep.  There are more opportunities to see life through their eyes... and you learn more about bodily fluids than you ever wanted to know.  Ah, the education that life gives us.  My kids are now aged twelve through nineteen and since I hope to be still irritating them for another forty-five years, I feel like it is not too late to fill as many of those blank pages I can, in the time I'm given.  Special memories, feelings, thoughts and advice.  Memories being created today and all the special memories to come.  I'm not leaving out the hard times or the sad times.  All of our time makes us who we are.  It's up to us how wisely we use this time. 
QOTD: "Don't count every hour in the day, make every hour in the day count." ~ unknown

01 December 2010

Warning: Driver's License Permits Up Ahead...

I had a dream last night that THIS was the car student driver's use at the Local Driving School who will soon have the nightmare blessing of the attendance of two of our daughters...