Friday, November 30, 2007

Whoo Hoo! Day 30!

So I'm thinking this NaBloPoMo thingy is a little like child birth; just when you think you can't go on for ONE MORE SECOND it's over, and six months from now I'll remember every painful detail, but none of the pain. Thanks for playing along!


Today is Sib #2's birthday. We had a very nice lunch. Some day soon I'll tell you her story. Happy Birthday #2!


Yesterday the Saint played a little hooky from work. This is what he did with his time:

1. Washed the windows I had been moaning about.
2. Bought the rest of the goodies for Precious Oldest’s “Finals Care Package”.
3. Bought me a present which I still haven’t opened.
4. Took me out to dinner.

This is not atypical behavior. At all. So what the hell is wrong with me?

I'm too tired to go into all the details right now (yeah, awake at 3 a.m. sucketh mightily!) but there is some weird shit going on with Blogger comments and I'm thinking of making a switch. Problem is ALL PAST comments will disappear from the site. And let me tell you, sometimes your comments make better reading than my posts! And so I deliberate. Thoughts?

Thursday, November 29, 2007


* Editor's Note: I am phoning this in. Read at your own risk.

In 1985 Ronald Reagan was President. A first class stamp cost 22 cents. The Royals won the World Series. Amadeus won an Oscar for best picture. "What's Love Got to Do With It" by Tina Turner won a Grammy. I tricked the Saint into marrying me on June 22nd, 1985.

Let's recount the first time I met the Saint shall we? It was spring break of my junior year of college (1983). I had broken up with a guy I'd been seeing for a little over a year. For me, that was a very long time. I was not looking. I took off with my dad and Sib#2 for a ski trip. We went back home and I had a few days before I returned to college. I had only maintained one friendship from high school (not that I put heart and soul into the experience or anything). That friend was going to a local college and she wanted to get together while I was in town. It was St. Patrick's Day and we hit one of the local watering holes. (Don't bother doing the math - I was underage) She had started dating this great guy who had a roommate (the Saint) and the real agenda was that the Saint and I should meet.

Just as I was pleading that it really was time to go, who should show up but the boyfriend and the Saint. The Saint had on a green plastic derby and a large button that said "Kiss Me I'm Irish". And he preceded to kiss just about every girl in the place. Except ME. Later he admitted that I scared the shit out of him, but at the time I just remember being largely unimpressed.

Nonetheless, part B of the plan was underway. "The First Date." Sheesh. Tried to go to a restaurant that had a gazillion hour wait, so we went to some dive Chinese buffet. We followed that up with a super little movie called High Road To China. Never heard of it? There's a reason. Then back to bar where we met the night before. (Yeah, still with the underage drinking.) So we're having the first real conversation and he asks the inevitable:

Saint: "So, what's your major?" (I know, VERY smooth.)

Me: "English and Art History."

Saint: Snorting and with semi-derisive laughter "Who are YOU going to marry?"

Hee! I guess the joke's on him!

** Editor's Note Note: If I was not a pussy? And posted our actual names? You would realize that the true gold of this story is when young dewy eyed couple , after learning we've been married.....well....longer than they've been alive, asks "So, how did you two meet?" And I get to say "in a bar on St. Patrick's day?" PRICELESS!!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Maybe if I swear less?

cash advance

OK, OK I'll try to step up the vocab. Maybe throw in some algebra or something. Or maybe just swear less. *Editor's note: I swiped this from Will Write For Chocolate.

Home Improvement for $500, part two

Nope, still not ALL done. But the walls are "Sprout".

This has been replaced.

By some lovely bead board.

But now I have to put things on the walls.

They may be empty for a while.


In other news, my sleep cycle, which has a freaking hair trigger, has been screwed over by Thanksgiving travel. I was up again last night, and I'll let you in on a little something, there is a REASON they use sleep deprivation as a form of torture. At this rate I expect full on psychosis by New Year's.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

I want a snow day

I’m working on about three and a half hours of sleep. Three and a half hours not at a stretch. My mind is muddled and even simple tasks seem insurmountable.

I want a snow day. On a week day. I want to wake up late because the power blinks off in the night so my alarm can’t go off. (But blinks right the fuck back on because I like heat and electricity.) I want to see blankets of snow so high that even in my bad ass, four-wheel drive SUV I will be unable to get to the office. I want to ignore everything that needs to be done at the house. (And I don’t want Catholic guilt fucking it up either.) I want to drink cups of coffee and read the newspaper. I want to watch DVR’d television shows I haven’t had time to watch. In my pajamas. I want to have bread and cheese and wine for lunch. I want to take a nap. I want to soak in the tub. I want to finish the book I started three weeks ago.

I want a snow day damn it; and I want it before I go bat shit.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Catch and Release

I used to say that my girls had an awesome catch and release program. Boys would come into their lives, hover about for a bit, and then be released to move on. Is it not only fair they be rotated back into the cosmic line-up after all?

The problem is that for the most part? The boys never actually LEAVE. Hell, I have "couch sitters" from three and four years ago that still circle around. Remember this sad story? The dude drove Precious Oldest back to school on Sunday! Seriously! The kid who was heartbroken! And when he came to the door? Can you say "awkward"? Do I give him a hug? Acknowledge the, ahem, "new" relationship? What?

Precious Youngest "went out with" a boy in eighth grade. (You do know they don't go anywhere? Or do anything? Except occasionally in mass numbers? Find a different name for it if all you do is sit on my couch and eat my snacks!) This boy is still around; a friend. Last year he dated a girl from a different high school. When they broke up? Precious Youngest kept the ex-girlfriend too. ( A good enough friend to lend Precious Youngest a dress when I was too mean to buy her one.)

This is not the silly break up, get back together, break up, rinse, lather, repeat either. I mean these boys come over to hang out. Have a burger. Watch the game.

So here's the question: Is this typical teen behavior or do my daughters need therapy?

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Random Life Lessons

One should not go to a bar to watch THE GAME, drink several beers, leave at half time because you realized "OMG! I still need to post" (why am I still doing this?) , come home and try to post. Drinking and writing do not mix.


Being on the cover of "Sports Illustrated" before THE GAME truly is a curse.



You might think you've raised your teenager to make good decisions. And then they will spend the night at a friends and come home the next morning (having gone to Target with said friend to purchase, with her hard earned cash) wearing these:


The people at NaBloPoMo may have a sadistic streak. For those of us who travel over the Thanksgiving holiday it is bitch. Trying to post on a blog that no one is supposed to know about is a whole lot harder with a gazillion people milling about. Particularly when the In Laws have one computer. With dial up. No hiding in the bedroom posting on the laptop for you girlie girl!!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

I can't spell during football

I? Am not a beastly football fan. Much more with the basketball. But my Alma Mater is in a battle right now so I'm trying to cheer,post and comment at the same time. I just looked at my comments from the last post and holy shit, I know I'm not much of a speller, but I'm going to blame that on too many Fat Tires and my team sucking donkey balls at the moment.

Precious Oldest is here talking smack so if I have strength I'll back.

Friday, November 23, 2007


In 1980 Jimmy Carter was President. A first class stamp cost 15 cents. The Winter Olympics were held in Moscow. The United Sates did not participate. Kramer vs. Kramer won the Oscar for best picture. The Phillies beat the Royals in the World Series. 52nd Street by Billy Joel won album of the year at the Grammys. I turned eighteen.

I graduated from high school in 1980. I was seventeen years old. Guess what my summer job was?

I'll wait.....

You'll never guess.....

OK, I'll tell you.

I was a runner for the Sedgwick Group on the floor of Lloyd's of London. That's right folks. At the ripe old age of seventeen my parents put me on a plane, alone, to go live in London for two and a half months. In a rented room of a stranger's flat. Riding the tube to the office everyday. To collect placing and signing slips to be taken to the floor for signatures. Shit you not.

What was your favorite summer job?

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

In the name of NaBlopomo I'm sneaking off to meet my minimum daily requirement. with a house full of people its harder to do than one might think!

The house of full of wonderful aromas and we've already cracked open the wine. Sib #4 and Sib #2 are here. We miss #3 and #5 but will percevere.

I hope you and yours have a wonderful day!!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Family Tradition

The menu has not altered for over thirty years. Set in stone. Unchangeable.
Stuffing (Sausage/Onion/Celery, nothing fancy)
Mashed Potatoes
Cranberry Sauce
White Shoe Peg Corn
Brussel Sprouts
Creamed Onions
Sweet Potatoes
Pillsbury Crescent Rolls (I know, right? It is the only time we ever eat them!)
Apple Pie
Pumpkin Pie

We've already started cooking. Sib#2 is in charge of pie. Thank God because my attempts at crust are more like shoe leather than pastry. I do the sweet potatoes and the cranberry sauce at home and bring it with me.

For years I labored under the impression that I didn't like sweet potatoes because I'd only had them coated in brown sugar and marshmallows. I had an epiphany about ten or so years ago and came up with this recipe:

Take about five pounds of sweet potatoes, wash, prick with fork. Fill a big ole pot with water and let them boil until fork tender. Dump them in an ice bath and the skins will slough right off. Put peeled potatoes back in pot and mash in two sticks of butter and two cups of shredded sharp cheddar cheese. Add sour cream to desired consistency. Salt and pepper too. Place in greased 9 x 13 backing dish. (This can be done several days ahead, at this point cover and refrigerate.) Bake uncovered in a 350 oven for thirty to forty minutes.

My cranberry sauce is pretty awesome too if I do say so myself! I take three bags of cranberries, wash them and pick out any that are going soft. I zest five large juice oranges and set the zest aside. I juice the oranges and add more OJ if necessary to bring the liquid to two cups. Combine the berries and juice with two cups of sugar. Bring to a boil, turn down heat and simmer for ten minutes. Add the zest the last five minutes. I'm telling you people, good stuff.

Today my mother will take all the yucky turkey parts you don't eat and simmer them in chicken broth with carrots, onion, celery and a bay leaf or two. We'll use that stock for the stuffing and the gravy. Tonight we'll make the stuffing and the vinaigrette for the brussel sprouts.

First thing tomorrow the bird will get stuffed, coated in butter and put in the oven. We'll peel five pounds of potatoes. We'll make cream sauce for the onions. The brussel sprouts will get blanched, coated in vinaigrette, covered with grated Parmesan cheese and broiled.

Make the gravy, mash the potatoes, heat everything through and we're ready to eat. I'll be pouring Pinot Noir and a very nice German Riesling.

I love standing elbow to elbow in the kitchen with my mother and my sisters. Cooking, drinking wine, laughing. I have a lot to be thankful for.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

I'm certain Emily Post would approve

When you go on a visit its nice to bring a "Hostess Gift". Something thoughtful that the host(ess) will enjoy. We will be spending time at my parents over the holiday, and I wanted to bring a little something.

We went to a wine tasting last weekend and with the two cases of wine we ordered, the Saint suggested adding something very special for my dad. A nice port. My mom and dad both enjoy a glass of port. So with all the graciousness in the world we will be presenting them with this:

I've been told its very tasty!

Monday, November 19, 2007

There's No Place Like Home for the Holidays

I owe Shelley “Holiday Fun with Extended Family”. With Thanksgiving days away and Christmas looming allow me a moment to vent.

I have a very uncomfortable relationship with my mother in law. Other than the fact that she gave birth to the Saint, we have little in common. The Saint has a brother a couple of years younger who is unmarried and has no children, so we are in possession of the only grandchildren. I do not use the word possession lightly.

She and I had minimal contact when the Saint and I were dating. I was still in college and lived several hours away. We were engaged shortly after I graduated and for two years we lived in the same city where both sets of parents reside to this day. During those two years there were occasions when I believe a smarter person would have seen the writing on the wall, but I just…. didn’t.

The year we were engaged my family went skiing for a week over Christmas. We’d been doing this for years because it was the longest break from school. I however, was newly employed and lacking vacation time, so I did not go along. A few days before Christmas I was informed by the Saint that we were to arrive at his parents at 7:00 on Christmas morning. To open presents. With his parents and brother. Who was twenty seven years old. Because one couldn’t start Christmas until everyone was there. And that was as long as one could bear to wait. Do you see where I’m going with this? 7:00 AM? On Christmas morning? With no small children whatsoever? WTF? I showed up at the appointed hour, but I remember feeling ill at ease.

Then there were the oh so fun two Thanksgiving Dinner years. Because if everyone lives in the same town, you’re expected to show up both places. We've moved, but when we go back? Still two families to deal with. But I can’t, convincingly, eat two Thanksgiving Dinners. Go ahead, check my shelves, you will find no golden statuettes for my acting abilities. And while I recognize that families all have their own food traditions? Ours are better. (Oh come now, get off your high horse Missy. I bet you defend your stuffing/sweet potato/pumpkin pie recipe to the death!)

My mother took pity on me, I think after Precious Oldest was born, and started inviting my husband’s family to their home for Thanksgiving Dinner. Cooking for 20+? What’s three more? Slick right? One would think. But it

We will stay at the In Law's house. We will share meals. We will sit in their living room and visit. They will come and share Thanksgiving Dinner and attendant festivities at my parent’s. On Friday we will assemble their Christmas tree, we will string their lights, we will put up their decorations. But the clock will be ticking. Movie with the cousins? Lost time. Chinese food Friday night with Aunts and Uncles? Lost time. “SIGH, maybe next year…...”

Christmas, more of the same. They will stay in our home. They will have my children’s undivided attention Christmas Eve. And Christmas morning. But it

I'm bringing a case of wine.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Debate 101

Below is the high school debate topic for 2007.

Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its public health assistance to Sub-Saharan Africa.

It is the same topic for every high school in every state. Squads have multiple teams of two people. At tournaments each team alternates going Affirmative and Negative in multiple rounds. (If you "break" after five round you have enough wins to put you in quarters or semis.) When you are Affirmative you run a prepared case. It must be topical, demonstrate significant harms, have solvency, and no inherent barriers. When you are Negative you look for disadvantages in the Affirmatives plan. You look for weaknesses in their topicality, significance, solvency, funding. There are four Constructive speeches; two Affirmative and two Negative. Each Constructive speech is open to Cross-Examination by the opponent. There are four Rebuttal speeches; two Negative and two Affirmative.

Debate is an odd "sport" for us parents. It is not a spectator sport. You don't watch. It isn't that you can't, its just not done. I debated for three years. We went to State and won. My parents never saw me debate. The only time we've seen our own girls was when they debated for judges training. (Even then we snuck in and sat in the back of the room.) I had a few student observers yesterday, but for the most part it was me, the time keeper and the teams.

These are some of the flows I did during the rounds I judged yesterday.

Ours is a "Novice" tournament. This was the first year debating for every team I judged. Other tournaments are "Open"; anyone can participate. Our debaters do not participate in their own tournament. They RUN the tournament. They recruit time keepers and judges. They run the judges table, tabulation, hospitality, room monitors, runners. There were twenty two schools participating in our tournament, all with multiple teams. The management skills theses kids have? Are awesome.

Taking debate was not an option for our children. They were expected to take at least one year. The skill set attained is incredible; public speaking, research skills, time management, team work, on and on. Debate is an AP class on steroids. Precious Oldest did four years. Precious Youngest is in her third. We are very proud.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Everybody's working for the weekend

I don't know how you're enjoying YOUR Saturday, but mine will be spent judging debate.

All damn day!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Home Improvement for $500

The Hotfessional asked for "Home Improvement". With that in mind, riddle me this: Why would people who can’t put a Christmas tree with out dropping the F Bomb at least six times EVER endeavor to do home improvement projects? I don’t know either. This is what I do know:

  • Do not strip wallpaper off three days before weekend visitors are due. Putting up new wallpaper together is grounds for divorce.

  • If you replace the bathroom faucet it will cost $2,000. Never mind that the faucet was $50, everything else will look shabby by comparison. You do the math.

  • If your husband spends a day in a crawl space trying to solder a leaky pipe, do not call him the next day to tell him the plumber did it in three minutes.

  • If you decide, three days before you move into your new house, that you have time to have the ugly popcorn texture removed from your ceilings, please take note of the fact that “Ceiling Plaster” is not a finished product. The fucking newly plastered ceilings WILL need primer plus two coats of paint.

  • If you are renovating a bathroom, make sure the tile you ordered is IN the United States BEFORE you take a sledge hammer to the old tile.

  • If you hire a neighbor, who is down on his luck, to refinish your hardwood floors, and he quotes part of his payment in cases of beer? When you come back from vacation your hardwood floors will most assuredly look like shit.

  • Oh people, surely you get the idea. Need I go on? That being said, so far the current bathroom project has gone surprisingly well. Here I am painting the sun room "Lemon Meringue".

    Right over where a window USED to be.

    Look at my mad skills up top.

    Finished product and start of the bathroom tomorrow.

    Thursday, November 15, 2007


    Almost didn't get it done today folks. In fact, this is going to be lame so if you want to sign off now my feelings will not be hurt. And I will resort to bullets.

  • I painted the wall in the sun room (where the window used to be) Lemon Meringue. If all looks good in the daylight tomorrow furniture will get moved back.

  • I still need to paint the bathroom wall (where the window used to be) Sprout.

  • Precious Youngest was inducted into the National Honor Society tonight.

  • Thanksgiving is a week from today and I am anticipating the holiday with equal parts joy and dread.

  • This weekend will not be a barrel of laughs.

  • I am now out of ideas. So please let me know what you would like to read about:

    a. The ridiculous things we do for our children

    b. Home Improvement: What's Love Got To Do With It?

    c. Holiday fun with extended family

    d. My boss is CRAZY

    Wednesday, November 14, 2007

    The B Word

    No, I was not at the Senator John McCain event. I was at a BUDGET meeting. Most of the day. Slack jawed, eyes glazed over, looking like… well… like a teenager who has been asked some ridiculous question by a parent (e.g. Is your homework done? Have you fed the dog? What time is the National Honor Society induction ceremony? What do you mean YOU FORGOT to ask off work?).

    Speaking of bitches the damn dog is on my last nerve. I will give her this, she doesn’t bark in the house unless seriously provoked. BUT, and this is a big BUT, she has always been a bit of a whiner. It used to be any time we put her in her crate (mostly for car trips). Then during thunderstorms. Then during fireworks. Now when she wants to be fed. Long before it is TIME for her to be fed. Whining and walking around underfoot whilst I’m cooking dinner. And for the record I was coerced into getting this dog, so NO I don’t feed her unless I am the only one home for the evening. So all the whining and getting in the way is just annoying a hell.

    Speaking of pets in a loving manner, there’s a bit a conflict over at Angie’s. If you have a minute, take a look at her last few posts and offer a kind word if you can. This is an amazing woman who is feeling a bit beleaguered of late.

    That’s all for now. I’m off to paint my newly dry walled and primed walls. I’ll fill you in on the great bathroom debacle project another day.

    Tuesday, November 13, 2007

    She’s Lost that Loving Feeling

    Precious Oldest broke up with Boyfriend over the weekend. I didn’t expect him to make it through the summer, much less this far into the school year. From the start he was much more smitten; and knowing my girls as I do, I recognized that this was not a good omen for the Boy.

    But damn it people, he’s been hanging for around eight or so months now. And even though he started out as just Prom Date, and even though I try not to get attached, its hard. He’s a nice kid, academically excellent, easygoing. He treated Precious Oldest exactly as you would want a boy to treat your daughter; kindly, thoughtfully, with respect, with humor, and with copious compliments to her mother’s cooking.

    When Oldest called to tell me the news I may have been less than supportive. I have may have blurted out something along the lines of “Poor Boyfriend! Do you think there’s any way you’ll get back together?” I know, Meanest Mother awards all over the place yet again. But my mind flashed on this gentle boy getting his heart handed to him. (Let’s just say I could empathize.) The fact that his infatuation caused the “claustrophobia” that led to the breakup barely entered my consciousness during that phone conversation.

    The next morning, standing in the shower, I realized I hadn’t acknowledged Precious Oldest’s feelings about the matter much at all. She was upset and I was worried about some boy? He was not the first and is surely not the last! So I called her first thing to apologize for sounding less than sympathetic to her pain. She said it was hard. She said her stomach still hurt. She said he was very upset. (Uh yeah, excluding mine, she doesn’t like to hurt other people’s feelings.) She said thank you for listening.

    And I? Silently thanked God for not being a teenager any more. Because even if you are the one doing the heart breaking? Its heartbreaking.

    Monday, November 12, 2007

    The 70's Were Hell Man

    In 1970 Richard Nixon was President. Midnight Cowboy won best picture at the Oscars. The Chiefs won the Super Bowl. A first class stamp cost 6 cents. Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin both died of a drug overdose. Blood, Sweat and Tears was album of the year at the Grammys. Four students were killed by National Guardsmen at Kent State University. IBM introduced the floppy disk. During the spring semester of second grade we moved to Trumbull, Connecticut. Sib #4 turned two. I turned eight.

    We now lived in a four bedroom house and that meant I got MY OWN ROOM. This was BIG DEAL people. I think my parents felt some guilt about me being the practice child (as all firsts are) and I never again had to share a room. My mother let me choose the wall color for my bedroom and I chose .....Orange. I know it was the 70's and all, but Orange?

    In 1974 Richard Nixon resigned the Presidency. Gerald Ford was sworn in as the 38th President of the United States. A first class stamp cost 10 cents. The Sting won the Oscar for best picture. People Magazine debuted with Mia Farrow on the cover. Roberta Flack won a Grammy for "Killing Me Softly with His Song". We moved to Denver, Colorado. Sib #5 turned three. I turned twelve and started middle school.

    We still refer to this as "the move west", as though we went in covered wagons. This was strange and uncharted territory. People thought we talked funny. There was so much empty space. There were tumbleweeds blowing down the streets for crying out loud! But the skiing? OMG, made it worth the move. I learned to ski before I learned to ride a bike. And skiing in the Rockies v.s. the suck ass, well anything in New York, Vermont, Massachusetts? Was awesome!

    In 1976 Gerald Ford was president. A first class stamp cost 13 cents. One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest won best picture at the Oscars. Captain and Tennille won the best record Grammy for "Love Will keep Us Together". The Yankees lost to Cincinnati in the World Series. America celebrated it's Bicentennial. We moved to Wichita, Kansas. I turned fourteen.

    Can you imagine? Truly? The horror of a teen aged girl transplanted to a NEW High School? In KANSAS? I am telling you now, there are limits to my patience and understanding. I did not say a civil word to my parents for a good year. Can you blame me?

    Sunday, November 11, 2007

    Sundy, Sunday, Sunday


    We had a big birthday last night

    The hostess had some cake

    I just had more wine

    OK, now that I have THAT out of my system, remember this project? Do you want a progress report? Oh let's, shall we? We knew the tile would either pop right off or we'd have to take a sledge hammer to it. Guess what?

    It popped right off!

    Next to go was the useless window

    Then fill the hole with a piece of sheet rock.

    Oops, ran out of sheet rock for the other side. Off to Lowe's for sheet rock, mud, bead board and a new TP dispenser and towel bar. Just another walk on the wild side!

    Saturday, November 10, 2007

    Second Saturday

    We had a few nights this past week with temperatures down in the 20's, so this morning I figured it was time to get my roses ready for winter. When the girls were little they used to say I was putting my roses to bed. Its hard to do here because we go from warm weather to hard freezes and back several times. The canes don't get much of a chance to harden. I don't fertilize after August 1st and I don't deadhead after Labor Day. Still, with no encouragement from me my "Queen Elizabeth" Grandiflora is taller than I am.

    My "Fragrant Delight" Floribunda is putting out new growth like its June instead of November.

    Some advocate putting off winterizing until the ground freezes, but I just wait until we have a few good frosts. I have eight roses bushes, so I can generally get this done in a morning. I remove all the summer mulch and fallen leaves back to bare earth. Then I mound up new mulch to cover the crowns of the plants and the ground out to the drip line. It helps to minimize the ground freezing and thawing around the plants over the winter months. In the spring after I prune back; I remove the winter mulch and with it any lingering leaves that might have black spot.

    That pretty much wraps up my fall gardening chores. Next I'm heading to the kitchen. Why?

    Well folks, its that time of the month already. (No, not THAT time of the month!) The theme is "Breakfast" and the recommended attire is pj's. WooHoo! That's what I'm talking about. Stumble home and you're ready for bed!

    I'm bringing the biscuits and gravy. I think this may be a totally midwestern thing because I never experienced sausage gravy until I went to college. But I have to tell you I fell in LOVE with it. I know, totally laden in saturated fats, sodium,etc. but SO GOOD. Here, developed over time and with much trial and error, is my super secret Sausage Gravy recipe:

    Crumble 1 lb. Jimmy Dean Sausage (regular) and 1 lb. Jimmy Dean Sausage (hot)in a pan and brown.
    Worry there is not enough fat and add 1/2 a stick or so of butter.
    Sprinkle in 1/2 cup of flour.
    Open a quart of whole milk, pour slowly and stir. Add milk until you get the desired consistency.
    Salt and pepper to taste.

    Now for the hard part:
    Buy frozen Pillsbury biscuits. Throw them on a cookie sheet and bake them for however long it says to on the bag. Shamelessly pass them off as your own.

    MMMMMM Good!

    Friday, November 9, 2007


    I'm too beleaguered to come up with anything snappy for today so I will default to this months back-up theme. (Does anyone know what it is yet?)

    In 1967 Lyndon B Johnson was President. A first class stamp cost 5 cents. A Man for all Seasons won best picture at the Oscars. The Chiefs were defeated by Green Bay in the Super Bowl. "Michelle" by John Lennon and Paul McCartney won a Grammy. We moved to North Plainfield, New Jersey. I turned five and started Kindergarten.

    By now Sib #3 had been born. We moved into the first house my parents ever owned. My best friend was a girl named Meredith. Here are the things I remember about Meredith:

    1. Her mother let her wear her patent leather shoes to school.

    2. When she came to "sleep over" at my house she never made it through the night. She would cry and one of her parents would come and pick her up. I was always very disappointed by this.

    3. Her mother bought Cocoa Puffs and Lucky Charms cereal. ALL THE TIME!

    4. She had an older brother. He pestered the bejesus out of us but I thought he was fascinating.

    5. Her family had the coveted passes to the city pool. Passes we never managed to finagle when we lived there.

    SIGH. I know, I was practically the poor little match girl. No wonder I have "issues".

    Thursday, November 8, 2007

    A walk on the wild side

    Some people simply do not know how to have a good time. They can’t figure out how to maximize opportunities in their day to day lives to their advantage. I, on the other hand, live a life of self-indulgence. Let’s face it folks; its all about me and I LIKE it that way.

    Take last evening for example. The Saint was out of town; Precious Youngest was at work. I had the house to myself. Hours stretched before me, aching with possibility. So first I did this:

    Yeah, I know right? Good times. See here’s the thing: I pay a fair sum to have me hair cut styled every six weeks. But I just can’t bring myself to go all out and pay for the professional color. I mean we’re talking a gazillion dollars and two hours of my time I can never get back. At the same time I’m not remotely ready to face the indignity of gray hairs. Shallow? Perhaps. But THAT I can live with.

    With that little project out of the way I moved on to:

    Get your dirty minds out of Brazil people! Despite the fact that a woman’s crotch is displayed on the box, I use this particular product to take care of my mustache. Now my mustache is blond, but as I’ve started decaying gotten older it has developed an unappealing Fu Man Chu quality. I used to go to a nice Korean lady who for $10 bucks and a tip would rip it out in 30 seconds flat. But in the last few years my visits had become oh, let’s just say sporadic. Last summer I was sitting at the pool with this bitch I know a friend of mine and I must have been sweating glistening in a particularly appealing way. I surmised this because the bitch friend flat out asked me if I had considered waxing. When I explained that I DID in fact wax, but hadn’t had time to make an appointment for a while, she turned me on to the joys of at home waxing. And I’m here to tell you people; very effective.

    So the next time an evening of endless anticipation stretches out before you. And you find yourself at loose ends. Give me a call. Because I? Know how to walk on the wild side.

    Wednesday, November 7, 2007

    Left Overs

    I do this every time my family comes to visit; buy way too much food. Part of it is wanting to have on-hand all the particular things that they like. Part of it is my not wanting to have to run to the store before every meal. But I hate to waste food. So for the last few days I've been thinking up ways to get rid the left over bits and pieces. Here's what I had to work with last night:

    The kids drank way more root beer than milk.

    Half a bag of shredded Cheddar and half a pound of Colby Jack.

    Deli Ham? We don't eat it, not sure what I was thinking.

    Sibs didn't drink all the beer.

    Various types of bread

    Hmmm...chilly day. Soup sounds good, how about Beer Cheese?

    So I melted a stick of butter, grated and sauteed a half an onion.

    Added about a half cup of flour.

    Stirred in two cans of chicken broth.

    Then two cups of milk.

    I usually season at this point.

    I added the cheeses.

    (The Saint came home so I didn't have to cook AND take pictures!)

    Pop open a beer.

    Start thinning the soup.

    When consistency seems right, throw in some ham.


    What do you do with left overs?

    Tuesday, November 6, 2007

    In which they never learn

    I have mentioned in the past that I am not a morning person. Don’t misunderstand this statement; I can and do function very well in the morning. Get a cup of coffee in me and I can move at warp speed. I can get more things done before 8:00 a.m. than some folks do in a day. My mind is clear; I have solved many a dilemma while taking my morning shower. The only glitch is that I really don’t like to be interrupted (or spoken to really, truth be told) during my weekday routine.

    The Saint knows this. We have been married for twenty two years. And I have told him. On numerous occasions. I AM NOT A MORNING PERSON. And yet……

    A. I told him last night Aunt Flo was coming. How hard can it be to unscramble the “secret code” in that statement which is: “Leave me the fuck alone for the next three days or I will rip your head off. Particularly IN THE MORNING!”

    B. I told him last night I had an early morning conference call. “Secret code”: “I will be rushing in the morning; and in addition to all the other crap I’ll have to do I’ll BE ON MY PERIOD, so if I need to use the toilet and you are standing in front of it? I will slap you out of my way!”

    C. Pouting? Hurt feelings? Seriously? If after twenty two years of marriage he still can’t figure out the code? I don’t think a jury in the world would convict me.

    Monday, November 5, 2007


    In 1963 John F. Kennedy was President. He was assassinated on November 22nd in Dallas, Texas and Lyndon B. Johnson was sworn in the same day. A first class stamp cost 4 cents. The LA Dodgers beat the Yankees in the World Series. Lawrence of Arabia won best picture at the Oscars. Tony Bennett won a Grammy for "I Left My Heart in San Francisco". "The French Chef" with Julia Child debuted on television. I turned one year old. We moved to Belville, New Jersey and Sib #2 was born.

    I don't remember where I was when I heard Kennedy was shot; I was not quite fifteen months old. But I can tell you exactly where I was and what I was doing when I heard John Lennon had been killed, when the Challenger exploded and when the Towers were hit. Every generation has certain defining events. Moments frozen in time that you remember in vivid detail even when you can't remember what you ate for lunch, or find your car keys, or you're scrambling through your purse for reading glasses when there is already a pair perched on top of your head.

    What moments do you remember?

    Sunday, November 4, 2007

    A good time was had by all

    We had company this weekend. Sib #2, Sib # 5, my mother and a few of the children joined us for dinner Friday night. There is always a lot of this:

    We do love a good meal, and will sit around the table for hours afterwards solving the problems of the world. The wine just helps the ideas flow. I headed back to the airport at 9:00 to pick up Sib #3 and her two kids. ("The Cousins", as we collectively call our children are 18, 16, 16, 14, 9, 9, and 6. It has been awhile since we've had babies, so we very excited about the twins!)

    Saturday dawned, sunny and glorious. After breakfast we got in a few rounds of Don't Break the Ice, Memory and Hi Ho the Cherrio with Miss A. She is #3's youngest and quite a cutie!

    After a lunch on the patio enjoying the BEST BBQ in the world (served up out of a gas station) we spent a fab afternoon enjoying the park.

    Football, Frisbee, soccer, playground and ice cream on the way home. Does it get any better than that? As #5 had only been served two of the three food groups he finds lacking in New York (Kansas Beef, Bar-B-Que and Tex Mex) we headed out to a place near Sib #2's for dinner. #5 ordered a lot of food:

    But did clean his plates:

    After dinner we went to #2's for more world problem solving. #3 and #5 came back home with me and we were up until 2:00 a.m. arguing the finer points of the 2008 Presidential election. Thank God it was daylight savings time weekend and we got that extra hour of sleep!

    I took everyone to the airport this afternoon to send them on their way(s). There were many, many tight hugs because it will be just be me, #2 and # 4 going to my parents for Thanksgiving this year. So now I'm a little sad, but damn, its good to get my house back!!