Category: Events (Page 1 of 3)

Christmas 2013

Merry Christmas!

Christmas was nice this year. It wasn’t awesome for photographs though, I didn’t take very many. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to, it just didn’t happen.

I got the (then) soon to be retired LEGO Red Cargo Train last Christmas, but didn’t build it until this month. It’s under the tree, which looks good enough, though I want to make it quite different next year.

This year it caused a room for presents … none, pretty much, issue. I had presents stacked on the old piano, all over the bench, on that little table piled high, high, high.

Because of that, I was all over the place looking for packages to distribute. Gone was the standard hubby sitting by the tree handing things out. It was fun, though somewhat chaotic.

We went to see The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug 3D that night. There was no Christmas Day Opening movie we wanted to see as a family.

That was our 2nd viewing of the movie as a family. We saw it in BigD 3D 1st, Opening Day. It looked dull in the normal 3D showing Christmas night.

My husband and I saw it in HFR 3D two days before Christmas. That was FANTASTIC! The BigD 3D was really nice and great and all that, but HFR 3D blew that away.

I’m spoiled now.

So I’ve seen the latest Hobbit movie three times. I am anxious for the Blu-ray version!

Before Christmas we got The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey 3D Extended on Blu-ray at Best Buy. It doesn’t come with a non-3D disc, but it does come with a UV for the non-3D version. Lovely! We watched it from Vudu on PS4. We laughed so hard!

LoTR always makes sense around Christmas. It’s how the early 2000’s went, it’s a tradition, sort of, to watch more of that stuff in December, and it’s great to have The Hobbit added to it. I’m pretty addicted to it all. It’s more year round, it’s a Christmas feeling then, anytime during the year.

LEGO dominated gifts, an expected outcome.

LEGO is very popular in our house. It wasn’t always, but it’s something that has grown over the years. I got involved in 2011 personally. I have as much as my children do now, plus more (counting the Christmas sets which are mine, but for the whole family, if that makes sense.)

I didn’t like LEGO before all this. I liked the building idea, just wanted nothing to do with LEGO bricks all over the place. Ouch!

But somewhere, somehow, my boy got interested in Bionicles. The door was opened, just a crack, that became a Bionicle obsession, which bled into LEGO Star Wars which turned into a full blown LEGO habit for my children. My girl has only recently liked anything they offer. Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, and some of the Kingdom stuff. My personal addiction happened before LoTR LEGO was around. Alien Conquest hooked me. My first LEGO set was a polybag of a Toy Story Alien. Then the Alien Conquest theme was unveiled and I had every set available by the end of August. Sadly, that was all they gave us. No second wave. πŸ™

Since then I love the buildings, cars, helicopters, and I’ve amassed some great sets. Cinema, Haunted House, other Monster Hunter sets, Chima sets, the annual Christmas set, I got the first two the year the 3rd one came out and ever since, the same year they are released.

I love the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit LEGO sets. I have very little of it though since I also LOVE MARVEL. So I have lots of Marvel sets, and the Chima sets are current, so take up some of that. Isn’t LoTR and Hobbit better than Chima? Yes! But Chima stuff is just something I like and I can’t explain and I have to have it. Sigh.

Everyone was pleased with their Christmas gifts, LEGO and non-Lego gifts. Christmas is over and life goes on. πŸ™‚

The Holidays are approaching!

The weather is cooler and the calendar is now showing November. Time to start thinking about a birthday and Thanksgiving, which are usually entwined to some degree more or less, this year the least of ever, with Thanksgiving being so late (compared to normally.)

My husband is tasked with finding a nice FRESH Pastured Free-Range Turkey.

I need to go through things and make plans for ingredients I need to get, replace, restock, etc. I have pumpkin already. I still have some from last year too.

I’ll need to be prepped for Thanksgiving soon, so that I can get fully into my daughter’s birthday. Usually hers is right before or right after, and this year is odd, I have a few days for preparations in-between.

I was on Google just now searching images of free-range turkey’s and what do you know, down the page a bit, there’s my turkey from 2012, not exactly what I wanted back then, but it worked out. It’s not the kind of picture I’m looking for to put in this post though πŸ™‚

I should make some whole spelt bread this week, and dice it up, put it into a freezer bag and freeze it. That’ll be the base of my stuffing for the turkey. I’ll have another small loaf of white spelt bread, which is easier to make so I’ll do that another time.

I should get out a notebook and make lists and more (I can’t go digital, no matter what, I always need a pen and paper. FWIW)

Chicken Parmesan – Mother’s Day 2013

Mother’s Day yesterday was alright. I got two gift cards, one for Michael’s and one for Best Buy.

I also was given a LEGO set, Iron Man 3 –> attack at sea or something. I could do better with the set name, but I just don’t care right now. I built it last night. I like the missle firing setup in the boat. It’s not the best set though, and just something that makes me think I must have fallen asleep at the movie. I really can’t come up with a scene to go with the set.

Uh oh.

Anyhow, pickings for food are on the slim side, haven’t gone food shopping a lot of late, so whatever is in the freezer has been what we have been making. So it’s Mother’s Day, I ended up doing the most of the cooking. Figures.

My husband used to cook the dish we had, no problem way back. I still have the same recipe book he used back then. It didn’t help. He did do some of it, but it was rather sub-par and so I had to be involved.

ChickenΒ Parmesan

I prefer the advanced method for coating the chicken breasts. (Many recipes use a lesser method)

Dip the chicken into flour, thoroughly coating it.

Dip the chicken into egg/milk mixture, thoroughly coating it.

Put the chicken breast into bread crumbs, thoroughly coating it, carefully placing it in a hot pan with olive oil to brown on each side, then carefully put on a platter, add the sauce to the pan, heat that up and then put the chicken breast into the sauce until “done” then cover with shreddedΒ mozzarella and top with grated Pecorino Romano.

As for sauce, just a good marinara. I make it from scratch, canned tomatoes, olive oil, onions, garlic, basil, oregano, parsley, sea salt. Sometimes I’ll add a bottle of pureed tomato. Depending on what kind of tomatoes, whole, diced, crushed, it needs to cook longer or shorter amounts of time. I cook it until the colour is a deep red (loses thatΒ fresh blood red colour.)

I’ll post a recipe of this, more formal, when I get that made up.

Thanksgiving & Next Day Birthday Over

Thanksgiving Day went well. It was chilly but sunny in the morning, warmed up but not too much during the day, staying Sunny all day.

We had dinner later than I had wanted to. My hubby got me playing Warhawk in the morning and I quit when I realized it was 12:08pm and got going on getting things done.

Even with the turkey done ahead, and the stuffing … I had to make cheese sauce, white sauce, gravy (meant to do it ahead, but didn’t get to it) and cauliflower, green bean casserole, cook sweet potatoes, peel and cut into pieces and make a brown sugar syrup to candy them with. Also had potatoes to cook and mash. Then get out the turkey and stuffing and re-heat.

It was a big feast. We had cloverleaf rolls, my almost 13-year-old daughter got that done with my supervision. Getting all that done and ready to be served at the same time isn’t HARD just complex and tedious to a degree of, it takes kitchen talent to pull it off.

So I was pooped after all that. I made whipped cream to go with the pumpkin pie later that evening.

The next morning I had to get up and get things going for the birthday that day. I make banners for each child, put on the fireplace … they expect it now, and it has to be good πŸ˜‰ I had one nearly ready, but I hadn’t connected all the pieces to hang yet. So I finally decided what to do, and struggled with it as the eyelets I was using just weren’t playing nice with me. Augh! I got it done, it wasn’t fully the best it could have been, but that’s more my own criticism of my own project more than anything.

I made a yellow layer cake with very chocolate buttercream frosting, with chocolate curls (from a container of drinking chocolate curls I have) all over the top and at the base of the cake all around. On the sides I put Pearls in an offset pattern. It was nice, not perfect, I wasn’t going for perfection, but it sure did look nice. I took time to put the pearls on, it was tedious feeling, but really didn’t take much time considering everything. It’d be worth it to put more oomph into it another time.

My daughter loved her presents and the cake was really good and the homemade ice cream (which I made the day before Thanksgiving Day.) It was a good day. We had turkey quesadillas for supper, and played Monopoly after that, with cake after that.

It was all fun, but I’m glad it’s all over for this year. It’s less than a month to Christmas Day, and I have MORE to do! At least it’s awhile until some of it, and some of it longer, but lots of it more necessary for sooner than later, just not all of it. Phew!

Thanksgiving/Birthday 2010 is over

Our Thanksgiving holiday was really big because of my daughter having her birthday on the day this year. It’s always a tough week, but with it all “occurring” on the same one day every so often,  it’s a much harder job to pull off.

I made two turkeys (pastured, fresh from a farm) ahead of time, roasted & sliced & packaged. I made stock from one carcass beforehand, and had the other carcass in the pot through to the afternoon on Thursday. I made most of the sides on Thursday.

The day before I made pies, and also setup pastry, onions, bacon & Emmentaler (actually from Switzerland) cheese to make quiche. I covered that with ‘press & seal’ and put it into the refrigerator. In the morning, on Thanksgiving Day, I took that out and mixed 4 eggs with 2 cups of cream and cayenne pepper, poured that into the pastry shell, then put that into the oven to bake. Then I made mini muffins that had cheddar cheese, dried cranberries, sage & green onions in them. (recipe I found on Whole Foods website, but I’m not linking, I changed it, don’t like there entire recipe.)

That was a very nice Thanksgiving morning breakfast. I normally don’t go to so much effort, but the way I did things, making the pies at the same time,  it was easy enough to make pastry for quiche and get the other ingredients into it and refrigerate for later use. (that’s a method I’ve used before, making the day before, for quick put together for baking in the morning.) I used to make quiche fairly often, but the last few+ years I haven’t made it even once, until this week.

The quiche was a big hit with my eldest, 14 year old boy. He loves it, used to love it, he said too. My two youngest (10 years, 3 years — both boys) didn’t like it … wouldn’t eat it. My birthday daughter liked it, I think.

The mini-muffins were great. My daughter and my eldest son and I raved about them. It was a recipe needs tweaked a bit more, if I can get that done I’ll post it. Not sure when I’ll try that, they are special, not something to make “just any time”.

After breakfast I went about making a chocolate cake and cream cheese frosting for my daughters (12th) birthday celebration. I have a new Shannon Crystal cake platter which was a delight to use. I used a certain recipe for the cake, and upped the butter content as well as the chocolate content. Most recipes use 4 oz. of melted chocolate or 1/2 cup of cocoa. I used both amounts. πŸ™‚ Very chocolately, semi-dry, lovely flavor, crumb. Not gooey, not soft, more dry and firm but still “cake”. We liked it, the “we” being me, my 14-yo & my 12-yo. Interesting, I’ll have to compare what I did with more chocolate cake recipes and figure out an even better cake.

Decoration for the cake was white “pearl” nonpareils that I found in Target’s Christmas baking section. 5.1 oz container $2.99 I used 1/8 of the bottle to sprinkle the top of the cake with a seeming “ton” of white pearls. It was very pretty.

When the cake was done I started other things for Thanksgiving Dinner, like I made gravy, got the sweet potatoes mashed (baked the night before, in their skins) which entailed peeling their skins off, then mashing … then making them into sweet potato casserole by adding brown sugar, pineapple chunks & juice, and cinnamon & melted butter. I don’t use a recipe, just throw it in on the fly.

I made green bean casserole using organic frozen green beans (french cut), crispy onions (another brand), and my recipe for the base (basically a white sauce with some added thing for flavor.) I mixed that up and bake it, then add more crispy onions on the top for the last 5 minutes of oven time.

I also made a cheddar cheese sauce to put over a cooked whole cauliflower head. (Something I make for most holiday meals.) It is one of my favorite things to eat.

We also had mashed potatoes (with sour cream instead of milk, for special) and two kinds of turkey gravy, dark and light (has to do with the roux, cooked longer it browns, gravy takes on the color of your roux.) I made dough for rolls and tried something new (my mini-muffins above were made with my brand-new mini-muffin pan, never had one before) — a small ball of dough in each mini-muffin hole. Then with the rest of the dough I thought of Parker House shape, but then went nuts and made something new.

The mini-muffin rolls turned out when baked as something that reminded me of something else. The other rolls reminded my daughter of something as I shaped them. So they are named:

1-up Mushroom Rolls (after Super Mario 1-up Mushroom) There are no real mushrooms in this roll (no mushrooms allowed in my house, I’m allergic to them.)

Tom-Kitten Rolls (after Beatrix Potter story, when rats roll Tom Kitten in dough with a pat of butter.)  For these I shaped them like this: Take a small piece of dough, flatten it into an oblong strip. Put a small pat of butter on one end and fold that end towards the middle and the other end towards the middle on top (thirds). Then take one opposite side and fold to the middle, then other other opposite side towards the middle and place on sheet pan covered with parchment paper.  I made different sizes of this and they were wonderful. Small and larger and even larger.

The stuffing I made was wonderful (the batch I had in the bird), but I forgot to reheat it for our big dinner! I couldn’t believe it when I realized that. It’s the thing I love about Thanksgiving the most. My husband put it the right way. “Your stuffing is my green bean casserole.” Well said.

So I threw it in the oven, then had a little bit so much later, couldn’t eat much since I ate my dinner as slowly as I could, waiting for the stuffing, but stuffed myself too easily anyhow. Sigh.

We had leftovers of all that for supper last night. It was really good then too. My favorite thing to do is what I call “Thanksgiving Stuffing Scramble” (I’ll make some for lunch today. It’s main part is, of course, stuffing. I use a skillet, melt lots of butter, add the stuffing, stir around as it heats up and sizzles and browns a bit. Then I add turkey bits and gravy, no over-mixing, letting it all heat up. Add some cranberry sauce on the side (yes, the jelly stuff in a can. I like it for the flavor and the cold smoothness of texture it adds.) Yum!

I also baked some stuffing in casserole dishes and saved that in the freezer for later. Then I made some with sausage. That’s in the fridge for sooner. I put red pepper flakes in it too. Whoo! It’s tasty, a bit heat oriented, but not tooooo much.

We ate no pie on Thanksgiving Day. (with dinner at about 4:30pm and a birthday party later, we didn’t want anything else.)

We had pumpkin pie for breakfast the day after though. I make my pies with organic canned pumpkin, and follow the Nourish Tradition’s method of putting it all together. Lemon peel, lots of eggs, grated ginger (though I didn’t do that part this year) & I add bourbon where the recipe says “brandy” I have bourbon always on hand. πŸ™‚

My choice was using Wild Turkey Rare Breed Vanilla’d, which is something I made a couple of years ago. I bought the bottle, added two large vanilla beans and put it in a closet where it would never get any light and left it there for several months. It’s very nice. Very nice indeed.

So anyhow, the pumpkin pie is spicy, spicy, spicy, kicked up! Served with sweet raw whipped cream, yummy!

I also made an apple pie, still uneaten, not for long though. Then there is one more pumpkin pie waiting too.

Now it’s Christmas Season. So much to do again. πŸ™‚

Septic Tank Pumping

Update on the septic tank pumping from yesterday: they arrived later than originally planned, but it went quick. It was FULL. So we hit that point like a brick wall this past week. Barely able to do anything in the house that involved draining into the stack to the septic tank.

A chart online about septic tanks says for 6 people using a 1000g septic system it should be pumped every 1.5 years. For 5 people, every 2.0 years.

We lived in the house from Nov. 1997 to Aug. 2003 … with 2 adults & a toddler, then a baby in late 1998, then another baby in 2000. By the time we finally had the system pumped we had a 7yo, 4yo, & an almost 3yo, plus us adults, the parents.

From then to now, over 6 years ago, it’s the 2 adults, plus a now 13yo, 11yo, 9yo, & 2yo. It makes sense that we have filled it up, maybe others would have done so sooner, as we don’t all take showers every day like many do. I’m believe in conservation and try to keep consumption of water down where I can. That does help with a septic system.

So the next pumping should occur: August 2011. Before or after a bit would work.

Septic Tank Pumping 2009

Birthday and Thanksgiving Day were good. Waiting to get things done here & there, then this weekend we had symptoms of “gotta get it done” with the septic tank, so bad we had to monitor the toilet in the basement & vaccum water out of it if it got too high when flushing another toilet in the house. It has gotten so we can’t flush very often, not often enough for 5 people to live here happily.

No showers, no washing machine use, no baths, no dishwasher use.

I am would love to use our gray water differently, and if we did, it would put a great prize into the yard, & take away some of the septic overload. But we aren’t set-up for that (though it could be accomplished.) If we were right now though, showers and baths would be do-able at the least.

Thing is, this situation is so very tedious just washing something in the sink sets the drains bubbling & gurgling, or tilts the balance of things & water starts rising again. It could be worse, I know that. It’s just plain bad enough. Really bad in how I estimate this process of waiting so long to get it done that it takes quality of life, puts it in a holding tank where we can’t access it.

We last had the system pumped August 8, 2003. Too long ago. Certain maintenance things are not followed around here that need to be and as the house gets older it’s becoming an issue.

This is one that could be a costly issue, maybe, maybe not. We won’t know until the septic people arrive & open her up.

Remembering Uncle Walt

On Thursday my Uncle Walt passed away. When I was 7 my mother had to be hospitalized for awhile so me and my 4 siblings were divided amongst relative. I was sent alone to my Uncle Walt & his wife, Aunt Mary. They were relatively still newlyweds at the time, not young, not old, just older than young. I lived with them for quite a few months, during the school year.

When I was 13 my family moved to South Florida. My Uncle Walt & Aunt Mary moved down there as well sometime after that. I loved going over to their place, finding peace and a classical sense of life when with them. “Classical” meaning, think “Classical music” as a general form for life. Music of that sort being important, church music, performance of voice, piano, organ, etc. A classy way of living, not base, not stuffy, not rich, not poor. Sane vs. the Insane home that was what I was from.

When I got married I asked my Uncle Walt to play the organ for the wedding. Maybe it would have been nicer for HIM to just attend, but I thought it an honorary position instead of having the stock church organist play. I later became friends with that organist, and he would have been great to have played at my wedding, but I didn’t know him at the time and was more than comfortable with having my uncle play at the event. I have always been glad I made that choice, and even more so today, since he’s gone from this Earth.

I hadn’t seen my uncle for quite a few years. He’s been cremated and I can’t attend his memorial service, and that’s alright. I remember him as a younger man, full of life and love of music and more.

My first big memory of him comes from the one-time I had a sleepover with my Grandma. I was 5 and a night at Grandma’s was a privilege which my older sibs had attained, and I was finally able to do it too. In this instance I had gone over and was in the kitchen with Grandma and my Uncle Walt was there too, eating spaghetti, winding it around and around his fork … he was eating alone because he was “going out” … I was facinated with the spaghetti winding around the fork thing, and there was a sense of energy & importance wrapped around him.

That was my one-time sleepover alone at Grandma’s … she died before I turned 6. When I was just turning or had turned 7 I remember sitting on the front porch of our house and Uncle Walt and his Mary coming up to the house, that exciting energy was emanating from them (getting married!) — who would have known that we’d be moving to another area of PA in just a few months, and that my Mom would be unavailable to us by the end of the year so we’d all be moved around the extended family, and I ended up having the wonderful experience of Uncle Walt and Aunt Mary all to myself! I suppose it’s my sort of thing from the start, part of a whole but very separate mostly. I loved them dearly. I hope to hug them both someday again.

Winter Weather in the South

It’s March 1st and we are having our first real “Winter Storm” of the year. It’s been Spring-like for a while, many things are blooming. It’s been raining since Friday night (and had some lightning/thunder as well) –off and on, and the ground is mushy and over-wet, even more than that in places, deep puddles and near rivers in places in the backyard … but now it’s different. The temperature is 41 degrees F. out on the front porch, and the “rain” is now frozen granules. It’s collecting on roofs, play structures, decks, etc. thus far, since the air temperature is above freezing, but I do project that the temperature will be falling, it “feels” like that, and so it is. (Experience shows this as thus.)

Our ornamental cherry tree (in the backyard) has been blooming for over a week, but just getting near peak after the rain from a whole day, and now (with this freezing stuff) we’ll just see if we get to see the tree in full peak bloom for a nice photo with the sun shining and the sky nice and blue … πŸ™

Update: It’s been snowing, from big flakes with granules of snow for a bit, then more BIGGER flakes, then to all bigger traditional first snow flakes, dropping heavily … to full out snowing, to now snowing thickly for a long while, snow is building up … it’s 2:13pm and it’s snowing thickly in the South, First snow in over a year, it didn’t snow in 2008 at all here. Can’t quite recall if it snowed at all in Dec. 2007, I don’t think it did, and I can’t recall when it really did snow this much in years here, not since the children were much younger, this is really nice. Usually we have an ice storm, not a nice snow storm. πŸ™‚

Frank’s 2008 B-Day

For Frank’s birthday yesterday I made cupcakes. Usually we don’t make cakes for his birthday, not regular cakes. In the past I would often make a cheesecake for his birthday, or nothing, since he didn’t care as much about cakes as, say, the children would for their birthdays. Frank doesn’t care much for holiday trappings, would do fine without them, so he says and acts, but if I have the energy to do something, he doesn’t mind, I suppose. Maybe actually likes it.

Holiday stuff for us is just “us” having no external family in the area we live in. THis makes it harder for me to get into all of it, compared to what I desire to have done, and could do when I was younger/single especially. Being older and a Mama of younger children is a hard job and something has to give.

I had planned to do a couple of firework things we had leftover from our New Year’s home show. I wasn’t sure we’d be able to do that, it was raining/drizzling/dripping out most of the late afternoon, and even at 8:30pm when I last had checked, but I was hopeful that when 9pm rolled around there wouldn’t be wet stuff coming down at all, and it did work out that way! That was nice, a couple of TNT “Cuckoo” fountains and some flashing little things. Just something special, nothing big, something different.

I hadn’t made anything cake-wise since I had made a cheesecake for Baby Q’s first birthday on June 23, not that long before. We didn’t want another so soon. So when it came time to make dinner I finally decided that wasn’t what I wanted and was inspired to make cupcakes.

I made vanilla cupcakes and chocolate frosting. Nothing fancy, just simple homemade cupcakes, delicate and moist, with homemade chocolate buttercream frosting. Simply frosted.

Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

We had them after the fireworks, we didn’t do any candles on the cupcakes, not for big Frank. It was nice though, Happy Birthday singing was loud and full, the children really joining in for the first time for his birthday, so vibrantly at the least.

We all made him cards. That was our gift to him. We didn’t make anything else, but will get him something later, something that he’ll appreciate, like something Tiger’s related (MLB)

Happy New Year

2007 is gone. 2008 is here. We had “fireworks” out front on New Years Eve to mark the occasion (Costco sells big packs of “fountain” type fireworks made by TNT, this time of year and around the 4th of July.) We’ve gotten this sort of thing for the 4th starting in 2006, continued it in 2007, and now have added New Years Eve to the schedule.

In GA things that fly up are basically not for sale, of course people do buy them in the neighboring states, like S. Car., Tenn., or Ala.

We just stick to what’s available here, thus far we have, that is. I love fireworks, firecrackers, etc.

We bought the biggest package Costco was selling this time, and it’s the biggest we’ve ever bought. It had many more larger type fountains than previous packs. We thoroughly enjoyed the show, including our dear little 6 month old. He fell asleep near the end, but watched intently through most of the “show”.

Along with a new year are new temperatures. It was a tad nippy that night, and only getting colder ever since. The sun has been out though, so it’s pleasant, unlike the few days before with gloomy gray skies and rain off and on, the temperatures then weren’t that cold either. It’s been a very mild “winter” whereas it’s usually nice enough to turn the A/C off in September or October, and start fireplace fires in November and more of them in December and into Jan. & Feb. … this year we have had the A/C off and on through December. A few fires, one early, it wasn’t THAT cold but was cold enough “just to do it” and one other time or two since then before Christmas. We had fires for Christmas just to have fires, but we didn’t NEED to have them, it was warm enough to live without them (heat pump working in the warmer cool temperature just fine.)

So now 2008 has brought us to the “we need a fire to be warm enough” place. Reported temperature right now is 32 degrees F. It was well colder than that over night and most of today.

Temperatures are often mild in Georgia, over winter, but times of very cold, snow, ice do occur, but last winter 2006/2007 we had nothing. I’m wondering what’s to come in 2008, since both ends of 2007 were very mild. FWIW.

November – Holiday Season begins

Holiday Season is right around the corner. It’s November now, which means in our household we have Thanksgiving and then our DD’s Birthday, or visa-versa, depending on the year. (She was born in 1998 on the 25th, the day before Thanksgiving.) This year Thanksgiving is three days before her b-day.

It always makes for a more hectic last-half-of-November than ever since 1998.

I’m in the mood for Pumpkin Pie, which it doesn’t have to be Turkey Day, November or December to have, but I haven’t made any “out of season” this year, I haven’t done much cooking overall (with a new baby in the house!) At this point I consider it best to wait until Thanksgiving Day to have Pumpkin Pie, but the urge is so strong to have some NOW so I don’t know what I’ll do in the coming days leading up to TD. Why do I consider it best to wait? So I’m not “Pumkined OUT” by TD, which is possible if I give in to my urge now. FWIW. :blush:

The weather has been cooler lately. Finally Summer has broken in NE Georgia. It’s still getting quite warm, into the 70’s, some days, but getting down in the 60’s at the most at night, all the way down way into the 40’s many nights. This makes things seem more Fall-like, and gets me in the mood for Autumn/Winter thicker clothing, crisp new clothes that just wouldn’t work in the Summer, no way. Boots are my love, for instance, and jackets.

I’m still not fitting into my old things to wear, post-pardum 4-months, so I’m going through my things and trying to figure out what I’m going to do about it. I hate buying “fat skirts” and such, when I know they won’t be needed. I’ve gotten away with wearing my summer skirts just not done up, they stay on and the openings don’t show with my Nursing (BF) Blouses usually covering them up fine. That won’t cut it for the cooler times outside, nor inside the house eventually (as Winter sets in.)

I’ve been Dresses/Skirts only for quite a few years, and did cave to wear pants sometimes when I was pregnant (starting in late ’06) and have a couple of pairs of jeans now for the “transition” but I don’t like them, I am supposing I wouldn’t mind some jeans now if they fit me nicely, but none actually do (since I’m still toting baby fat, which is alright since I am BF the baby, of course. It’d just be nice to have something to wear that looked good and fit nice. :rolleyes: Especially for “winter” wear.)

My DD got a toy sewing machine last Nov. for her BD, but since I was newly preggo then and since and also now have a still “little” baby, I hadn’t showed her how to use it yet … but the other day she was bugging me about it and I told her to just get it out and read the booklet about it. So she did that and started pestering me about this and that in the booklet, and I finally just had her get the machine by me and I showed her some stuff … and thus I now also have the ‘sewing’ bug and want to find a place to put my big machine so that i can use it. Lastly I used it way back in 2000/2001 when I had my 3rd baby, to sew for.

I have had the idea to make nice simple things for DD and myself all along, but I just “haven’t” done that. I really want to and now that I am so blah shaped, it’d be nice to have skirts that worked the way I need them to, you know, custom made by one’s self. I’m going to do that, therefore. I have gotten my DD to want to make T-Shirt Dresses since I told her how easy they are to make, and she wants to get a purple T-shirt for that purpose and is nearly wearing me thin talking about it, so I will have to be sure to find her one ASAP – and get to a fabric store as well.

I did get some Hanna Andersson dresses and tights and leggings and socks and clogs, this week, for DD. Every thing like that has “Blossoming Pink” in it. Also got another skirt and blouse that are not “pink” at all. So a custom made T-Shirt dress that has a purple top will have to have NO PINK in the skirt at all, IMO. In any case, the HA stuff is really nice, a good base for getting more things to mix and match with, every day wear. The blouse I got is has a peter pan collar and buttons up the front. It’s white Pima interlock cotton, long sleeves, very fine yet not “too fine” and will go well under the winter jumpers she has (I bought them a couple of years ago, big on purpose to have later, and later is now!)

We got the boys a few new things from Osh Kosh this past week, as well. Jeans and shirts. The baby too, as well as Carters for the baby. All three of the boys have shirts from Osh Kosh that match each other. A is 7 years old and I have determined (since last year) that he actually looks great in Orange, so he has an orange plaid flannel shirt, R is 11 years old, he and Baby Q both are blonde haired with blue eyes and have fair blue-toned skin and look awesome in blue, so they have the same dark blue plaid flannel shirt as each other, in respective sizes, R has 12 and Baby Q has 6m πŸ™‚ All three have neat Osh Kosh jeans too, so I hope to get a nice Brothers photo with them wearing all that stuff, very soon.

I haven’t uploaded any baby pictures to the web still, as I haven’t yet gotten those announcements sent out :veryshocked: I’m appalled at myself for this. I have finally determined that I like one photo I have from September, right after Baby Q turned 3 months old, which I like enough to duplicate, so I’ll use that one, or maybe take something in the next couple of days that will be good enough, and more recent … and have wallet or some other small-ish size photos printed out at a shop, to include with the announcements. I really, really, really intend to get this done THIS COMING WEEK!!! I hope I can do so.

So with all that pressure, needing to get some sort of warmer clothing figured out for me, get the right clothing ready for the children, and get the announcements mailed, and plan Thanksgiving and V’s 9th Birthday, plus wishing to really start sewing parts of us girl’s wardrobe, and bake for the holidays and get things ready for Christmas, which hopefully will be a Christmas Card that will get mailed this year (for the first time in many) … pressure … it’s heavy, tight, pressing down.

On a good note though, I have a more comfortable bed now: we got a topper for the mattress at Costco this week. It’s a micro filled top with something like 3 inches of memory foam beneath that. It was a pain to open and unfold … the foam was vacuum sealed into a tiny (for it) package. Literally the hardest work I’ve done all week, or in many, many, months. That is on the mattress and I have a waterproof/allergy cover over that (it goes around the whole mattress, zips up to keep all ickies out of the bed) then a thin mattress cover and the sheets. The next thing I want then is a memory foam pillow (with an allergy cover sealing it) as the memory foam is a dream to be on, no pressure points. Lovely to sit up in bed and feed the baby now, just need to get the pillow situation fixed to complete the comfort. Sleeping is nice too, no need to shift around finding a comfy way to be, I mean, just choose what direction to lay in, and if it’s the way you want to be, it’s comfy now.

A second good note: I now have a chair in the “dining room/living area” next to the kitchen. The couch was moved downstairs and I was without a nice place to be with the baby (not liking the “basement” as it is currently) and wanting to be on the main level with the baby mostly anyhow.

So I now have an Ektorp chair and a Bromma foot stool, with white covers. From IKEA, for those not familiar with those product names. Our couch is an Ektorp Corner sofa 2+2. (corner seat with 2 seats on each side, a couch with 5 seat cushions that can hold up to 6 people if you don’t mind sitting right by someone, not bad for visiting, just annoying for basic TV watching, reading, with children, everyone wanting lounging space.)

What is so great about that IKEA Ektorp line? The styling is classically beautiful, in my mind’s eye, and the outside of the couches and chairs are slipcovers entirely, so it’s easy to get a clean couch when needed or wanted. Unzip all the cushions and take the cover off of the frame, into the washer, then drier, then back onto the frame and cushions. It’s work, but worth it. The chair is even easier since it’s just a chair, compared to the corner 2+2 couch. Not only that though, the next best thing is: extra slip covers. The white is cheap, $29 to get an extra set. Other colors start at $79 and go up. The couch, we can get a color we like for $199,a complete new set of slipcovers, making the couch so versatile, brand new-like when wanted. We only have one set of slipcovers for the couch and also the chair right now, but will be getting extra’s sometime sooner than later, I hope. I also want to get an Ektorp Loveseat, which has a really cheap white slipcover set, just $11 … FWIW

To have all this furniture it will be separated in the house we live in now, but I hope to have a house with a very large family room someday …

For now though, I’m more comfy in the main living area again. A place to rest, feed the baby day or night other than in bed, watch TV, read, or even nap … a nice chair that is Mama’s and no one else may sit in it unless I say they may, which is no one. πŸ™‚

Happy Birthday Asa!

Five years ago we had a sweet little baby boy at home right now. All the activity had calmed down, and we were alone with our baby boy again. I say “again” since he arrived before any of our attendants did. So when he was born, we had him for several minutes, all to ourselves. Then the hustle and bustle arrived.

It was a great start to the day. He was born sometime before 2am … something like 1:47, we estimate. Isn’t it grand, in today’s modern world we have an “estimated time of arrival” –nothing exact, for our 3rd baby’s birth. πŸ™‚

Asa is a tornado. He’s Tigger (bouncy and loud). He’s Calvin of (calvin and hobbes) but not a 6-year-old yet. He’s a little boy, a growing boy, a baby, a big boy, all rolled into one package. He has so much to learn, he’s learned so much already. He has a love in his heart for many things, and we pray it grows into a great solid love for God as he grows up. He has much maturity to attain, he is just now turning 5, afterall.

He’s the youngest of our born children. He has not been like the baby all the time. He was potty ready before he was 2. When he was 4 he started wetting his pants sometimes (too busy to go to the bathroom) but he’s potty learned. Just too busy and too young to care. He still is sucking his thumb at night, and during the day when he is sitting still usually, for whatever reason. He hears from us, “Put your blanket back on your bed!” a hundred and twenty-eight times a day. He’s carried it around for years, with time off. I’ve taken his “special” blanket and put it up. He couldn’t have it anymore. Then he found another baby blanket that was Russell’s baby comforter, and claimed that as his. That gets taken away, then a toddler blanket that was Russell’s gets found and claimed. So it’s just a cycle. He goes with no blanket and is fine. Then finds something to haul around, and the hauling re-starts. It’s funny, he’s so different from his siblings.

He’s the one true extrovert among the three. He’s the only thumb-sucker, blanket toter. Russell is a sensitive introvert, has never sucked his thumb or claimed anything to snuggle with. Victoria is also an introvert, and never sucked her thumb and doesn’t have a special snuggle thing of any variety. Both the older children had a pacifier at times when they were babies, but had given them up totally before 6 months of age.

Dear Asa, so very extroverted, so very comforted, he was born into this world in the nighttime, and was a content baby, sucking his thumb, sleeping through the night from birth. I did try to wake him up to feed him, I gave up after awhile, it was too much trouble and absolutely didn’t work. He was a natural-sleep-through the nighter. He ate well all day and evening and slept all night. He grew up and did everything early, and was talking in paragraphs when he turned 2.

It’s fun to see your children grow up in the early years, but sad too. Their babyhood slips off piece by piece, and Asa’s is about to shed his baby-self totally. This is his last year of official baby-ish-ness it’s barely clinging on. My baby is growing up! πŸ™‚ … πŸ™

Happy Birthday Asa! May this year bring you closer to your family, and closer in heart to your Father in Heaven, God Almighty.

Labor Day, work!

It’s Labor Day in the US today. That’s a holiday. It’s supposedly the day to “take off” meaning: “no labor”. In my mind I do recall days when I was young that were “picnic” oriented Labor Day occassions.

In my adult years it’s this though: Work.

There’s always something to do in the house. Projects galore. This is similar to how “New Years Day” is for me, with one exception, no major football junk going on, as far as I know. It’s not that there are no games on, but DH isn’t communicating such things to me … he’s busy doing stuff, so it must mean they aren’t on. In any case, it’s that the New Years time is bowl games, and so it “means more” apparently.

OK. What I mean is both days are these stark stand out days. Blocks of blaring white that say “clean up, pare down, finish, do, do, do” in a way that no other day does. New Years Day is the biggie, Labor Day is like it, but not exactly.

Other people go shopping, go to the lake, go to the beach, go to the mountains, do something “fun” for them.

Work isn’t “fun” for us, per se, but big dedicated days to such is activity and fun in a way. It’s stuff getting cleared out, something fixed up, it’s functional fun and I guess it’s fun for real since we are messies! πŸ™‚

July sure went by fast

I know time goes fast when you are having fun, but what if it goes by fast when you are definitely NOT having fun? πŸ™‚

Time has flown for me the last few years, and this last month, July 2005, has been quite the fastest, by far, in my estimation of historical events in my life. It’s now officially August. Wow.

August is a month that has historical attachments to it for me. I guess I was ingrained with the “school year” calendar in my younger days, and I view July and August as pure Summer days of freedom, with it all beginning in early June at the latest, if not May.

In my own lifetime and school “career” I saw that idea taken and smacked up and torn apart. It’s hard to put into words, but it’s the idea of freedom from tyranny which I have, it’s a beautiful picture in my head that is connected to the idea of Summer and that is what this part of the year is.

We homeschool, and are not on any sort of schedule as the public school’s have. I felt horrid when I opened up the Ads in the paper around the last weekend in June or first weekend in July and saw all the “Back to School” ads … really I felt bad. I understand that most schools around here start this very week that we are just beginning on the calendar. That just messes with my internal summer clock.

We “officially” begin a new year of homeschooling in September, but that’s only in the eyes of the school board. We do our thing year round, but nothing formal. This coming year I’ll be doing more with our eldest. He’s 9 and reads well, can write, needs more practice there, he has an electrical experiement set that we can get an upgrade for. There are other things in that realm of electrical and computer that we’ll be looking at. He likes Bionicles and is collecting them all. Also into K’nex. The other two children love the K’nex too. They follow directions to build things, and also make things on their own. (I would have loved K’nex when I was a child!)

The two younger are 6 and 4. I’m working slowly to get them reading. That’s all they need, it’s the code to open up learning in any way they want to. If I push them, they won’t get it any faster than they could by doing it slowly. I do it slowly and punch up whatever they seem ready for.

All the children draw and color. Eldest draws intricate scenes: boats, houses, cross-sections with all kinds of things going on. Sometimes people are in the scenes, often robots, bionicle-like things, dinosaurs, etc. He’s not fastidious, but fastly draws things in, and spends time filling in with lots of things. His “coloring” is hurried too, and it’s sloppy.

His younger brother is 4 years younger. His coloring is really good. His drawing is simplistic. He’s opposite of his brother in that way. He’s also an extrovert, whereas his older brother is an introvert.

The middle child is our girl. She’s into drawing faces. She has some neat things she’s done lately, on a regular sheet of paper, plain 8.5×1, she has faces started landscape at the top left edge and uses up a couple of square inches for each face, one after the other, then down a line and continuing.

She’s had an interesting way of drawing people, usually going for frontal format. Her elder brother is the one that does cross-sections, and makes people/things from different angles. She herself does make people from the side, but likes the faces so much I think, she prefers to make them so that their faces can be shown. πŸ™‚

I’m a doodler, I draw things that flow from my pen. I have never stretched my abilities and done much more. In school I did have “instruction”, in 6th grade more so than not, that I recall best. My teacher there was very strict. She was art and English teacher. My homeroom teacher in 5th grade too. Most people didn’t like her much. She’s one teacher I was sort of afraid of in my lower grades, but when I ended up in her class, I started to see something, and I am thinking of it now, and think she saw something in me that others did not. I think she’s the one who got me to be tested for the gifted program. I didn’t get in, my math stuff was all too low. I felt a softness of lovelyness in that teacher though, when everyone else saw her as hard as nails. Hmm.

So anyhow, I did drawing there in her classes, more formally in 6th grade. She insisted that all English things, like stories and poems, have art included with them. πŸ™‚ You must know that I hadn’t considered her in a long time. She was an older woman (probably only in her 50’s back then πŸ˜‰ ).

I never had considered myself good at replicating actual life. I am able to draw things I see, but I don’t LIKE doing it. I see it too nicely to reproduce it with my poor hand to my own perfections faulting.

So I doodle. I doodle graphical-like. Just shapes of meaning or nonsensical creation. I’ve done a particular type since childhood, mostly then on bookcovers for certain. I still do it today and realized not too long ago it really is like tattoos I’ve seen on people IRL, TV, Print, etc. I’ve not copied it from anything, it’s only natural doodling. Nothing new under the sun, you know. πŸ™‚

One of my most favorite simplistic graphics is what I have on this site in use as my “gravatar”, which is “globally recognized avatar”, something I’ve enabled for comments on this site … you sign up for a free account on the gravatar site, and upload your avatar, and it’s associated with one email address. So anytime you comment on a site that uses the gravatar service, if you use an email address that is registered with then your avatar will load on that comment. You can see mine on any thread of recent time here I’ve commented on. I don’t always comment with that email address on other sites, so I do have a colored version of that graphic I’ll associate at a later time with my other email I use.

I have graphics from very recent years in books and on a few pages of things, and have scanned a few into the computer, and want to get them all in. I don’t really have many that are that good, but some have potential for working on further, and some are standalone pretty good, IMO. Some I have to take into a graphics program and remove lines behind them, seeing as I do often doodle on lined paper. Something I truly want to get away from doing. I want to take my doodling more seriously. It’s actual an art form that I didn’t consider art. It is art. Bowl me over with a feather when I realized that finally. πŸ™‚

Along these lines I’ve been encouraging the children to draw what they want to and to be as careful doing it as they can, making it as nice as possible, without pressuring them to make it perfect. There is a book I have, but haven’t really read it. It met with the Green Incident and I need to replace it. The Green Incident is an Asa Event. He found something that I had under the sink and poured it over a bunch of my stuff, back when I had my old laptop in the kitchen, and had just put a new pile of books that I was going to do stuff with, out. A bunch of good books. The stuff he poured was thick green pungent smelling concentrate to kill worms on tomato plants, etc. “BTKiller”. I was not happy, to say the least. So anyhow, that book I referred to is Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, or something similar. It’s about learning to really use your right-brain to draw, whether you are left-brain dominant or right-brain dominant. Some of it I gleaned, and it’s what made me realized that I do draw with the right-side of my brain. My designs come from my hand, straight from the right-brain, as I don’t design things I think of, I just let it flow. So my thoughts are that someday I can better myself through drawing if I get that book in good form again, and use it with the children and see what can develop.

I often make things with hearts in them, as my gravatar is. I use gel pens, I have a large set of colors, and many of my designs are full of color, and it’s my choice as to what they look like, but I turn my left-brain off entirely and just do it. If you aren’t “right-brain”-ish, you might’nt know what I mean, it’s just automatic for me, not something I have to turn off. It’s particular of me that my left-brain is able to be turned off and on, but my right brain is always on. My left-brain functioning isn’t 100% useful either, just part of it. Well this is part of the whole thing about my family, we are all VS, that’s Visual Spatial, that’s “right-brain dominant”. So I know that my kind of learning is theirs, and we just “do it”. We learn through many things, and I think that reading and artisticness and nature are the best things to learn via. πŸ™‚

So Summer is freedom to me. I hate the thought of formal school in August. (It was hard enough to think it right in September back in my youth! The lure of new supplies is what drew me usually.) It’s stifling of breath to me. It’s stifling to think of learning being something to go to school for. I learned in school a bit, but learned much more outside of school. I learned on my own from the start and never stopped. Summer was the best learning time, reading, reading, reading, no interference from school work; and climing trees, running, exploring the hills, and woods and cemetaries and … ah, just really living and learning from everything around. Drinking it in.

That’s the idea I have of freedom in the first place, real freedom, freedom from tyranny. The Summertime ideal is written of in literature, like The Penrdragon series (King Arthur) by Stephen Lawhead.


We are in Charleston, SC today, just arrived a bit ago. Frank has some business here just a short time, then we’ll be out and about doing things. I’ve been here twice before, in the area, but didn’t do anything really, so this’ll be my first REALLY good look at Charleston.

We were maybe going to go to Savannah this weekend, but ended up here. S is one of my favorite places now, so hopefully we’ll get to get there sooner than later. Both here and there have minor league baseball, we are going to a game here tomorrow. In S we haven’t seen a team there yet. We saw the Smokies in Kodak TN on July 4th. That was AA ball. This here is A ball, in the carolinas and georgia. Frank and I used to go to minor league games (Rookie League) in S. Fl when we lived there, all the time in our first few years of knowing each other. In fact Frank asked me to marry him, right before leaving for a game, was supposed to ask me there but lost it and asked me right in the driveway of my parents house, before pulling out. πŸ˜‰

That was over 13 years ago already. Our anniversary is in August, not listed on the sidebar dates to remember. Frank noticed that, but I haven’t loaded it. It just doesn’t seem I have the right language to use to notify the public about it there πŸ˜‰ It’s a duo-oneflesh-event, but I don’t like using a personal “my anniversary” or an “our anniversary” label, it’s more than that. Anyhow, it’s the 22nd of August, origins from 1992. That really has nothing to do with this post, just that I’m talking of minor league ball and that connects to our early years and how we got engaged and such, so it IS connected, yet not, yet is … πŸ˜†

Here are a few pictures from the hotel room: (edited down in size temporarily while away with ‘Windows Paint’, icky quality, sorry, to be reloaded as nicer quality later)

From the Hotel Window

Storm growing over hotel

The children looking out the hotel window

Asa looking at the camera, Victoria looking out, Russell on the side looking out

A clearer view just a bit later

Out the hotel window after the storm cleared out, not much later. From our 5th floor room.


We will be looking around Charleston tonight and tomorrow, that’s Friday night and Saturday. Don’t know for sure what we’ll see, but I hope to see at least one plantation in the area. Audobon sanctuaries are at two of them, from what I read in some brochures. With my new Canon Digital Rebel I could get some great shots I imagine. So we’ll see as to what we decide to do and what that might bring me to opportunity of photographic delight. πŸ™‚

Comings and Goings

Frank is away on a short trip. He sent me a few photos he took with his cell phone. I haven’t gotten them online yet, but will later tonight I think. I’ll link that here if/when I do.

Frank also told me on the phone earlier that someone might be offering him a job soon. Someone particular that he’s worked with before. It isn’t exactly a need, or a desire, it’s just a possibility of being something interesting. Not exactly that it would work out, we are in the middle of slowly doing the house up, and if a good offer came along, would it be a good enough offer to get us out of this house and onto land without extra penalties? That is the question that drives any answer to any offer πŸ˜‰

Do we even want to go where it is that possible job would want him to be (a general area, not specificly specific), but further from where we are now, facilitating a need to move out of the general region. Q’s Q’s Q’s Q’s and more Q’s.

On another note, pun intended, we are desiring to geer up and get me singing and out there and do a demo. A demo of my voice, singing whatever. I have old recordings on tape that I need to convert to digital.

My real hope is that I’ll get original material to work with, that I can arrange. I have no music room, no piano, and haven’t worked much with music for several years. The last time I sang in public was when I was pregnant with Russell. He turns 9 years of age on Friday, April 29th. :veryshocked:

So it’s been longer than I’ve even thought. I am very shocked at the time.

My last performance was evening church, when I was fairly newly pregnant. I practiced with a friend up to 4 months of pregnancy, then no more. πŸ™

Friends move away. We moved away. That kind of kills motivation and connections and all that.

I am an introvert and do not promote myself well. I need a manager, and Frank promised to be that years ago, and has re-promised just the other day to get up and do it now. πŸ™‚

I really miss singing. I really desire to record. I’ve wanted to do that since I was a young teen. I had great dreams. My first dream was to be a clarinet player in orchestras. My instrument broke in the Spring concert of my 5th grade school year. That was the end of my clarinet dream. No one understood how important it was to me. It was a “oh well, too bad” situation. So I turned to singing after that. In 6th grade I had the lead in our Spring Musical, I was Alice In Wonderland. It wasn’t that I didn’t sing before the clarinet incident, I did. I just was a whiz clarinet player for the first time that 5th grade school year. It was great. I loved it, and loved singing. The instrument was more useful for me though. Without an instrument I had to do it all with my voice.

My voice is a good one. I am not bragging, just stating the facts. God gives us talents and we should use the talents he gives us. So that’s where I am, at 38 years of age, striving to dig out of the hole I’ve been in and … do what it takes to do what we dream of.

I am wanting to do solo work, but also am interested in doing band work. My style is adaptive. I prefer certain types of music though. I can’t say as to how I would prefer to sound, but I will be doing “modern” things and updating old songs for modern use as well.

I like alternative types of music. I like acoustic types of music … in that vein. I like some goth/punk type sounds in the alternative edges. I kind of want to get something in a niche there … something different than is out there now.

Wordings which are to Glorify God, but they won’t be “worship” songs. It’s music for all of life. It can contain explicitly Christian lyrics, or not. It won’t be music that is simply negative or man-centered. It can be love songs, or songs of low times, happy times, or a story about whatever. A hymn jazzed up and mellowed out lyrics with liner notes referencing where the ideas are from. Always having God in the forefront, but not wearing him as a record label. Why? Because I don’t see life as secular/sacred split up. It’s all sacred. All we do is sacred. My God is with me in all I do. When I listen to any music, God is with me. His hand is in me and everyone. Everyone is religious, just that not everyone serves the same god. Not my God. Not the True God. That’s what I want to get out there. That my music is music for all, if you like my style. Listen to it and see what it offers, and get a glimpse of the world I live in. Let it help if it can, help you to seek the one true God. That’s my hope. That it will speak to folks on some level.

We may attempt to self-publish/produce. We don’t know exactly where we’ll go, what we’ll do. We are just in the “OK we are going to do something” stage.

So ultimately this means we will eventually “go on the road” at some point, at different points. We used to want to get an RV and travel. So maybe we will do that. Homeschooling is great, isn’t it? It will work, nothing much will change, only change for the better if anything. We can still do my dream and have a farm. I know that we need something to pay for a farm, and this could help. I know that even if we had a farm and I always stayed there, I’d still need what we’d need to travel — a caretaker, or a couple, young or older, to take care of the animals and such in our absence and do some regular chores daily. Hired Help, in other words.

I’m writing this as a record of intent. That’s why I’m publishing it on this blog, to get it out there.

Exploding things

What a night πŸ™

Tired me began searching for “what to do with chicken breasts” for dinner, with no Daddy here to cook for, just me and the children. I thought of Chicken Parmesan, but I didn’t have any bread crumbs to use at the time … I could have MADE them, but that was more trouble that I wanted.

So I thought of this and that, having to use that Chicken since I had defrosted it yesterday. I looked at a lot of recipes for inspiration here, and finally was inspired to just make the Chicken Parmesan, but differently.

So I put the Chicken Beasts in a big pan with Olive Oil, and browned them nicely on both sides. Sprinkled granulated Garlic over one side of each piece of Chicken Breast, and then a few pinches of Sea Salt over it all.

In another pan I put in a can of diced tomatoes and some finely chopped onion, and heated that up, adding basal, and Sea Salt too.

Then I decided to put that tomato mixer in with the chicken. I combined them and let that cook some more. I took angle hair pasta and put it in hot water in a pan with some tomato paste.

I planned on putting the chicken on a plate and setting that aside, and adding the tomato sauce with partially cooked angle hair in the bottom of a 9×13 glass Pyrex dish. Then on top of that the diced tomato mixer. Then the chicken on top of that.

I got that far.

I was about to pick it all up to put it in the oven for about 15 min. when @#!—BAM—!#@ it exploded all over the place. Glass was everywhere. The tomato sauce all over the stove, all over my dress,and dripping onto the floor. Glass had popped so far. It was clods of glass, with a few shards and slivers. Mostly “safety glass” like though.

That was the WORST thing that has happened this year so far. Worst non-death thing to happen in a long time too, I think.

Of course, it’s just me standing there with no help but my 8 and 6 year olds. 4 year old causing more trouble … it was horrid.

So they are all crying since I said it was all ruined. We were hungry and getting ready to have a nice dinner together. I was tired in the first place, but still plugging along to get it on the table.

What happened?

The pyrec dish was on the stove, I put it on the burner that the pasta had been cooking on. No big deal, it’s stove top friendly. So then I noticed that it was on “7” and I turned it off. I was only planning on plopping the Chicken in and then going to put it all in the oven …

It was more than the dish could take. I will say that it’s an electric yucky stove we have … not a smooth top. So the setting that the burner is on stays that hot for a long time after it’s turned off. Gas or smooth top stove isn’t quite like that. One of them types would have saved our dinner tonight! πŸ™

So instead of eating dinner, I had a huge mess to clean up. Ugh. It was bad, bad, bad, Stove it all clean now though πŸ˜‰ Not my way of getting it that way, not favorite, I mean.

There was some left-over pizza in the fridge that the children then ate. I just had some fresh Mozzarella sliced thin with sea salt on top and into a warm oven for a minute or so to ‘loosen up’.

I put too much sea salt on it though. Blech.

So nothing has gone right with food for me today.

I leave my morning story for the end.

I got out a frozen English Muffin for part of my breakfast. I let it sit till I could easily pry it apart, then put it in the toaster. I toast things funny. I put things down three or four times, turn them around between “downs” and put them in other slots, etc. Here and there, and let them sit awhile between “toastings” too, if I feel like it.

So today, I go back to the toaster. My English Muffin is not there. Hmmm. Ah. Kitty took it. Really. Urgh.

So take 2.

Um forget that.

Take 3 … I got this one toasted and SAVED. I put butter on it. Yum. Then I open up a pack of Cream Cheese, slap some on without really looking: then I looked. Yucky! It was a pack that must have been in the back of the fridge in it’s last week or so, it must have frozen. It was falling apart, grainy, tasted alright, but texture, ugh.

I tried to eat the English Muffin then, but couldn’t. I couldn’t stand the graininess of the Cream Cheese.

Boo Hoo. Poor me. πŸ˜₯

So that was that this morning. Then I build wet fires all day long. Then the Dinner Horror Hour … I’m done for.

Horrible day, horrible, horrible, horrible. If only I could cry. But I can’t, too tired.

I woke up last night/this morning at 4:30 with a screaming migraine on the right side of my head. I was so sick and only half went back to sleep really weird sometime after 6am, for about an hour. So I didn’t get a great start out to the day in the first place. Meds I took (just Excedrin and a Tums) knocked the migraine out when I did that “nap” Thanks be to God for HIS hand in it! But still, I was drained to begin with. Bed time here I come! But I am still hungry.

Too bad this is the kind of stuff that happens when Daddy is away. KWIM?

Strider by Maisy

I am artistic, but not an “artist” by any means. I am not “naturally good with any artistic mediums to create”. I do mean “art” here, as in drawing, painting, etc.

I have a natural talent for being ABLE to do things. I have “my own way” of doing such things. I haven’t been trained. I can train myself to a degree of success, as far as I am desiring to do so.

So last week I saw some things on a craft show on HGTV, some crafting show that highlights 3 different people in the US, and that person “makes their thing” for the camera. Some lady did something with making a cat for some purpose.

I had be thinking of drawing for many months. I am a doodler, a doodler of shapes and squiggly odd things.

So that TV show coupled with my “thinking about it” the previous months prompted me to get out a piece of paper, pencil, and eraser. I created, scanned and printed, then colored that scanned/printed page with gel pens to create THIS:

Strider by Maisy
Strider by Maisy, January 2005

By no means meant to represent actual reality, this is an artsy crafty thing. I just “did it” and it took very little effort. I am very pleased with the outcome, but know it pleases me since I made it and I have no training and know that it’s a good result for the ability I put into it.

It’s just a little test for myself to prove that I do have something I can shape if I just put myself to the task.

My tastes in art have been with Monet, and other Impressionists, as well as older portrait painters [I wrote about some in a post recently connected to a quiz about “who would paint you?”]. And I like arts and craft type things with animals. I like Warren Kimble, for instance, and other such things.

So there is my tribute to the craft of arsty drawing something near and dear. I need better tools, and meanwhile I’ll do some more and see what I can do. I am not interested in doing computer art. I work with photos and create graphics and such in Photoshop Elements.

I am precisely talking about manually drawing on paper and using physical mediums like that and paint, pencils, etc.

I am all for scanning things in. As I did scan in my basic drawing that’s above, then printed it and used THAT copy to finish the drawing and colorize it. I also scanned the finished product. Duh, most obvious, hay? πŸ˜‰

See now, this is something moreso new to me. I’ve not put anything I’ve ever drawn up on this or anyother site. I have no category of “art” or “drawing” or “crafting” or such to put this post in. So it’s an EVENT primarily. πŸ™‚

Categoricalness can be defined later if there is a need for it. Otherwise, it’s just an event, a flick in the wind, something I did then moved on to something else. I fear, not really “fear”–it’s just an expression, that my comfort with the above drawing will lead me past betterment. So I am posting this to motivate myself a bit, hopefully! :veryshocked:

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