Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Bad Cooking Mama

It started with frozen fresh spinach in the garage refrigerator.  It got too cold out there and wasn't good for salads anymore.  The only way to use it would be to cook it.  Got to thinking about the Chairman.  Occasionally, when we eat out at a place where you can actually choose a 'side', he'll choose creamed spinach.  So I "Googled" a recipe up and made it.  Some onion.  Some garlic.  A bit of nutmeg.  Salt and pepper.  And a splash of cream.  Voila!  Creamed spinach that looked right dandy.  Put it on the table with our tilapia loins, pasta, and a salad.  Gave each kid a spoonful (since I knew they wouldn't take it themselves).  And made them eat it.  One teaspoonful.  You would have thought I was asking them to eat cowpies.  Gag.  Gross.  Eeeew.  Look at the slime ball on my plate.  Daughter # 2 even had the idea if it falls off her plate onto the table then it is 'dirty' and she can't eat it.  So she keeps pushing her fork that way to see it fall.  I scoop it up back onto her plate.  Now mind you when the kids complain about a meal, I get a bit rumpled.  Testy.  Or just plain mad at the fact I labored over something tasty and nutritious only to be snubbed by the small fry.  This time it went beyond that.  I wasn't mad.  It was funny.  (I might add the Chairman ate enthusiastically!)

So!  After they had the spinach nearly physically jammed down their throat ate their yummy creamed spinach, I asked what they thought would be good for the following night.  In unison, daughter #1 and son #1 decided they wanted to make supper themselves. 

I walked into the kitchen the following night to a tablecloth (which is rarely used around here).  A set table (without anyone complaining they had to do it), and two young people feverishly working in the kitchen with the oven, knives, and other scary things.  I was told to stay out.  And out I stayed.  

When meal time arrived, they took orders from everyone off a menu.  It comprised of beef sandwiches, oven potatoes, Sun Chips (kids gotta have some fun you know), salad, fruit, and a gingersnap.  It was a 'lunchy' supper.  But you know what?  It tasted good.  And they were so proud.  And they made a memory.  

And after the last bite was eaten and the plates cleared, they ran off to play with the Chairman.  And left me with a lot of kitchen to clean.  But it was worth it.  For them.  Especially since they weren't eating creamed spinach.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Monday Musings

just because I like it... 

Not much to muse about today.  And I hardly want to stretch it out to more than it is.  Namely because you come to read something interesting, not dull.  And actually, dull it has been.  Or maybe I'm dull?  Dunno.

Just back from a long walk at a community park two miles away.  I realized there that we live in a wonderful area. I walked about 4 miles and never encountered anyone save a couple excited crows, a pigeon with wing issues that Lisi gave a good scare to, and a scurrying squirrel.  I love to stop and listen to... nothing.  Just the chirps of birds and the wind.  All this is just 1/2 hour from downtown Milwaukee.  Yes indeed, it is lovely.

This weekend some friends of ours hosted a paintballing afternoon.  The Chairman and son #1 went.  The girls went early to socialize.  And I came later with the 'goods' to eat.  The crowd was mainly boys and teenage men. And I gotta say.  Guys are just... well... great.  They talk about tires and engines and roaring things and doing crazy stuff on skis.  And some of them are just plain funny.  Oh to be a big goof of a teenage guy.  What a riot. I must say I felt (ahem) a bit middle-aged that night.

The Chairman was on a mission yesterday.  He decided the family needs more exercise.  So off we went to a big trail about 15 minutes north of here.  It was a death march long walk.  But beautiful.  A running river ran beside us.  There were downed trees that were great balance beams.  And places to sit and watch the river running by.  It was a very long walk nice.   Had to have a big pile of homemade nachos to recover the calories once we got home again.

Daughter #2 is concerned.  She gets two fillings done tomorrow.  Her first time.  She worries about the numbing stuff.  She worries about the shot and how many.  The dental office suggested we bring an I-pod for her.  But I don't have music loaded and certainly don't want to pay for each song.  Need to go figure out how to get something on it to distract her from the business at hand.

Last night daughter #2 was coughing and coughing and I asked her "did you smoke over at A's house on Friday night when you stayed over?"  Without skipping a beat she said, 'yeah, T. (the dad) went and bought cigarettes for us and we all smoked - even K (the mom).  (If you knew these wonderful and understated people, you'd think this was even funnier.)  Yes daughter #2 comes off as the quiet one in public, but in reality, she's just a nut.

Wish I could write more about daughter #1, but it's hard.  Namely because she's been just her happy-go-lucky self.  Singing at her perfect pitch.  Designing something of clay.  And composing long musical acts for us to watch each evening.  An artist in our midst.  Scares the willies out of me.  Because, well, I'm not artistic.

Privileges are coming later this week!  Like people coming in from afar.  And sharing wonderful messages for us personally.  Yes, we are privileged!

And this my friends is enough musing.  There are gingersnaps to bake, a floor to mop, and snacks to present for the many young people.

Friday, March 25, 2011


Lots of you I know personally.  Some I know only by name on the web.  Some of you stumbled upon this site because you were looking for a present for your Chairman or wanted to know how to kill a chicken and the search engine directed you here.  Anyway... stats.  Never liked that class in college, but I find them fascinating today.

p.s.  still can hardly take in the fact why there would be 37,436 views were to the Chairman and company....  that's cRaZy!

Profile Visitor Map - Click to view visits

114 views in past 24 hours - 37,436 views in all time

Popular Countries
 United States10807
Satellite Provider12
 South Africa3
 United Kingdom2
 Hong Kong1
 New Zealand1
 Puerto Rico1

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Thinking on Thursday

Thinking thirty thoughts.  Or less.  Just back from taking daughter #1 for a booster shot.  On a scale of 1-10 her pain threshold is about a -4.  So a shot is the worst. thing. ever.  She didn't say but I could tell she was thinking that it would be right-dandy to just come home and relax after the trauma of the needle.  Well her sweet little self just got checked back into school.

Dogs.  I probably talk about them too much.  Especially to you non-dog people.  But I always feel myself smile when I see the utter happiness Lisi has when I (or we) come home.  Doesn't matter if we've been gone for five minutes, five hours, or five days.  She's just plain happy to see her family again.  I think people should be a bit more like that.  Enthusiasm is contagious.

Made a meal last night that had the word 'casserole' as part of the menu.  I should know better.  Quite frankly, my family doesn't like casseroles of any kind really.  Which is a shame.  Anything gooped up with a soup base with vegetables, meat, and something else mysterious never goes over well.  The Chairman (who I might add is wonderful at giving compliments if they are deserved) ate his meal quietly....  it's funny in hindsight.

If anyone out there likes shopping for clothes and knows my style, size, and budget, I'm all for you picking me up  a new wardrobe something to wear.  I don't enjoy clothes shopping.  At all.

Speaking of clothes, why are socks so expensive?  Two bucks/pair for kids' socks.  And... we seem to be needing new ones around here too often.  Ugh.

Yesterday, I worked all day at the school.  A combined school concert thing.  And I just plain enjoyed it.  Really.  Sometimes field trips and other volunteer 'opportunities' are real clock-watchers for me.  Yesterday was great.  I got to hear good music.  Be around nice kids.  And be busy.  And for some reason it felt kinda fun to actually have a "job" beyond swishing the mop around the kitchen.  Maybe I'm into self-importance.  Or not.

And!  I finally backed up our pictures on a couple USB things.  Was playing Russian Roulette with ours.  Had four years on one of our computers with no back-up at all.  Haven't printed anything off since 2008.  What do you other people do?  I can't decide if I want to invest in printing pictures and stuffing them in books or what.  Hmmmm.  But I think I would like some to look at beyond on a computer screen.

This is certainly enough.  I have two big, pleading brown eyes looking at me wondering when we're going to be heading down the path.  At least it isn't raining!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Raining cats and dogs... well just dogs in this one

So dreadfully bored... can we PLEASE go now?
I know it's raining... but you know you won't melt...

Quit complaining... it isn't that bad

It worked.  The pleading eyes.  The pacing.  And the heavy sighs.  She kept saying no.  Kept moving on to do busy work that she thinks is important.  But after awhile I wore her down.  And then she said those magic words, 'do you really want to go for a walk today?'.  She was hoping I'd nod my head "no".  But I'm a dog.  I don't know how to do that.  And, well, let me tell you a secret.  I don't care if it is raining or snowing or sleeting or blowing 70 mph sideways.  I want to go.  Walks are my thing.  Well my life actually.  

So off we went!  In the driving rain.  And it was lovely.  All those fresh smells.  Dead worms on the path.  And things to chase.  The big lady that yells but loves me anyway didn't seem to enjoy it today as much as I did.  Well I'm trying to keep her figure in check.  She's been working on mine, so I figure it is fair play.  If we both want a nice waistline, we have to walk.  

The only problem for her is that she has clothes to dry and I have just a stinky wet body to deal with.  I even heard her tell someone she was wet to the skivvies whatever that means.  But it was worth it.   And best of all, she didn't even yell!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Monday Musings

Some dread Mondays.  I just plain like them.  Maybe I like musing.  Or maybe I like being alone for a bit after a busy weekend.

Started the day early.  Like way early.  Like 5 o'clock early.  Suddenly was thinking about a bill I should pay on-line.  Then after I checked that out I thought I might as well check e-mail.  Then looked at my Google reader.  Then FB.  Then perused the news.  Checked out the latest March madness basketball scores (Go Badgers and Marquette!).  And then back to the weather.  Then I realized I might still be tired and crawled in bed for ten minutes until the alarm sounded.  Makes me think of this cartoon... (thanks AB!)

Speaking of sleeping.  In a conversation yesterday, a lady mentioned how she finally went to sleep at 3 the night before (technically, it would be that morning).  Anyhoo.  I was thinking how it is generally women that have sleeping issues.  I hear middle-aged women talk about it often.  Do you ever hear a bunch of old geezers talking about sleep issues?  Really?  I haven't.  Seems men and boys are created to put their heads down on a pillow and 'bam'.  They are gone until morning.  Why is that?  Do we ladies think more?  Feel more?  Worry more?  Or...

We had friends over for dinner yesterday.  I love the feeling of having people around the table. Enjoying the food.  Enjoying each other.  Enjoying life together.  That's about as good as it gets for me.

Did you know wild turkeys can almost outrun a dog?  At least our dog.  Lisi gave chase on Saturday to a huge flock of turkeys.  They ran and ran and ran (looking really stupid all the while).  She almost didn't get them to take flight until she got three of them separated from the main group.  Finally they took off.  And she came back quite exhausted.

Daughter #2 came up to me last week while I was preoccupied.  "Mom, I've changed my mind.  I don't want a walking cast anymore.  I would rather have a casket."  That's nice.....  WHAT?  What did you just say?  "I decided I'd have a lot more fun if I had a casket to play funeral with than to just have a walking cast with my crutches."  Why would you want to play funeral?  "Because it would be fun.  We could do all the funeral stuff.  Is there a way to buy a casket if you aren't dead?".  Oh my.  I told her yes, but I will have to draw the line on that.  Kids!

And!!!  I've been promoted!  You see there's a big all-school choir thingy happening at our school this week.  I was asked to volunteer for it.  But let me tell you and I don't mean to brag or anything, but I'm the "head volunteer" who gets to boss the other volunteers around!  How great is that?  The pay... well... a pay raise of 25% of nothing is still nothing.  I do like the idea of being bossy though...  just ask my mean older brother.

Better get moving on this Monday!  Thanks for the chat!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Birthday (times 4)

A few weeks back I mentioned on this very wonderful blog that we live in an area where there are a lot of good friends to be with.  And it is true.  Someone put a bug in my ear (well not literally) that there was a birthday coming for someone that is quite special.  She's always said she was going to be "29 and holding...", so this was the year!  Why not throw a party!  It just happened to be the week of three other birthdays, so we did a mass invite and attempted to surprise the "29 and holding" lady, but her ears are big and she's the inquisitive type.  

So she wasn't completely surprised.  But the contributions were incredibly tasty.  The conversations were interesting and informative.  The singing was awesome.  And the fellowship sweet.  

So we were nineteen around a few tables.  I wish I could have invited everyone.  Because, well, I like everyone. But this time we tried to limit it to under 20 and manged to do that.  So that is that.  And the birthday candles are now blown out.  And now we have a happy memory to go with it.  

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Scrapbooking and blogging...

Definitely not me...

Definitely me...
I've felt inferior for some time now.  You see I'm surrounded by talented friends.  They enjoy hobbies and crafts and interests of many varieties.  And they stamp beautiful cards.  They create memory books to be shared with their great-grandchildren some day.  And because of this, I've felt kind of left out.  Big sniff.  Snort.  Blow my nose.  One great big pity party for me.  They would gather together in a fun spot.  Share stories.  Laugh.  Talk about situations.  And scrapbook or stamp their little hearts out.  It is a club I'm not a part of.  Well actually, this isn't being honest.  For a very long time they would always kindly ask (since they felt sorry for me) to come join them.  They still do.  Ugh.  Totally out of my element.  I'm good for a laugh.  I'll even bring lunch!  But don't get a stamp pad close to me.  Or worse yet, make me come up with a neat idea to surround my picture with.  No sirreee.

Then the other day as I was finishing up my "Musings" I realized something.  I am scrapbooking!  Just on a different medium.  I have preserved ordinary days.  I've got pictures surrounded with a lot of wordy words - just not on pretty paper.  It's in a different 'package' if you will.  Our children will be able to look back on these ordinary days and see what life was back way back in 2009.  And hopefully, they won't be too upset with the silly stories I've posted just about them.

And so I'm sitting up a little straighter these days.  I can create!  I can create a memory 'book' if you will.  Just here in cyber-world and not on some beautiful card stock.  I love what my friends create.  I'm flat-out envious of their creations.  But I'll just have to be content with this.  Because this is what I enjoy doing.  And isn't that what a hobby is all about?

Monday, March 14, 2011

Monday Musings

This might be so random that your brain gets whiplash.  So hang on for the ride.

Last night at dusk (which happened to be an hour later!  Hooray for time change!), there was lots and lots and lots of honking.  No not cars silly.  Canadian geese heading north!  It makes my heart stir with joy to see the throngs of them.  I did an estimate count of over a thousand before I nearly walked into a tree.  Then I just enjoyed the soft flutter of their wings overhead and the honks.  What are they saying to each other?  "Hey, tell Martin to move on it!"  "Who's going up front next?"  "Can we stop pretty soon?"  "Her wing flap touched mine and it made me slow down!"  I dunno.  But they honk and flap and head north.  Funny thing though is why I'm so happy to see them.  Once they really descend on our area I 'sic' the dog after them.  I've even been known to throw rocks at their heads try to startle them in the water.

Cerulean blue.  Do you know that color?  Google it if you're confused.  It is probably my favorite color and always has been.  I just found a random fact tonight.  Did you know out of the top 50 colors that Crayola produces that it is number 2?  I'm not so unique after all I guess.  But I still love that color.

The ol' blood-thirsty dog got woodchuck #2 yesterday.  I honestly felt bad for the fellow.  But they do make quite a mess of the grass.  Hmmm.  I might have to stop her killing instincts.

So we went to the local sports show this weekend.  I got dressed and all ready to go and the Chairman takes one look at me and says, 'you might be a bit overdressed for this'.  And so I took off my scarf on my neck, put on some boots that were a bit more rough looking and we headed out.  And you know what?  He was right.  The attire was basically jeans with dirty work boots, camo and lots and lots of camo, and Packer sweatshirts.  Funny thing with all that camo.  Doesn't look like that many people when they all blend in together.  And the stands at the shows looked empty.  Couldn't see them up there.  No sireee.  They are in camo!  Just a bunch of faces and hands.  I'm thinking next year if we went I'll wear blaze orange head to toe.  Maybe they'll all show a greater degree of respect to me.  Either that, or at least not aim anything my direction.

Did you know they have an enclosed smoking tent and a trailer place where you can spit your snus?  Only at sports shows I reckon.  I didn't go in to see what was inside.  I promise.

So there were a couple of climbing walls.  Son #1 and Daughter #2 went up as well as their friend S.  Looks fun and scary at the same time.  Then!  We walked by an Army area.  They were doing this thing where if you did (what I heard) 15 push-ups, you get a free gift!  So I encourage son and daughter to do it!  Free!!!  That's right up our alley.  Well as they got started I realized they said 50, not 15.  My bad.  Bad, bad mother.  At one point son #1 gave me a slight glare with a red face.  But he kept on as Mr. Clean-haircut Army Recruiter was encouraging and yelling like it was basic training.  And you know what?  They both did all 50 the the cheers of a crowd around!  And they walked off with a US Army tote and nice flashlight for their very sore arms.  Yesterday, son #1 kept mentioning his sore arms to me just in case I forgot that I'm the one that nudged him to go in and do "15" push-ups.  So very sorry.  Not.

On a more serious note, we are so very concerned for the country of Japan.  For the destruction, loss of homes and lives, and for the unforeseen future.  But thankful for an anchor to keep us from feeling fearful.

Maybe I'll post some pictures.  And then hope that your necks aren't reeling from the utter randomness of this post.

First completed model car!
Almost to the top!
Lots of work!
Drop and do 15... I mean 50!
Friends!  Well actually 3rd cousins!
No clue how much his arms will soon hurt...
 Happy week ahead!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

It's not what it appears

Lets see... if I just bite the cap off...(hey, I live in the beer capital of the country!)

Find a comfortable spot to enjoy...

Oh no.  The big lady caught me...(quick put on pretty face)
Hmmm.  This might ruin my clean-cut reputation.  Better go find the recycle bucket. 
It wouldn't taste like rabbit guts anyway...
Ed. note:  Lisi found a plastic beer bottle in the ditch.  She was most enamored with it.