Friday, March 26, 2010

From short sleeves to snow boots

Last week this time, I was drying my laundry on the outside line. This week, we're flying by the inside lines. Why? Because we got three inches of snow last night. Hubs said it wasn't going to stick, but it did. Measurable precip was probably more, since it did take a few good hours before it did stick.

K- and I did walk to school this morning, though it was slick. We just gave ourselves extra time. I didn't do such a good job at the extra time thing this afternoon. I always check my start time and I was shocked to see that I was about 3-4 minutes off of what I normally am. 3-4 minutes doesn't seem like a lot, but when it is 2:18 PM and you have a mile to walk in 12 minutes, it is enough to give you a spring in your step.

I made it in 11 minutes. Yes, my calf muscles felt like they would explode. I hauled as fast as my legs would carry me. No, I didn't run, but I can absolutely tell you that I had broken a sweat by the time I reached the top of the hill that the school sits on. Whew. Exercise? Check.

I walked home at a bit more of a leisurely pace. K- helped me bust out another Apple Goodie (Apple Crisp). I made a double pan of corn bread and a ton of chicken thighs and legs (they were on sale and I was helping to feed the masses.) My sister found that she would be the recipient of my brother and his children this weekend. His two, a friend's daughter, her three and her partner's two add up to EIGHT! children in the house. Eight children and three adults is a lot of food. So, I called my sister up. "I know that I only have six thighs and 3 legs, but I have them in the oven for you." My sister was thrilled. She was making chicken, too. She said that she knew that she didn't have enough and didn't quite know what she was going to do. Cooking was the least that I could do for her while she was taking on so many people.

I dropped a small pan of chicken and vegetables off to my sister-in-law who had a hysterectomy on Tuesday. She is having complications and was returning to the ER this evening for the second time this week.

I was able to eek in some time in the studio this week, but not nearly what I wanted to do. I vowed never to cut glass while tired again, after chopping into a tendon in my thumb 10 years back. A surgeon had to stitch me back together and I had hitch hiker thumb for two months. It's just not safe to work in the studio tired. I cut myself. Well, I do anyhow, but I'm even worse when tired.

Hubs is at Home Depot returning the broken Lawn Boy mower that they sent to us. It was 79 pounds, certainly went by dimensional weight (the most expensive, but shipping was free to us) and the box got bashed. It broke a few levers on the lawn mower and Hubs was very sad. HD's customer service told him to return it to the store. Hubs feared that UPS would bash another mower. I can't blame him. K- went with him to make certain that he gets "my favorite color lawn mower." When she found he was returning it, she cried and cried. "But it is my favorite color, mom! Bright green. Bless her babyson heart.

I helped at school yesterday. The teacher had me go over some bits o' information with each kid to see where they were at. If they hadn't already been able to tell her in the past, I had to ask address, phone number, parents names, birth date, shapes, counting to 100 by 1's, 5's and 10's. My sister told me that it would give me gratitude. You really can tell the children that are worked with, those that aren't and those who just have a tough time all the way around. The girl who's birthday it was yesterday couldn't tell me her birthday. I had one girl who white coated and told me that she didn't know how to count. I held up my fingers and one at a time, she counted them. She got to 10 and thought she was done. "Keep going!" She was able to count to 65. Since she could only pull to 29 last time, she did great. Some didn't know their parents names. No one that I was supposed to ask address information was able to tell me their address. A couple kids did get to 100. The kids were all very respectful. I think that it helps that I come into the class a lot. When I went to leave, they all kept giving me hugs. Oh, bless their hearts. I'm so happy that K- is in a room with such a great, fun group of kids. And yes, M- even behaved well for me during the end of the grading period review.

So that brings me to this evening. I'm in my jammies. I'm tired. Other than a Chuck E Cheese birthday party tomorrow, we have nothing else that will keep me from the studio.

My house is clean. My belly is full. My people are out getting a new mower.

It's all good.

New shows: Love them or hate them?

Love: So Who Do You Think You Are?

I watched Sarah Jessica Parker on my own. I roped Hubs into watching Lisa Kudrow the other day. "Darn you, mama." That means I have him hooked.

Hate: High Society

It has come up on my TV twice accidentally. It is just plain gross. Rich women treating people badly and thinking that it is okay to do so because they are who they are or what they own. I don't get why anyone would waste the film on this show/

Love: Biggest Loser

I've always liked Biggest Loser but when Hubs remarked again, "Darn you, mama" I knew I had him hooked on this one, too.

Love: The Antiques Roadshow

It always leaves me surprised about something.

On the fence: Parenthood

Lauren Graham is still Lorelei Gilmore to me, as I probably still remain one of the biggest fans of Gilmore Girls ever. I can't remove that from my mind, though she does do a good job. Yes, I realize that they are dealing with meaty issues like Autism, divorce, baby daddy, teenagers and bad choices along with marital infidelity. However, it kind of turned me off on episode one with an instant roll right into it thing with someone from years past.

On the fence: Celebrity Apprentice

I love that they do charitable work. I hate the petty stuff. I love to see them tackle big jobs together. I hate the egos, though.

On the fence: Kitchen Nightmares

Normally, I'm a Hell's Kitchen kind of girl, but Kitchen Nightmares will have to do. I'm thinking that at this point, am I getting bored of seeing the same kitchens in the same condition with owners who don't want to change and suddenly they do? Gordon, I'm getting bored. Please be censored with your comment.

We aren't normally big TV watchers during the nice seasons. Since we are rolling out of a rather ugly winter, we've been a little house bound.

What shows are working for you?

Sunday smile for the week:
- Bret Michaels telling the kids about his struggles with diabetes. Telling them stories that they live everyday and to have them see that folks live completely happy lives despite having to steer around sugar.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Our Sunday Amish Apple Dessert

My in-law's gave us 1/2 bag of apples that they bought. They are really rather delicious and after putting the finishing touches on our dinner, I decided that a dessert wouldn't be that bad of a thing. I looked through recipe box and found a recipe I barely recognized. Where did I get it? Oh yes! Hubs picked it up for me at the bulk food store in Walnut Creek. They have a test kitchen, where they have crock pots of wonderfulness out for the customers to try. They leave recipes for you to take so that you will hopefully buy the ingredients and make it at home for your family. I've done another one before for cheesy potatoes. Hubs' co-workers loved it.

I know, I know. Just cut to the chase. Here goes:

Apple Goodie
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 t cinnamon
1 T flour
1/8 t salt
2 cups sliced apples
*a decent squirt of vanilla extract

1/2 cup oatmeal (I used rolled oats from the bulk food store)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup butter
1/8 t baking soda
1/8 t baking powder

From top half of recipe, mix together sugar, flour, salt, cinnamon and vanilla extract. (Not called for in the original recipe, but I just had to.) Mix well and place in the bottom of a greased casserole. To make topping: combine dry ingredients and cut in butter to make crumbs. Put crumbs on top of apple mixture.

Bake at 375 degrees for 35-40 minutes. Serve hot or cold with milk. (We didn't use milk, but that would have been good, too.)

Smiles in my Sunday evening:
- Sunday dessert.
- We were able to order Hubs some new garden equipment. As requested, I ordered him the Worx GT edger/trimmer (with an extra battery). We also ordered him a new Lawn boy lawnmower from the Home Depot. They had free shipping and he said, "I thought you might be able to purchase it on My Points." So sweet. He knows my love language. ;) Yes, I could purchase both items through My Points and now I'm sitting with about 15,000 points banked toward Christmas 2010 for him and K-.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Works for Me Wednesday: Soap foam pump refill

I find that refills for the Kandoo and other foaming soap pump products are costly. With the combo of sales and coupons, you can purchase the initial pump at a reasonable cost, but the price of the refills will kill you. I refill them myself. I twist the top off of the foamer bottle and pour about 1" of regular concentrated strength liquid dish soap into the bottom of the container. I then slowly refill with warm water to the fill line. Recap and swirl around gently, so as not to foam it to death. I have also found that turning the bottle upside down and swirling gently helps to keep from clogging the feeder tube with full strength soap. It doesn't like full strength soap! Turn the bottle rightside up and it's ready! Voila!

This post originally appeared on October 29, 2008.

A smile on my Sunday:
- K- had swimming lessons for 45 minutes and was extremely hungry when we left. I was too, so I decided that we could take a rare spin through Burger King's drive thru. We each got a double cheeseburger and that was it. (Though she was trying to talk me into a kid meal because they have "pinkalicious ice cream, I think!") On the way home she asked, "Mommy, if I plant this seed from my hamburger [bun] will a hamburger tree grow?" "That's a good question, but nope, I'm sorry to say that it won't."

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Tales from the Trenches: It's that time of year where . . .

You leave the house in a full winter coat and wished that you had shorts on by mid day.

You could wear sunscreen one day and winter boots the next.

Easter egg hunts are scheduled "snow or shine."

The Easter bunny may need a scarf.

Sandals for Easter are a complete toss-up. Have shoes and pretty socks as a back-up for the young ladies.

Spring break could be sledding or planting-- all at the same locale.

The heat is on one day and the next day you can't find enough windows to open and fans to turn on.

The birds return and start chirping at 4 AM.

There could be thunder snow.

The tornado sirens are tested as snow plows are making their way up the streets.

The laundry line re-opens. :)

The buds are appearing on the trees.

Walks to school are brisk, but get my day kick started.

Though it is a mixed bag in NE Ohio, I am so glad that it is spring!

Smiley thought on my Sunday evening:
- Spring!

Monday, March 22, 2010

The internet version of a forced Lenten sacrifice.

It seems as though Mike has had it. Well, with his cable/phone/internet package purchase that is. He told me that he'll be phoning Sunday evening to let the blessed company that is holding his services that he will be dumping 2/3 of his package.

Hi. We're a part of that 2/3.

He's going back to Direct TV. He'll be ditching his land line. He told us Friday night that he only calls us on it anyhow. By parceling out the services with other folks, he'll pay a lot less. It seems as though the company should be charging him $101.00 per month, but his bills have been $275.00 and $211.00. He's not impressed by their customer service. When he called about the first month bill (the $275.00 only AFTER he paid it), they said that they would give him a credit and an additional month for free.

That hasn't happened.

Where does that leave us? Well, we'll be internet free for probably 4-5 days. Really, it isn't a bad thing, since I need to get into the studio and get cracking on some work. I'm in the staff show at work in a month and I admit that I have one piece complete.

That isn't quite going to do it.

So, we'll be back online soon enough. He can't believe that the new system that he tried was so incredibly bad. Sometimes it just doesn't pay to be the first in line for something brand new and shiny, does it. You've got to give them time to work the kinks out, right? At least, that is how we operate.

So, I don't know when I'll be in or out, but I hope that you have a fantastic week!


Internet impaired blogger

Smiles in my weekend:
- K- very excitedly read her poetry notebook to me, Hubs and to my Aunt and 92 year old grandmother. She gained three credits on her 100 book challenge for that!
- Mike, who I'm convinced still feels bad that we bought 150.00 worth of internet antennas that we didn't need and can't return, brought us a wireless keyboard and wireless mouse tonight. They were from his Apple gone rotten from a love that decided to pour cooking oil into his computer. Guess what? The mouse and keyboard survived just fine. We were working with the original keyboard to the Gateway that we bought in 1998. The mouse that we were using was a reject from him anyhow! How nice to have some new tools. I told him that he just updated us to this decade. ;)
- I figured out how to use Picasa to edit my blog header and to actually include the blog name! :)
- I wrote a bunch of posts for this week, so if my smiles seem thing, it is because I'm not certain that we will have internet access or not. Mike hasn't called this evening, but I'm certain that it will be out for a while. Just know that I'm still smiling!
- That my friend Kim, despite having dumped her bike and bashed her arm badly, did NOT break her arm. She did, however, rip a big hole into her elbow and I could see her bone. Oh, that was too gross. (Yes, it sounds gross, but seeing it was worse.) Thankfully, she has "bones of an 18 year old" so she'll come through just fine.