Showing posts from January, 2008

Fifty Two

Today is my Dad's birthday. He would have been 55. But since he died at 52, he's still 52 in my mind. My Mom's the one who's getting older!

That was my attempt to make her laugh on a hard day. Please visit her blog and make your own attempt. Thanks!

What Should I Read Next?

From Clutter to Clarity

I went to a workshop at my library last night. "From Clutter to Clarity: A Holistic Approach." I was expecting some practical tips to help me organize the top of my desk and our nightmare of a basement. What I got was a lady ringing a bell to clear the air between segments, being forced to stand up with my right hand over my heart and my left hand over my solar plexus and repeat at least ten clutter clearing affirmations, and the chance to pat fellow audience member strangers on the back and high five them while telling them they are great clutter clearers. Oh, and I got a feng shui book recommendation.

I can't really complain too much, I did get the following helpful tips:
Green Disk-recycling electronics
IRS record keeping tips

And a free evening out with no kids!


My computer is back! And it has a whole new motherboard. Allan insisted on the extended warranty for $179 when we bought it and I disagreed. Well, honey, you were right! That's once.

How This Happened (Computerless VIII)

1. Notice guest dog is allowed on the furniture while you are not.
2. Jump on the love seat and have a nap when no one is around.
3. Get on if only Mom is home. If she sees you, jump off and look ashamed.
4. Slowly start forgetting to jump off when Mom is around.
5. Freely nap on the love seat Monday through Friday from nine to five.
6. Repeat above process with Dad, only much more gradual and making concerted effort to look really really comfortable so he feels bad telling you to get off.
7. Get on the love seat anytime you please because now it's yours!

Go See It! (Computerless VII)

Cub scouts is a good experience for Alex, so far he's been to the fire station, our local river watershed association and to the high school film studio where our public access television shows are filmed. Here he is taking a turn behind the camera. His turn in front of the camera was so obnoxious that I was relieved to learn that it wasn't being filmed!

Computerless IV

I'm going to have to reconsider using my computer's calendar for our family calendar. I forgot to check it before we dropped off the computer and now I've had a strange feeling that I'm forgetting something. Maybe I could at least post it on a web-based calendar so it would be available if our computer crashed. On that note, considering how dependent we are on the thing we bought a backup external hard drive and Leopard software which automatically backs everything up every I want to say half hour so when we finally get the thing back, assuming everything is there we should be good. I've been able to pay bills online but since our checking register is in Quicken and our monthly cash flow plan is there too I've had a strange feeling I'm going to be bouncing checks soon so that has kept me home as well. My microfiber leisure suit has gotten a lot of use this week!

And I'd like to wish a very happy 55th birthday to my mom who is cruising the southern c…

Computerless III

Black Bean Soup (quick, easy, and good and I usually have everything on hand)

from the book Desperation Dinners by Beverly Mills and Alicia Ross
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 (15 ounce) cans black beans
1 (14 ounce) can chicken broth
1 can diced tomatoes with green chilies
1 teaspoon dried thyme
3 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 (15 ounce) can corn kernels, drained
1. Heat oil in the soup pot on medium heat.
2. Add onions and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. While onions brown slightly, pour 1 can of beans and juice into a large cereal bowl using the back of a serving sized spoon, mash the beans until they are broken up and pasty.
4. Add the garlic into the soup pot and cook 1 minute.
5. Raise the heat to high and add broth.
6. Both cans of beans and their juice, stir well.
7. Add tomatoes, thyme, bay leaves, cumin and vinegar and corn if desired.
8. Cover pot and bring to a boil.
9. Reduce heat to low a…

Computerless II

David has watched Alex pull the plastic dog food container out from under the sink and use the scoop to fill Nugget's bowl enough times that he knew just what to do when Allan I weren't looking. He had to knock the container over a few times to get it open and then had a little trouble getting the food in the bowl, but Nugget didn't seem to mind.


The Apple Store has our computer. Our CD drive is broken. A week. Will try to snag Allan's laptop for quick updates. Whatever will I do all day long?

Day Off

Allan realized on Friday that he has today off. We're all off! It's been awhile since we've had a family day, I think it was the day after Christmas. I'm wearing my leisure suit and we're going out for breakfast. As soon as Alex wakes up and Allan gets in the shower. Maybe we should aim for lunch!

Track Shipments

You mean online tracking a shipment seven hundred times doesn't make it get here any faster?

Opt Out

Here are two handy links from Parents Magazine for decreasing junk mail:
Direct Marketing-requires credit card to prove identity but doesn't charge it.
Catalog Choice-stop unwanted catalogs, free.

Role Reversal

Usually David drops things on the floor and Nugget cleans them up.

How Wii Made Money Today

Remember the Wii I ordered prior to Christmas and then ended up getting one from a friend? I got an email from Walmart saying it has shipped and will arrive on Friday. It was $249 plus tax and shipping so it came to $296. I listed it on ebay with a buy it now option of $350. It sold within 15 minutes. And the guy paid for it with paypal. So now I have someone else's money and I'm stalking UPS's tracking site to make sure that I get it by Friday so I can turn around and mail it to Jason and maintain my excellent ebay feedback score. This knot in the pit of my stomach is not going to be worth fifty four bucks! Oh, minus $9 when Paypal and $12.68 Ebay take their pieces.

Mom's Vegetable Beef Soup

1 lb stew beef
Nature's Seasoning or salt and pepper
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, diced
6 carrots, sliced
1 cup rutabaga, diced
1 medium cabbage, shredded

1 can tomato paste
32 oz beef broth
*Season beef with Nature's Seasoning. Brown with oil and onion.

Add broth and 32 oz water. Simmer one hour. Add tomato paste. Simmer
another hour. Add vegetables and simmer 2-3 hours. Season to taste.

Travel Plans

Our February Vacation:
Monday: drive 6 hours 41 minutes to Allan's parents' house in PA; stay in WATERPARK! hotel checking out Friday morning.
Friday: drive 2 hours 39 minutes to Liberty State Park, NJ. Take ferry to see the Statue of Liberty. Drive 2 hours 43 minutes to Mystic, CT check into hotel without pool. Sorry.
Saturday: spend up to four hours at the Mystic Aquarium. Have lunch. Hit road and drive 2 hours 7 minutes back home.
Sunday: R&R


After five days of being a single mom I'm ready for Allan to come home! I really respect single mothers and I honestly don't think I could do it. I've let a few things slide while he was away:
*David had two baths, Alex had two self baths so who knows how clean he got. In a normal week David would have had 3 baths and Alex five.
*Nugget didn't have to go in his crate at night, he slept on the floor in our bedroom. I don't think I put his shock collar on once and I know he missed at least one meal.
*We had crap for dinner every night. But we did eat before six.
*Everybody went to bed earlier than usual. And got up earlier than usual.
*Alex only missed the bus once.
*David may have lost weight because he's been refusing to be spoon-fed and doesn't manage to get much in his mouth by himself. Allan is good at sneaking in bites.
*Shockingly, I'm caught up on laundry. That is until Allan gets home and stuffs the hamper with his dirty clothes.
Even so-hu…

Leisure Suit

The microfleece hoodie and pants set that Allan got me for my birthday arrived today. My plan was to try it on and wash it so I can wear it tomorrow. It's so comfortable that my new plan is to leave it on until I get another one with which to alternate. It's like wearing cake batter.

Somebody in California is About to Shit a Brick

Sigh. I had the best intentions. I've always hated our master bathroom hardware. It's green and leafy. I bought a new towel rack, hand towel rack, robe hook and toilet paper holder. I removed the old stuff. I meant for Allan to come home from his trip to find lovely new fixtures in the bathroom. By the time I figured out how to get the drill to hold on to the bit I realized I was in over my head. So now he's going to come home to the toilet paper roll and hand towel on the counter, my towel sharing a bar with his and my robe in a sad puddle on the floor. Oh, and a small hole in the wall where the plastic anchor thing popped through. Sigh.

Staying Home

I've been really trying to stay at home more so I spend less. Shopping is sometimes a hobby, a distraction. So since Monday I've bought the following items online:
a birthday gift for my mom (necessary)
a birthday gift for my nephew (again, necessary!)
a swimsuit and flip flops for Alex (necessary!)
barbecue sauce (direct from Austin, TX-necessary!)
contact solution (put directly on my flexible spending card so it doesn't count, besides-it's necessary!)
a membership to gamefly so we can rent wii games through the mail, kind of like netflix (somehow I just can't call it necessary)

Maybe tomorrow I'll try going out again.

I Turn My Back For One Second!


Number Three

I was worried how David would be now that Number One is on a business trip and Number Two went back to North Dakota. But he's just fine. I guess he doesn't really care who is changing the diaper or pouring the milk into the sippy cup.


We have a functioning downstairs toilet. And you know I was the first to pee and poop in it.

Mom's Potato Soup

Chop about 6-8 pieces of bacon and brown it. Just before it's done, add minced onion and cook until it's tender. Drain off the grease. Pour in a can of chicken broth and add diced potatoes (make sure the potatoes are covered with liquid, you can add water or more broth if you have to.) Cook until the potatoes are done, smooshing them along the sides of the pot with a large spoon. Add half and half and heat through. Mix flour and water to make a paste to thicken the soup with and season to taste with Nature's Seasoning or salt and pepper.

To Do Today

Grocery store
three loads laundry
unload/reload dishwasher
pick up everywhere
save princess

There's Nothing I Enjoy More Than a Good Pluck

I think I was 18 or 19 when I plucked off a third of my eyebrows. My sister was the first to notice. She told me she's known me my whole life so naturally she would be the one to notice. A few years later she asked me to pluck her brows. And a few years after that my Mom was brave enough to go under my tweezers. And then I did Grandma Phyllis and she looked at least ten years younger. Now whenever I see my Mom I'm required to pluck her brows. Someday I hope she lets me pluck them all off so she can draw them in.

Back to the Grind

Allan is back to work today, Alex is back to school, I'm facing a mountain of laundry but the bright side is that my personal chef is in town until Friday.