Showing posts from January, 2013

Jim's Beer Barbecue Sauce

In honor of what would have been my dad's 60th birthday I'm making and posting his recipe for beer barbecue sauce.  I'm willing to bet my mom let it simmer extra long after he quit drinking in 1987.  I'll let you know how it works out with a 6 oz can of tomato paste and 6 oz of water in place of the ketchup (gag.)

12 oz can beer 1-½ cups ketchup ½ cup brown sugar 1 tsp dry mustard 1 tsp red pepper flakes 1 tsp basil 2 tsp Dijon mustard 8 dashes Worcestershire sauce *Combine and bring to a boil.Reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes.Turn off heat.About 10 minutes before ready to use, simmer uncovered so it will thicken a bit.Makes about 3 cups.

Maple Butternut Soup

3 lb butternut or acorn squash
1 stick butter
1 1/2 large sweet onions, finely chopped
1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 cups milk
3-4 cups chicken broth
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup maple syrup

*Halve squash and scoop out seeds.  Roast in a shallow pan with water at 350 degrees until soft, about 45 minutes.  Let cool, peel and puree.  Melt butter in stockpot and saute onions until translucent.  Sprinkle flour over onions, raise heat to medium and cooks, stirring constantly for about 2 minutes.  Slowly stir in milk and broth.  Add salt and cayenne.  Add pureed squash. Stir in maple syrup and cream and simmer several more minutes.

Husband & Wife

David and Tom have a new game.  David is the husband.  He drives the car fast.  Tom is the wife.  She runs behind screaming.  Oh, how they flatter me.


I haven't done any product testing in over a year but now the products that we tested are coming out.  I tested John Frieda 3-Day Straight hair straightener.  David tested  Tom tested Pampers sensitive baby wipes and Arm & Hammer Sensitive Skin Plus Skin-Friendly Fresh Scent laundry detergent.  Actually we all tested the laundry detergent but Tom's sensitive skin is what they were interested in.

Nugget tested a dog treat (he liked it!) and I a body wash but I wasn't told the brand names so I have no idea if they made it to market.

They are all great products and I feel strangely proud to have been part of the testing!


Allan comes home today!  My weak moment came last night when I had Alex at basketball practice and had to take the little boys to Michaels to pick up some yarn. It was late and the wind chill was in the single digits.  I got out of the van and started walking to the wrong side and stumbled on some uneven pavement.  I corrected myself and grabbed Tom from the right side and since it was so cold I carried him around to get David and this time turned my ankle on the uneven pavement and DROPPED TOM IN THE PARKING LOT.  I can still hear the thwack sound his skull made when it hit.

I picked him up, got both boys in the store, fished a Life Saver out of my purse for him and he stopped crying.  It took two more pieces of candy but we made it to the checkout in one piece and of course he had to tell the cashier, "Mommy dropped me in the parking lot."  He seems totally fine but I'm still kicking myself.

We got out of there without the police being called and made it back to bas…

Happy Birthday, Mom

I was doing some math in the shower and realized when my mom was my age I was 15 and my sister was 17.  Those were some awful years.  And, hopefully, now that she's sixty those painful teenage years are a faint memory replaced by years and years of love and devotion.

Three Weeks

I've gone three weeks without eating out.  The longest I've ever gone.  It's easier now that it has become a habit.  I'm not spending much more at the grocery store, 5-10% I would guess.  Leftovers all get eaten.  Tom can pass a McDonalds without comment.  I haven't lost any weight but my wallet is thicker.  I've had to rely on my glove box buffet a time or two so I was glad to have thought of that.

My mom's 60th birthday is tomorrow so I will be taking her out when she comes to visit next month.  I think I'll choose one meal a month to enjoy out.  I wish I could go back and add up how much I was spending on a coffee here, a quick bite there because I think even if I went to the most expensive restaurant in town where Allan and I easily spend $100 I could do that with him once a month and spend less that way.  And enjoy it so much more!


I finished Tom's green hat and he wore it nonstop for three days.  David requested a camouflage hat and when I finished that he wore it for three minutes and decided it was itchy and now neither one of them will wear their hats.

Freaking figures.  I've been looking at quality yarn and can't seem to justify over $100 for enough to make a scarf when I'm not sure it'll turn out looking okay.  I guess I'll keep working in acrylic and just be glad that time spent knitting in front of the TV prevents time spent eating in front of the TV.  I'm really enjoying the new season of Downton Abbey.  We were sad to see Dexter wrap up and are looking forward to the return of Game of Thrones and Mad Men someday.

Problem Solved?

Since this is the second time I've had toiletries stolen and I don't want to go back to my locker before showering after swimming I bought the cheapest body wash I could find for 99¢ and labeled it as seen.


Friday January 11th I texted Allan this picture of my car:
Friday January 18th Allan texted me this picture of his car:

No Good Deed

2:08 am I was awakened by a boy handing me a stuffed monkey and an ill-fitting hat.  I put the hat on the monkey and sent them both back to bed.

2:09 am the boy was crying that Georgie was cold and the hat was missing.  I didn't want to turn lights on and wake Allan so I crawled on my hands and knees patting the floor along the path from his bed to ours until I found the missing hat.   I tried to convince Tom that Georgie doesn't need a hat if she's in his bed.

2:39 am crying again and this time I told him her hat was too small and I'd make a new one the next day.  He made me take the hat with me.

The new hat will have a chin strap!


I've made four baby hats now and Tom wanted to take one for his Georgie.  So today I tried to modify the pattern to fit a monkey head and it's a little small.  More monkey yarmulke than stocking cap!
However, the owner is happy.


I was at the Y this morning and was going to swim for 20 minutes and then run so I left my shower gel, shampoo & conditioner on the counter in the locker room while I swam.  Some asshole stole my shower gel.  I have a scent at home that I don't care for so I'm going to urinate in it and leave it on the counter next time I want to swim.

Or!  I could store my products in specimen containers and label them, "urine sample" and "semen sample."


Midway thorough my first year of college.  Pre-Allan.  My roommate and I were both moving out of our 5th floor dorm room.  I was moving to a single room on the second floor, she was moving somewhere? (we weren't exactly friends.) I looked up and saw her struggling with stuff and offered to help.  Her response makes me laugh every time I remember it.

" I don't want to help you later."

Snow Day

We got enough snow overnight to warrant canceling school.  I will make no further mention of snow on this blog.

Frosty's Upgrade

In case it ever snows again our new snowman will have a custom Play-doh nose!


I went running while Tom was in preschool last week and because of high snow drifts didn't feel safe on the road so I ended up doing laps in a huge church parking lot.  Allan asked me why I didn't run around the middle school and I said I didn't want to upset anyone with the school shooting in recent memory.  He laughed at me.

So today when I read that a a runner in Franconia, PA got too close to an elementary school and the school went into lockdown on that very same day I had to laugh.  See, honey, I'm not crazy.  This time.

Pinewood Derby

David took first in his den and third overall!

Incredible Shrinking Snowman

Has Frosty been decapitated?  Does he suffer from snowman wasting disease?  Is he on a new year's resolution weight loss plan?

Baby Cap

I made something!  I got pretty far on my green scarf but decided to stop so I could donate it to Frosty the snowman.  Yesterday I got the most delicious pink and blue yarn and tackled this baby cap.  Don't start wondering, they're for a service project at my church.

26 Acts of Kindness

I hesitated to post these because acts of kindness should be anonymous BUT I use this blog as a journal and enjoy reading my old posts.  Most of them surprise me because I've forgotten everything.
1.  Gifted laundromat customer with a prepaid laundry card. 2.  Sent in applesauce packs to David's school nurse so she can supply a snack to a child who forgot. 3.  Sent in a Target gift card to David's teacher to restock classroom supplies midyear. 4.  Gave my cart to a shopper at Aldi who didn't have a quarter to get his own. 5.  Left a milk bone on my sidewalk for the next dog who walks by (Nugget stays in the back.) 6.  Paid for a dozen eggs that I didn't take from the local honor system egg stand. 7.  Made a knitted hat for a newborn in need (pink.)
8.  Made another hat (blue.)
9.  Made fresh chocolate chip cookies for Alex to share with the church youth group.
11. Brown hat
12. Red hat
13. Icy pond hat
14. Shoveled neighbor's sidewalk.
15. Green hat
16. Shove…


They're back!  Paczi are a polish pastry typically eaten on Fat Tuesday to rid the house of extra lard, sugar and fruit.  My boys love them!  Here they are last year trying to pronounce the word with a mouthful of them:

Breakfast Math

I make Alex homemade breakfast burritos using eggs, cheese, turkey sausage and flour tortillas.  Or I buy Jimmy Dean sausage, egg, cheese and croissant sandwiches when I'm lazy.  The math:

Burrito        Cost $.684Cal 353Fat 17 Sod 832 Pro 23
Sandwich   Cost $.879 Cal 430 Fat 29 Sod 740 Pro 13

Dangit I was hoping the lazy version would lose on all accounts.  And I'm pretty sure he usually eats two of the burritos.


Tom and I made a snowman.  He named him Frosty.  How original!

I, David

Allan got so tired of David waking us up in the middle of the night for random things that he made him say the following pledge:

I, David do solemnly swear that I will stay in my own bed all night and not wake Mommy and Daddy up. 
Before Christmas he was having nightmares that something bad happened to all his presents.

Christmas Pageant

We're moving along.  The first year of the pageant Alex had a minor speaking role.  The next year Alex had a major speaking role and David had a nonspeaking role.  This year David had a minor speaking role and Tom had a nonspeaking role and Alex was behind the scenes running the spotlight.

Electrical Tape

I used to make fun of Allan for covering the little light on our smoke detector and house alarm with electrical tape so the light wouldn't bother him in his sleep.

Then I got a new phone charger with a little red light.  And I charge my phone on my nightstand and sleep on my right side, facing the light.

Guess who's looking for the electrical tape today?

Four Days

This is day four of no eating out.  I stocked my car's glove compartment with the following emergency supplies and pack a lunch if we'll be out during the middle of the day.  I wanted to pick up a Diet Coke at the gas station yesterday but resisted.  This is going to be harder than I thought!

This Old House

Every Saturday Tom snuggles up to Allan and they watch This Old House together.  When we were in Pennsylvania Tom went to the original fan's lap.  And Grandpa was a little more thorough about answering his questions!


I've been watching Seinfeld reruns.  I remember liking the show in 1989-1998 and was in high school when it started.  I know the characters and some of the jokes.  I have a Vandalay Industries shirt.  But I don't remember much of the content so it's like a whole new show to me.  I laugh out loud when I watch.  Allan will watch for a minute or two but he actually remembers what happened.  He remembers books too.  I know we both read Pillars of the Earth but all I remember is the baby dying and the church building.  He could probably give you a five minute summary.

Christmas 2012

Christmas 2012, a set on Flickr.