Saturday, November 29, 2008


The Evil Twin and I saved a lot of Buddy's nicer toys. He wanted to save them for Buddy to give to his children. I wanted to save them in hopes of having a sibling for Buddy. (the Evil Twin never wanted a second child after Buddy's perilous prematurity - and he thought one was plenty. Of course, Sissy has him wrapped around her little finger!).

So, we saved some of the nice blocks, shape sorting toys, wooden puzzles, books, etc. There is a lot of stuff! Buddy was the first and only grandchild on my side until he was 6, and my parents were very generous - he was showered with gifts all the time.

As Sissy gets older, we've been bringing some of the age appropriate toys out for her to enjoy.

Sometimes, there is a lapse in judgment on our part and we bring out something with lots of parts or one that she is not able to master just yet and that is followed by frustrated howls on her part.

During these times, we will look at each other and say, "We'll have to wish that one into the cornfield."

Basically, that means the item goes back into storage for a while.

One of the first toys that met this fate was a shopping cart with play food items. Initially, we thought she'd have fun pushing it around. But, what actually happened was that each and every play food item was strewn out on the floor, all willy-nilly.

We had just overestimated her level of imaginative play at that stage, so the shopping cart and it's contents were "wished into the cornfield."

When it's appropriate, it will reappear from the cornfield.

Wouldn't it be nice if we could wish all life's troubles into the cornfield?

Friday, November 28, 2008

Disgusting Advert

You all know I don't really watch TV - unless it's Thursday night and "Survivor" is on, or if we happen to be catching new episodes of "Dexter" on DVD - and we still haven't started season two yet. (Sorry, Buzzardbilly - but I have your DVDs ready to return).

The TV is on all the time, though because my family (the rest of them) love the TV. We have the big ass TV, which is a draw for everyone:

When the Evil Twin and I first got together, he told me he didn't like Charmin toilet paper. Not a problem for me. My mom had bought Quilted Northern for as long as I could remember and that's what I continued to purchase as an adult.

But, when I asked the Evil Twin why he didn't want Charmin, he told me, "Because it balls up in your ass."

I've never personally experienced that, but I believed him.

Then, I heard from others who said Charmin balled up in your ass crack. Ewww!

But the other day, I was sitting here, minding my own business when I saw this commercial:

Apparently, Charmin is trying to convince folks that it DOESN'T leave TP balls in the ass crack no mo.

I had to change the commercial because the one I saw was taken down, who knows how long this one will last, but this commercial (above) is the same gist as the one I saw. And one commenter even says it better than I ever could:

"These Charmin commercials are so disgusting. They are basically talking about how Charmin toilet paper leaves less pieces tangled in your asshole hair."

Amen, bro.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Giving Thanks

I made a pumpkin gingerbread trifle yesterday and that's been in the fridge. Mine doesn't look anywhere near as appealing and attractive as Paula Deen's, but hey, she's a pro.

I finished my cranberry sauce that was emailed from Juanuchis. I had a couple recipes that were sent and it was hard to pick, but last minute - this one seemed easiest. It certainly smells tasty.

We'll also have green beans (made with bacon fat, natch), mashed potatoes (made by hand) and gravy (made from a packet), corn, dressing/stuffing (Stove Top variety that my family digs), rolls and sausage roll croissants. Oh! And the ham and turkey from Heavenly Ham.

I'm taking a break with some coffee while I wait on the potatoes to boil.

I'm thankful for many things: my husband and children, having a safe home, all my family and friends - including those of you I've had the pleasure to meet and get to know through my blog, several of you becoming my friends in real life!

I'm grateful to live in the greatest and free-est nation in the land... which provides me freedom of speech, in which I can come here and vent my spleen on any topic I can think of - free from censorship or persecution.

I'm thankful for wine in a box and getting to snuggle in bed with the two strongest, most supportive arms around me every night. Life is good and now, I'm off to finish the feast!

I hope each and every one of you has a glamorous Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

She's a Sissy

Sissy, who is 2 years and 10 months old, has all of a sudden developed fears of things. Many odd things.

I guess it started around Halloween time when Buddy's mask spooked her and she began saying, "I scared of Bubbie's mask." And, we keep saying, "That's still your bubbie behind the mask. It's just make believe."

Then, there was the house she and the Evil Twin encountered that had a talking brain type thing on the sidewalk. Apparently, it opened into halves and made shrieking sounds when someone walked by. She calls it the "clam" and she is now scared of "clams".

While she enjoys looking at ladybugs in books or on cartoons, when one got in the house a couple of weeks ago, she flipped out completely until I scooped it up and threw it back outside.

She's also long been afraid of the vacuum cleaner, despite the fact that I run the stupid thing it's not like it's some unfamiliar beast. She just has never liked it (come to think of it, me neither, but everyone likes to eat crackers and shit in the living room/den area and I can't stand seeing crumbs..... my OCD - and loathing/fear of cockroaches - wins again! Rats!).

But about 2 weeks ago, she started with absolutely losing her mind in the bath tub. We couldn't figure it out.

I even looked online for answers and discovered that fear of the bath around toddler-hood is not uncommon at all, but there are a variety of ways to deal with the issue. Seeing as how Buddy never did stuff like this - he was, in fact, the model textbook child and still is - we were just flummoxed.

It seems there are two camps. The camp that says: don't make their fears seem trivial. You (the parent) will crush their widdle spirits if you force them to endure the X (bath, ladybug, vacuum cleaner ... no matter how irrational the fear may be). The other camp says: Children need boundaries and they need a parent. As the parent, you call the shots and they must do the necessary things in life or get used to ordinary things in life.

The Evil Twin and I kind of fall into Camp B.

But, we felt really guilty about the bath thing. Mainly because we weren't sure if there was something traumatic about the bath for her. i bathe her quickly and only leave the room for ultra brief moments (think: walk down the hall and back in about 15 seconds), so I knew she had not fallen, plus she sits/stands on a non-skid mat. The water is never too hot.

So, we're thinking: Did she get shampoo in her eyes? Did I scratch her with my nails on her coochie when I briefly wiped it off? What was going on?

Well, we found out last night.

It's the MOST obvious fear a toddler might have and we never considered it.

She's scared of the drain. She HATES, loathes, abhors the evil drain and all its' inherent evil devices.

In an attempt to assuage her fears, we're trying to acknowledge her fear and not make light of it (Oh, that's just silly). We're actually trying to reason with her (You're too big to go down the drain). It doesn't seem to be working. So, I just wash her as fast as possible and that is that.

Please, let this pass quickly.


March 6, 1940 - November 26, 2005. Mom, I miss you.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Food Issues

A couple of people commented after yesterday's post and asked if I was a vegetarian because I said I wouldn't eat ham or turkey.

I am NOT currently a vegetarian, but for nine years (1983 to 1992 - from the age of 15 to 24), I was a vegetarian.

The moral and ethical principles were a part of it, but my primary reason was that I found (and to this day, still find) many meat products to be distasteful... i.e. they don't taste right to me.

The ham and turkey thing started long before I became a vegetarian, so I never really "gave" those up. I never ate them - ever. I'm sure I tried them at some point and decided "Yuck, never again", and that's the way the story goes.

Just the smell of turkey makes me gag.

So, I'm not cooking one. Besides, even a turkey breast would be wasteful in this family. The Evil Twin will eat it, Buddy will eat a small bit, Sissy will eat a smaller bit still and we'd be left with a metric assload of leftovers that would eventually go in the trash.

To save myself of the trouble of all that, I just go to Heavenly Ham, which I believe to be a chain type store, and buy a sufficient quantity to feed the savages and have no leftovers. My normal cheap self must reconcile in my brain that this is for the best. Heavenly Ham is expensive (their Heavenly Turkey is also pricey per pound). But, once a year, it's not going to break the bank.

In addition to not liking ham or turkey, I also don't eat anything on a bone. There are only a few chicken type dishes I like.

I have never eaten: a pork chop, a buffalo wing, lobster, any organ type meat, or duck. I'm also picky about the preparation of meats - to wit: It must be WELL done. Nothing pink, nothing wet, nothing raw.

I agonize while at restaurants and rarely order chicken dishes because I'm positive they'll be under-cooked. I also don't do roast beef unless I am completely convinced by the waitstaff that the roast beef is well cooked and almost devoid of fat.

Oddly enough, the pork products I do like are quite possibly the nastiest around: bacon and sausage. Love the stuff.

When I was a vegetarian, I didn't eat ANY meat. I didn't eat soup made with any meat stock. I didn't even eat fish or seafood. I was what is known as a lacto-ovo vegetarian. That means I would eat products with eggs or dairy (milk or cheese, yogurt), but didn't eat anything with a face.

The funniest thing about being a vegetarian in this area at that time was that it was difficult to find vegetarian products (like soybean or textured vegetable protein), so I pretty much had to be really creative.

Also, I found it amusing that I encountered people who told me to "just pick the pepperonis off" a pizza or would think it was okay that my item was cooked on a surface that had just been used for a meat product.

What was the one food I missed most of all during my nine years of no meat? Tacos. I tried Tofu Tacos, but it just wasn't even close. And I do like tofu. These days, I can easily find TVP (textured vegetable protein) in my grocer's freezer (they're like little crumbled pieces of ground beef, but not actually meat at all) and I bet those would make good tacos.

So, the first thing I had when I decided to walk away from my vegetarianism was a taco from Taco Bell.

I still order vegetarian options at restaurants all the time and I'm quite happy with that. But, there's also nothing wrong with a big old cheeseburger (well done, please) either!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Now With More Glamour!

As you can see, the Evil Twin has made a few changes to the header from yesterday. He wasn't happy with the font (typeface), so he found one he liked better. This one is called "Girls are Weird" (the part that has the glamorous life of a).

So, he changed that and he added the glass of Chardonnay over there. My hands are full, but it's waiting for me.

And, notice how the glass is almost completely full? None of this tiny half glass servings for me. That's just how I roll, people.

He wanted me to send him a few pictures of myself, so he could have something to look at as a guide in order to draw me.

The one he used was this one:

Which is very funny. I took this shot myself in order to entertain one of my friends over on Facebook when he had commented on a different photo that I looked deranged or something.

I had never shown this picture to the Evil Twin - but he agreed it was perfect!

Because we all know: Looking like a deranged Betty Crocker is hot.

Hey, my blog, my rules.

And, he also added some pupils to my eyes, so I don't look like a deranged Betty Crocker Zombie. That's not hot.

I fiddled around with the cookie cutter templates that Blogger offers and chose a new one. The jury is still out on that one.

Who knows? You might wander by and it'll be all different again. Of course, I am lazy - so my motivation to really fiddle around with this stuff is LOW.

I am excited about my new header, though. I had often wondered how people had such interesting headers - and all it took for me to figure it out was just clicking around on the ol' template for a second.

I'll be running out later to buy groceries for the week and to pick up our Heavenly Ham and Heavenly Turkey (neither of which I will eat). I hope you're all anticipating the holiday feast and having a glamorous Monday!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Make Over - Updated

Well, it appears I am (the blog is) getting a make-over today. To what extent, I do not know.

The Evil Twin is in charge of this and will only say, "It'll be perfect. You'll love it."

While he's feeling all make-overy, perhaps I can sweet talk him into also designing that tattoo I've been waiting more than a year for. If it ever materializes, it will be my fourth and final tattoo.

Being married to a designer is interesting (he won't use the A word - artist - he claims it sounds pretentious). It's even more fun for the kids. On the odd occasion where Buddy has had to take a bag lunch to school, he doesn't go with just a brown sack. He gets a full cartoon on his lunch sacks.

I suppose the Evil Twin will have to brush up on his princess drawing skillz for the time Sissy gets in school.

If you ever go to the Joe's Crabshack at Barefoot Landing at Myrtle Beach - they have a framed piece of the Evil Twin's doodlings. While were there several years ago, he picked up the brown paper they leave out for people to draw on and did a full cartoon of our family (minus Sissy, at the time - she hadn't been materialized yet, but we WERE working on her back then LOL) and the amazingly bad luck we were having on the vacation.

He handed it to an employee while we were on our way out and they said it was so good, they were going to frame it and hang it up. We haven't been back since, but we need to go to see if it's still hanging around. :-)

Probably the greatest thing is that we have a full graphics shop in our house. Lots of fun pens, rulers of all types, t-squares and for a birthday gift last year, I bought him the full licensed Creative Suites 3 for his computer - don't google it for prices if you don't want to pass out. I actually found it someplace for about half the listing price.

Also, it's looking like Buddy has been genetically blessed to have some of the Evil Twin's talent. He certainly has a fine teacher!

Okay, I'll be back later. Looking a little different, so get ready....

I've got a new header! Cute, innit? Now, I just have to figure out how to do some other stuff to the old blog here and since I'm a dummy and don't know about codes and such, this is going to be a work in progress for at least the next 24 hours. Be patient as you think of me, over here pulling my hair out and downing Tylenols and Chardonnay... Come to think of it, I may not make much progress.

Friday, November 21, 2008

My Pet Deviled Crab

I was reading Fat Kids Lie the other day (another one of my favorite blogs), and he had posted a picture of a cinnamon bun which he had put red hots on it for eyes.

This reminded me of a story from my past.

When I was in college - and I believe I've mentioned this before - I dated a guy who we'll call Spit, cause that's the punk name he was known by back then (what is it with me and guys with weird nicknames? Perhaps the following story will reveal my issue).

So, I was out one evening with Spit and a few other friends. Spit and I were vegetarians (he still is to this day and I know this because we've remained friends over the years). But, for whatever reason, we ended up at Captain Ds to get something to eat.

I know you may be thinking that vegetarians eat seafood, but that is not true. My rule was that I didn't eat anything with a face and that included fish and shrimp, etc. Spit would crave the batter dipped fish every now and again, which is probably why we were at Captain Ds. I probably got an order of fries and a hush puppie or something because I've never been a fan of fish and I didn't like any other seafood at the time, either.

Anyway, one of the friends we were with ordered a sampler platter that came with a deviled crab. He didn't eat the deviled crab, so we turned it upside down and stuck four french fry pieces into it for legs.

Then, we dotted on some ketchup for eyes. We named him Russell and took him out on the town for the night.

Before we ended our adventure, we went to a local grocery store. Russell came along too.

Russell was left on a shelf in the cereal aisle. I don't know what happened after that.

But we cracked up at the thought of some store clerk discovering him, sitting there getting riper by the minute.

And I'm over here laughing just remembering it. I'll have to email Spit so he can read this too.

RIP Russell. You were a fun deviled crab.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Pimping My Husband

Well, I'm not pimping him as much as I am pimping something he designed for a friend.

Many of you are already loyal readers of the West Virginia Surf Report and huge fans of Jeff Kay. Jeff and the Evil Twin go way back, to a time when the Evil Twin worked in one of this area's most influential record stores.

Back in the 70s and into the early 80s, Charleston wasn't exactly the cultural hot spot that would attract national record chains, but there was one local store and that store still stands today.

The Evil Twin worked there from the late 70s to about 1984, so he met many people during that time. Anyone who loved music and wanted to buy music shopped at this store. It was THE ONLY record store around.

Over the years, the Evil Twin met many people like himself - people who truly loved music, sometimes very obscure music or imports and he liked to share his enthusiasm with like minded individuals. One of those people was Jeff.

The Evil Twin did a great deal of artwork for the shop and when Jeff wanted someone to design new tee shirts for the WVSR, the Evil Twin volunteered. Jeff remembered his work from the record store and so they began talks on what to do.

Here is the final product:

(Click for larger image)

How cool is that? If you'd like to own an Evil Twin original design, not to mention a really cool and well made t-shirt promoting a fine website, click here.

Now, I promise: it may seem as I'm trying to sell things here recently. But no.... yesterday's blog was just so I could brag I won something and perhaps send a few people Lorrie's way (after all she did send me something free and pay for shipping, I wanted to do something for her) and today's blog is all about bragging about MY husband and his talent, plus helping out a friend.

Besides, everyone can use a mug or a t-shirt! ;-)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Tickled to Bits!

A few days ago, I was cruising around blogland and I decided to check in on one blog that I happen to really like a whole bunch, Our Name is Blog. The super cool chick who does this blog is not only funny, but hella talented artistically too. Her name is Lorrie Veasey and she has her own company, Our Name is Mud.

She designs the most wonderful ceramic pieces - mugs, platters, bowls... you name it. What I love most about these designs are they are colorful, fun and above all, functional. These are products any one could use on a daily basis.

Much like the Evil Twin uses his coffee mug everyday (that I bought for myself, but he drinks way more coffee, so I selflessly gave him ownership of said mug):

Okay, so back to the point.

She was having a contest to win a big Thanksgiving package of her creative genius. To enter, one had to vote for her blog to win Best Hobby Blog on Blogger's Choice.

I think her hobby is more than great, so I went over and voted.

I got a runner up prize! I didn't expect to win at all, but I was thrilled to be chosen in a random drawing for a 2nd prize.

So, 2nd or runner up prize wasn't mentioned, I had no idea what to expect, I only knew it would be fantastic. So, my anticipation was in major HIGH GEAR.

Tuesday evening, UPS delivered a box to my door and I tried to take a picture of the outside, but it just turned out kinda iffy.

Then, I dove into opening the package. This thing was packed like Fort Knox! That is a skill I both appreciate and admire!

Look what I won!!!:

I have plans for this baby for Thanksgiving... Oh, do I have plans.

My first thought was to use it to serve my mom's sausage rolls and I think that's what I'll do.

Sausage Rolls
Brown sausage in a pan. Open can of Pillsbury Croissant rolls and roll out each one flat. Place a spoonful of cooked sausage in the center of roll, and roll up according to package directions. Bake. They taste like little sausage biscuits and they don't last long (might want to buy extra if you have a large family or loads of diners).

Once again, Thanks! to Lorrie and Our Name is Mud.

Now, get over there and check out their products. There is something for everyone and the prices are fabulous!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Young Ones

This is one of my favorite bits from the British TV show, "The Young Ones":

And that's how I feel sometimes.

"God, I'm bored!" And it's another game of travel Scrabble.

Luckily, I don't have anywhere I need to be today, but I do have lots of little busy-body activities, like sorting through old magazines and such, to keep me occupied.

That's a good thing today - we had some snow last night and a light dusting on the ground this morning.

When the Evil Twin came in from work yesterday, the first thing he started on was a fire.

He has become quite the "Hearth Master" as we like to jokingly say.

Oh, he works those fires, my friends.

The bad thing is that once the fire dies down, it feels a little chilly in here. The thing can put out more heat than we anticipated. Which is great - we're always concerned about the power going out and the house getting too cold. We don't have to worry about that this winter. We can all gather around the fireplace for a bit - our electric company is generally very good at getting the juice running again quickly.

Well, those two weeks of Fall we had were nice while it lasted.

I'm outta here for my day of busy work.

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Home Office

Or, the HO, I suppose might work.

I take care of all the little things that happen in our household. Even though our health insurance is through the Evil Twin's employer, I'm the one who reads over the booklets and makes decisions each year regarding our health plan (they generally offer several different types of plans and the booklets go over all the deductibles, co-pays, services offered, etc.).

I'm the person who fixes lunches in the morning. For the Evil Twin, that usually means Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday - on Wednesdays, he goes out with co-workers to a chinese buffet. For Buddy, it means just on any random day where the hot lunch offering is not something he wants.

If the Evil Twin's lunch plans differ on any given week, his co-workers will joke with him about "Running it by the Home Office". That would be me - the Home Office.

The Home Office makes many decisions, both large and small. The Home Office takes care of getting the bills paid on time and in full.

The Home Office scours the grocery circular to see what food items are on loss leader for any given week, clips coupons (as appropriate) and plans meals before the Monday shopping trip.

The Home is where the Heart is.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Saturday Shenanigans

The Evil Twin and I are having company over tonight. The Evil Twin is in the kitchen working on his extra special chili. After that gets going on the stove, he's going to run to the store for a few odds n ends.

I'll finish cleaning up the house.

We're excited because this couple who is coming to visit have been friends of ours for a very long time. In fact, I met T in college. After we graduated, she met D and they became a couple. They are unmarried by choice and they are childless by choice. But, they have been a solid couple for almost 17 years now. They're super cool and great with our kids - very patient... something that I lack at times.

Anyway, it's T's 40th birthday tomorrow, so we'll have a surprise cake for her.

It should be a good time. Plus, we're going to make another attempt at fire starting...LOL. We were a little intimidated after our first (failed) attempt. I guess there's a learning curve for everything.

Growing up, my dad always had cozy fires going. He had mastered the art of it, but I never observed him. I should have. He taught me lots of things, but that wasn't part of it and he passed away before I got my own house with a fireplace (or more technically speaking: he saw this house - he just didn't live long enough for me to have the fireplaces cleaned and then have a chance to show me how it works).

So, it promises to be a full and fun day.

I might have to have a little snack to tide me over until CHILI time! Yum!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Brain Bug

I get so frustrated when I get a song stuck in my head. Often, it's a decent song, so it's not too bad.

Earlier this week, it was the theme to the Popeye cartoon, which the Evil Twin had been singing to Sissy. That was pretty awful.

This morning, I woke up with this:

I liked this song back in the day.

And the video even features a little person. It's a known fact that I find little people fascinating. Always a bonus...

I'm sure I'll hear enough music on Noggin throughout the day to erase the over and over and over again in my head - that's the annoying part.

Because I was too busy watching "Survivor" last night to try to work on my blog last night, this is late and now I actually have to deal with Sissy (I try to write later in the evening after she goes to bed, then schedule it to publish in the morning), this is it. I hope you all have a great Friday!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A Moldy Oldie

The greatest thing about kids is that they are the Kings or Queens of the one-liners. It's not worth visiting a comedy club if you have children. The kiddos are MUCH funnier, even if they don't mean to be.

For this one, I think I'm going to go back into Buddy's toddler-hood and share a few stories that really cracked me up.

In the Summer of 2001, Buddy was 3 and a half. In the hottest point of July, I had to run out and do a few errands. When I came home, my entire shirt was soaking wet from the humidity and sweat. (, huh?)

So I decided to change into a plain white t-shirt and completely remove my underwire bra while I cooled off a bit. During the changing process, I was shirtless, braless and leaning over my shirt drawer of the dresser when Buddy came charging into the room.

He screamed, "Mommy, what's that? That, right there?" as he pointed at my naked breasts.

I looked behind me and asked, "What?"

Buddy said, "Those right there! Are those your penises?"

Later, I told the Evil Twin that if my tits looked that bad, I was in worse shape than I had imagined.

I had to give the kid credit for proper pluralization of the word "penis", though.

Another time, he was about 4-ish and in preschool. When he wasn't in school on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from noon to 2:30, we liked to watch Sesame Street together.

One episode featured Grover in Nicaragua showcasing how adobe bricks were made. The men and boys working on the bricks were clad in only shorts.

I mean, it's hot there in Nicaragua and those people do lots of physical work!

After a few minutes of watching the activity, Buddy turned to me and said, "Mommy, I know why they call that place Naked Agua - because those people are half-naked!"

Happy Naked Water Day!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

In The Weeds

I'm so far behind, I may never catch up. I've been given at least three awards in the last few weeks and I haven't had a chance to put that information together for a post.

November is a strange month. The Evil Twin's job has many holiday days, so he's home more often. He also has half of Wednesday, Thursday and Friday (at Thanksgiving time) and he plans on taking the half day off on Wednesday. Buddy will also be home those three days and I'm looking forward to it.

Thanksgiving is my least favorite holiday and not for the day itself. I "get" that and I respect that. I just don't care for Thanksgiving foods. Specifically, since I was a vegetarian for nine years, and I still don't really like ham or turkey, it's a holiday of side dishes and rolls for me.

That's cool. I still enjoy the planning of it and the anticipation.

Up until 2005, we had always gone to my parents house for the big meal. My mom was one hell of a cook. They only lived 10 minutes away from us, so we were there quite often. Buddy was the first grandchild for them and they enjoyed a close and special relationship with him.

Then, my dad died in September of 2004. Then, my mom got really sick in October of 2005 and spent roughly 5 weeks in either a hospital or nursing home before she passed away two days after Thanksgiving 2005.

So, of course, 2005 Thanksgiving planning was on me. Instead of enjoying time with my parents, I was trying to keep things as normal as possible for Buddy. I was about 6 months pregnant with Sissy (in a VERY high risk pregnancy) and worried about my mom in a nursing home.

Since then, I have tried to keep the holiday very fun for us all. I include the family in meal planning. I accommodate all requests - but I have yet to cook a bird (or a ham).

Let's face it, any large production is going to be wasteful as I won't eat any of it. This is where Heavenly Ham steps in. I buy the amount of ham and turkey I feel appropriate - Sure, it's a bit on the high priced side, but I have to offset that with the amount of no waste. I think it evens out. Everything is eaten, nothing is wasted... Win/Win!

I do make all the sides by hand, though. That's the part I love.

The kitchen is so warm from the oven/stove action and the house smells wonderful.

I'm already working on my menu.

At Buddy's school, they've already had the family Thanksgiving lunch (they always do it early). And they always have some sort of cranberry concoction that is not just the cranberry "can form" thingie. It seems to be a mix of items.

I won't eat it because I don't like cranberry much, but Buddy really loves it, so I'm on the hunt for various cranberry recipes. If you have a special one you'd like to share, you can email me at

Why do my last few posts seem to be about food? Seems to be the season for it! :-)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

What's For Dinner?

I'm sure everyone has found themselves in a rut over dinner ideas from time to time. Whether you're a single person, have a small family, a large family, or empty nesters or something else entirely: Everyone has to eat at some point.

In our house, I am the meal person. Prior to my usual Monday shopping routine, I try to ask around for meal ideas for the upcoming week.

Sometimes I get good ideas. Sometimes I get blank stares.

As uninspired as it seems, I tend to do spaghetti and meatballs with texas toast garlic bread at least once a week.

We have four people with four distinct food preferences. It's hard to please everyone. Spaghetti is one meal I don't fret over. Everyone likes it.

Oddly, while Buddy likes spaghetti, he doesn't care for lasagna. I don't know why - lasagna is essentially spaghetti in a varied format. Oh sure, he'll do baked pasta, but only if there is no cheese on top that has browned and become crunchy.

Typically, everyone likes my paprika chicken. That will be served this week as well.

But, I think this week, I will also serve some more laid back meals. Monday evening was Manwich and fries. Sissy ate a plate of plain pepperoni and fries. At some point, I'm going to do grilled sandwiches and fries (like ham and cheese).

This weekend, the Evil Twin will pitch in to do his famous chili. I can't wait for that.

I think I'll throw in loaded baked potatoes and salad one night. (I can split the sour cream among the: paprika chicken, potatoes and chili). I really try hard to utilize the things I have on hand, and the things that need to be fixed before they go bad, so I'm not throwing out food. I'm not a waster.

In fact, I was analyzing our budget recently. Back when Buddy was born, my dad was still alive. He loved to visit the Sam's Club every two weeks and he would supply us with diapers, wipes and formula (a real blessing!). We didn't ask him to do this and we offered to pay him every time, but he refused payment.

This was 1998. I had stopped working at a paying job. Our weekly grocery expenses were roughly $40 a week. Keep in mind, I shopped at regular grocery stores (not discount places like the WM) and bought all my paper goods, cleaning supplies, etc. from places like Kroger.

These days, I have a larger family, one (STILL) in diapers and I shop at the WM (aka "discount" place). I spend about $100 to $130 a week. That is for lunches and dinners for a seven day period. I think that's pretty decent - especially considering that includes paper towel, toilet paper, dish detergent, laundry detergent, toothpaste, shaving supplies, cleaning supplies, bird seed for the pet bird, etc. (as needed - I don't buy all those things every week) and food.

Plus, I haven't even calculated in the 1998 to 2005 weekly carton or more of cigarettes that the Evil Twin smoked back then. His last cig? January 15 2005. That would up our weekly spending average by about $35 - meaning at least $85 a week 10 years ago and now: $110 - $130 doesn't seem very out of line.

I'm thrifty. I like to use coupons, but only for the things I know I would buy anyway. Like: Cascade dish detergent. Cascade Complete was rated number 1 on cost and performance by Consumer Reports. It's great. It's worth a little more - to me. I'll use coupons for that. But, I won't use a coupon just for the sake of saving .50 cents if the generic equivalent is less anyway (like for a can of green beans, for example).

We all have to do things that work for our own family. Might not work for everyone, but I just do the best I can with limited resources.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Another Long Weekend

Last weekend, the Evil Twin was off on Tuesday for election day (as a regular holiday) and he took Monday off as vacation. This week, Tuesday is again a regular holiday day - Veteran's Day, so he also just took today as a vacation day as well.

It works out nice for me because I'll have help at the grocery store - I hate dragging in all those groceries after buying them. For the record: we live at the top of a steep driveway and no matter how you work it, to get to the kitchen, stairs are involved. That's fine, but I can't really carry a lot of heavy stuff at once, so I have to make a gazillion trips. With the Evil Twin to help, we can get it all in about one trip.

Tomorrow, Buddy is off school, so we'll all be home.

That means I can "sleep in" until Sissy wakes up, so instead of getting up at 6:30, I might get an extra 45 minutes!

Have you ever had a morning where the potential to loaf was there, but jumping in the shower and getting your day started seemed more appealing? That's the kind of morning I'm having so far.

9 times out of 10, I would take the opportunity to be super lazy. Maybe I'll give lazy and loafing one more chance and see if it takes.

Otherwise, I'm just really feeling a need to wash my hair RIGHT NOW.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Fire Fail

We think our logs might be damp or something.

After doing several hours worth of research online regarding the safety of using a wood burning fireplace around a bird(parakeet), I came up empty handed.

Some sites recommend it, others not at all and still yet others say yes, as long as you have a clean fireplace and burn only seasoned wood, etc. We had both fireplaces and chimneys cleaned and ready for functioning back in March. The guy was here for a while and I spent an assload of money on this service.

I then gave a different nice young man money to stack some wood pieces up by our house.

Now, all I want is a FIRE! A crackly, cozy fire. It is rather nipply here today, so I figured it would be a good day to try it all out.

It's amazing how quickly a mild-mannered stay at home mom type can tranform into a bloodthristy pyromaniac!

I took a picture of the set up we have:

We procured three logs from our pile and the Evil Twin put some newspaper under them. The logs were put on the grate and the newspapers were torched. That seemed to be going well, and then it just kind of petered out.

The bird is still alive. That's good news because Buddy would be heartbroken and I'd be stuck training a new bird.

If we ever have fire success, I'll get a picture of it and post it!

I'm off to research more wood burning fireplace and bird type questions.

Later, I may pass out from boredom.

Friday, November 7, 2008


I have a doctor's appointment this morning. It's just a general check up with our regular doctor. He's a super nice guy... I just dread all things associated with any doctor.

I'll be taking my home blood pressure thingy-doo with me. It stores the readings, so he can see how it's been for the last few weeks. Sneaking suspicion that I'll be walking out of there with a new prescription. Rats!

So, I'm all jacked up thinking about the appointment AND I have heartburn. I don't know why. I've only had a blueberry muffin, half a cup of coffee and about a gallon of water this morning. What can I say? I like water.

After that I have to come home and wait for some firewood to be delivered.

I'm actually looking forward to using our fireplaces this year. We had them cleaned and shored up last March, so they're ready for action!

There's just something so relaxing about a crackling fire.

I don't expect it to help much on our overall energy bills. We've used our heat WAY less this year than last - plus, this will be our second winter with our fancy-pants new windows, but the gas bill goes up every month by at least a dollar or two.

And, our stupid gas company doesn't even take payments online (unless I want to pay an extra $1 for the privilege - and why bother? Stamps are still cheaper than that, but it chaps my ass to have to get something out in the mail).

Yes, I'm lazy - you got a problem with dat?

I'm over here trying to conserve energy. ;-)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Facebook Quirks and Stalking

For a while now, I have noticed on Facebook, alongside the right hand information feed, there have always been a few (about three) people listed there as "People You Might Know" and below that, it states how/why/when you might know the person.

My personal favorites are the ones that link to my college. I don't fudge on where I went, what I studied and eventually, what year I graduated.

About every day, I'll see a person, like Joe Blow. Then it will say under the person's name: "You and Joe both went to Marshall." Well, yeah. Me and about 16,000 undergrads went there during those years too. So, these opportunities to "know a person" are slim.

And, I majored in Journalism. If Joe majored in Geology, the chances we'd have of meeting on campus would be astronomical. See, even a COLA (College of Liberal Arts) grad can figure that out.

Also, every so often, a person I do truly know will pop up in the sidebar over there.

The way I see it is: If they're popping up on my sidebar, I might very well be popping up on their sidebar. If they want to befriend me online... that's their deal.

Facebook is a mystery to me and I never use it to "look up" people I might know. I'm much more comfortable with MySpace and that's the one I use most often.

Also, Blogger has offered a new feature - similar to Twitter, in a way - that allows you to "follow" blogs you like to read. I have a massive list already.

When the blogger I follow has a new post, it's listed in my dashboard area of my blog.

I have many favorites who are regular and faithful posters and some who just don't have the time and post when they get a chance. Either way is fine by me, but with the "follow" feature, I will be notified of a new post and don't have to go down my bookmarked list to find new stuff.

It's a handy feature.

So, if you've noticed me stalk... I mean, following you - then it just means your posts show up as new for me in my "homepage" on Blogger.

If I read and comment on your blog and I haven't added you to follow yet, just be patient. I'm trying to add people as I go along.

And, after I add you to follow, eventually I'll get around to adding you to the blogroll.

Happy Thursday, Stalkees!

People Make Me Feel Stabbity

The Evil Twin and I were up and out of the house early on Tuesday morning. We voted and the workers at our precinct (seem to be the same round up of characters) are so nice and helpful. We had a fast and good experience - even if I didn't get a sticker...


Then, we drove out to WalMart for the weekly shopping. Normally, this little affair would have taken place on Monday, but we had to wait TWO HOURS for new tires on Monday and there was no van to take food purchases to, even though we wasted our nearly two hours in the other WalMart on Monday. We took Sissy to look at the fishies, the Christmas displays and the toys.

We then walked across the lot to have lunch at Taco Bell. OMWord. I only have one thing to say about this: That Taco Bell will forever be seared in my mind as "The Hicks n Hollers Taco Bell". We're talking people with WV accents so thick, I couldn't understand them. Plus, which, it's hard to understand people who are missing all or a good portion of their teeth.

ANYWAY, we went to my favorite WalMart on Tuesday to do my weekly shopping. Everything went well. We were there fairly early and even if it WAS Tuesday (Senior Citizen's or "Elderly Hell" day), it wasn't so bad.

We finished up the shopping and chose a lane. I choose lanes not by how long they are, but by who is manning them. One lane was almost dead. The kid running the register looked to be about 12 years old and a new employee. No thank you!

So, we selected the lane with an older more "seasoned" looking clerk. And, she was great - quick, friendly and a champion bagger.

The problem arose when an "older" customer who was in a motorized cart decided she also wanted the seasoned employee.

Now, this was about 10 AM and there were plenty of lanes with NO action open. She could have chosen any of those. But no, she decided to get behind us.

I'm buying $100+ worth of groceries. We're gonna be in line a while, beyotch.

As is customary when the Evil Twin and I shop in tandem, he pushes the cart (full of heavy groceries and Sissy-poo) and I unload the minor items from the cart to put on the conveyor belt. If there's anything heavy-ish or bulky, the Evil Twin will lift those items up for the clerk to scan and then put them back in the cart.

Fine, fine. All is going as planned.

Then, I heard the lady in the scooter cart behind us say something to the ET. I couldn't really make it out, but I heard him say, "Give me a minute! Be patient!" and I thought he hadn't heard Old Bag of Shit behind him (because he is hard of hearing at his advanced age and all - plus, I don't think all those sinful rock n roll concerts he went to as a youngster helped any) and that he was admonishing Sissy, who has a way of harping for your attention EVERY.SINGLE.DINGLE.MINUTE.

I paid the clerk and we moved on. As we were leaving, he informed me that Old Bag of Shit had said, "Could you move her up?" Meaning, move the cart with Sissy in it up so SHE could get to the belt.

I'm just so glad she didn't say it to me. Because I would have gone postal on her old, stuck in a scooter ass.

Such is life. In real life, we wait in lines sometimes. We don't wait other times. It just is what it is.

If someone is impatient and wants to check out faster, find any of the myriad other lanes that were free and clear.

But don't give marching orders to MY family.

I wish I could find a video from the show "Yo Gabba Gabba": "You Gotta Wait Your Turn".

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

True Confessions I

I'm going to come clean here, today, of all days.

I often felt stupid and unworthy of having a voice in the voting process. I was not registered to vote - EVER - in my adult life until 2004. Yep, I was 36. I worried that I would not understand the process and I'd be stuck in some shitty homemade booth contraption with no one to guide me in the process.

I remember talking to my dad about this. He died in September of 2004, so I know it was between March 2004 and September 17, 2004 when this conversation happened.

I told him about my insecurities and he said, "_______, you're a college graduate. You are most certainly able to navigate this important step." My dad always did have the utmost faith in me.... and he and I did not share the same world views on much. (But, go figure - my biological mom and I also differ about political outlooks).

So, later at some point today, the Evil Twin and I will go out to vote. We WILL get to it, even if we have to split up and go separately.

Our Tuesday is ... unreal. More on that later. I know! I've been teasing about it for a couple of days.... Shit! I'm only human! LOL.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

The Anniversary Gift

Get yer minds out of the gutter. Although I did get gifted from the Evil Twin in that fashion. Yay!

We have never exchanged gifts between the two of us as a married couple. Not for birthdays, Christmas or the anniversary. We just don't. Number one: that crap gets expensive. And, number two: we figure that we both buy what we like throughout the year - so we don't need special "gifts" on certain occasions.

If we are both interested in some big ticket item, we discuss it at length and might buy that item around a holiday as a joint "gift".

I had to take my mom's engagement ring for repair and I also needed a watch battery several weeks ago. While I was in the jewelry shop, I saw that the 15th Anniversary gift was watches. I even joked to the employee that my husband would probably say, "I just got you a new battery for your watch. Happy Anniversary!" LOL.

But, the one thing that makes us both happy is having a decent sit down meal at a restaurant. It doesn't have to be any exclusive super expensive place. Generally, we're happy with someplace we just don't visit often because of a higher cost (than other sit down places) or location. Plus, the place needs to be family friendly because we don't leave our kids with anyone.

Initially, we had considered an upscale local restaurant, which we've been to before - Sissy was just a baby and Buddy has flawless manners. Then, we decided we couldn't spend that much, so we landed on Outback.

It was very good, as usual. We got there right when the restaurant opened for a Saturday (2 pm). And were seated right away. The Evil Twin requested a boof - no problem.

I even ordered a margarita, on the rocks with salt, thank you very much. I rarely have margaritas, but I do love them. When I do them at home, I always buy the pre-mixed margaritas and I have my own salt and special glasses I use.

But, buying the box o wine is much more economical and easier to deal with, so I pretty much stick with wine. This has been a weekend of copious wine intake. Hey, it's not everyday I'm celebrating 15 years of marriage.

The Evil Twin has Tuesday off as a regular holiday day. He took Monday off as a vacation day, so he has a nice long weekend. I'm glad he's going to be home. We have to take the van for new tires tomorrow. We had gone on Saturday and were told it would be a 2.5 hour wait. We didn't really want to window shop for that long and with Sissy, you just never know how long she'll tolerate any given activity.

I'm going to try to keep up with my daily posting schedule this week, but I can't make any promises. It's going to be another ball-buster of a week. As of this moment, I have activities planned every day except Wednesday. Tuesday is going to be especially brutal - I'll go over that day later.

This week, Monday means grocery shopping, but it also means new tires. I'm just glad to have the Evil Twin along for help. Time to go work on my shopping list!