Wednesday, December 17, 2008


yeah i was doing so well for a while there updating stuff, oh well.

Today i want to talk about christmas.
Ok firstly, I celebrate christmas in the truly secular sense; I'm not a huge fan of that Jesus fellow. I love the caring, sharing, loving, helping, laughing, music, and general happiness that abounds this time of year. I LOVE CHRISTMAS.

One thing about christmas that i don't like is that it reminds me how terrible i am at making decisions. I always put off buying stuff until the last minute because I always think i will find something better, or more perfect, tomorrow. Then even if i DO decide on something, if there are options - say color or level of quality - then it's a whole other waiting game. I put things in my Amazon shopping cart for months - MONTHS - during the rest of the year. What i do at this time fo year is bring up lots of websites (thanks firefox for you tabbed browsing) and just LEAVE THEM OPEN... for days at a time ... trying to decide if this present or that present is the right one. Sigh.

yeah, i have one open now in another tab. Damn you, decisions!

Yes sometimes I think that future me will be smarter than present me. Buying gifts in an excellent example of that. Planning meals is another excellent example of that - what will i eat for dinner tomorrow night? Oh, i don't know, but i will know tomorrow!

On the flip side, sometimes i think past me is smarter than present me. When I get stuck when i'm writing (which is about all i do now a days), I will often go to previous drafts or other papers on similar topics and steal my own work - I paraphrase! - in order to help me get un-stuck. I think, "man, I was so smart back then, what happened?"

And now back to "Yay christmas!"
yay christmas!!!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Weekday Lunches

On days that i end up working from home, I'll usually have something other than a peanut-butter sandwich for lunch. Last week, I made an omelet for Evelyn for breakfast, and it looked so good, i made one for myself for lunch. Here it is, with the recipe following.

Spinach Omelet

1 8inch skillet (preferably nonstick)
two eggs (beaten, can add milk or water to thin if you want)
handful of fresh spinach leaves, chopped
1/4 cup diced onion (well a little bit anyway, to taste of course)
one small green pepper, diced (they were especially small at the growers market this week)
sprinkle of cheese
1 tbs olive oil

1. heat oil in the skillet on medium-high heat
2. add onion and peppers and cook until they get soft/translucent (In this case, I forgot about my pepper until after i'd already finished the rest, that's why it's on top - still good, though)
3. add spinach and allow to wilt (takes about 30 seconds)
4. spread the veggies evenly across bottom of the pan
5. add eggs
6. as it begins to set, pull an edge toward the center with a rubber spatula and allow some uncooked egg to run into newly vacated space in the skillet - repeat around the edges. Should take about 2 minutes total cooking time
7. flip omelet over (I usually use a big wide spatula for this)and allow to cook on the other side for another 30 seconds or so
8. sprinkle cheese on one side and fold over.
9. salt and pepper to taste, and enjoy!

Tuesday Dinners

Ok i've fallen WAY behind, but you know how the holidays get.

In case i've never told you before, a couple of friends (also moms) and I get together most Tuesday nights for a dinner exchange. We take turns every week and cook a vegetarian meal for all three families. One woman cooks, the other two babysit, but thankfully, the house where we typically do this has a nice open kitchen so we can still all chat. It is one of my favorite things that I do since i've moved down here. We start around 3:30, and usually have a totally prepared dinner by 5:30. This week i took some pictures of the festivities:

Here are the kids hanging out:

Charlotte helped prepare!

Anne made Veggie-Pot-Pie, and it was absolutely delicious. Here's the finished filling, which went into individual dishes with some pie crust on top:

I will try to steal the recipe from her, and when i do, I'll post that on here as well. As always, thanks for reading!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Peanut Butter Cookies

I make these cookies quite often and anywhere I bring them they are always a hit, except for my sister Kathryn who hates peanut butter and chocolate. These taste like a deliciously rich peanut butter cup (think reeses) only without the processed food aftertaste. They're really small so they're super easy to eat just one more.

My friends Jo and Dave were over babysitting on Saturday, and when we got back we hung out and watched some football. Then So here's my recipe - it's basically the Joy of Cooking recipe with a few changes...

Always a Hit Peanut Butter Cookies
Makes ~40 1 1/2 inch cookies
Preheat oven to 375

Beat until soft:
1/2 cup butter (as close to room temperature as you can - unsalted)

Add gradually and blend until creamy:
1/2 cup white sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 Tablespoons Molasses

Beat in:
One Egg
1 cup Peanut Butter (creamy, and the natural kind makes the best texture!)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon vanilla (it's ok without the vanilla, i made them that way this time)

add and mix until almost combined :
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

add and stir in with rubber spatula
1/2 cups chcolate chps

Scoop into level tablespoons and round that amount into a small ball. Place on parchment paper lined cookie sheet. To get the criss-cross effect, i take a fork dipped in sugar and press it into the top of the dough twice at 90 degree angles to eachother. So it looks like this "#".

Bake between 10 and 12 minutes.
These freeze really well, but good luck getting to put any in the freezer - I made them on Saturday and they're all gone already.

Monday, November 24, 2008

movie sequels

I started writing this ages ago, but got interrupted, then it came up in conversation recently, so i felt like i needed to go ahead and post this, even if it's not quite complete.

I'm sure that both of you who read this blog can come up with a really bad movie sequel that just shouldn't have been made. Scream 2 is my first thought. But i think horror movies should be excluded from the 'bad sequel' problem - the original ones are bad too (sorry Stacey). The only thing a sequel saves you is having to create a new scary bad guy.

Anyway, there are some movie sequels that were at least as good, if not better than the original movie. Here, i've listed some sequels that I believe should never have been made - movies where the original was excellent and the sequel is miserable. However, the reason i decided to make this list is that there are some sequels that are better than the original / regardless of how terrible the original movie was, it's worth watching to get the backstory on the sequel.... i think you see where i'm going here:

Great sequels to great movies!
American Tale 2: Feivel Goes West
this movie is so incredible! Forget the original "there are no cats in america" - the newer one has a couple of great songs, is much less tragic, and Dom Delouise is hilarious!

StarWars (episodes 5&6)
5 is probably the best movie ever made. The existance of 5 & 6 makes 4 even awesomer.

Toy Story 2
Woody and Buzz and the gang come back, and it's hilarious. This movie has one of my favorite randomly hilarious lines of any movie "Well, slotted pig, they're standard issue".

Shrek 2
Oh how funny is this movie!?! They really outdid themselves. Granted the first one is hilarious ("It's a thong!"), but the addition of the third character to the comedic interplay of shrek and donkey is priceless ("for you, I could be.")

Awesome sequels - Made the crappy original Better!
Terminator 2.
Although i've actually never seen this one, it is the hallmark in this category. Everyone loves the second terminator movie. I have seen the first one. it sucks.

And i'm spent. I'm sure you can come up with others in this category. Like i said - i knew this was incomplete and that's why i didn't publish it before now.

Bad sequel! bad!

Secret of Nimh 2 (and other similar re-done animated movies)
Really? If it's been more than 10 years since the original movie, then the new one is no longer a sequel. Don't call it that. Re-make the original or pretend that it's not the same characters - it sucks to have all new actors, all new animators, supposedly playing the same characters. Lame on principle.

Terminator 3.
Thanks, chris, for coming up with this excellent and ironic example. Again, i've never seen it, but hear that it is one of the worst movies out there.

Pirates 2 and 3.
Ok Pirates 1 is an amazing movie. No question. Pirates 2 was rather dissapointing - really? a swordfight on a giant waterwheel? Undead pirates i totally buy, but this is not possible. But pirates 3 just took the badness to a whole new level. Not only now is there an actual PERSON of davy jones, but he was in love with a sea godess who just happens to be trapped in someone's body who we've already met, and ... uggh it's just bad bad bad. Like i said, makes the first one worse, just knowing these horrible sequels exist.

ok back to work with me.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

and I thought I was cold

When I dropped Evey off at school today it was 40 degrees out. And windy. And i haven't pulled my proper coat out of the closet yet. So i'm wearing a 3/4 length sleeved jacket which is basically a glorified sweatshirt, except that the wind can go up underneath it because it's wide at the bottom.

Now, the place where Evey goes to school is pretty much a wind tunnel. It's right downtown and the entrance to her room is underneath a drive-through banking tunnel, with something like 12 stories of building above us. So the wind whips around us and we're both cold and laughing at the wind blowing so hard. I RAN back to my car after dropping her off being really cold, got in the car and turned on the radio. And heard this:

"NPR has just projected that Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich has unseated Ted Stevens for the Alaskan senate seat." They had Future Senator Begich on the phone from his victory party in Alaska - where is was so loud inside that he decided to step outside. OUTSIDE in Alaska at 5:30 AM. The senator-elect said it was 7 - that's SEVEN - degrees outside, and that he was just wearing his shirt and tie - left his jacket inside to talk to NPR on the phone. I didnt' even have the heat on in the car.

Warning - Florida makes you a sissy. DO NOT MOVE TO FLORIDA if you ever want to be able to tolerate cold again.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

fires and other forms of heat

As I was sitting here working today wearing my ugg boots (thanks, 2002!), a big sweater, holding a cup of coffee and generally freezing, I was watching smoke pour merrily out of my neighbor's chimney. That made me wish i had a fire blazing next to me... and made me think more about fires and other forms of heat that i wish i had next to me.

So, my friend the vennmaster does this great thing called "nice, sweet, lame." I was inspired by this idea, but had more ideas than just 3 - so this is more of a continuum of awesomeness, starting at most awesome and working the way down from there...

AWESOME: wood burning fire.
It's nice and warm, it heats your house, it smells fabulous, and makes a great, soothing sound. There are downsides, however. Lugging in wood was always a really annoying task in the winter, but isn't nearly as annoying as cleaning up ashes

Granted, they are very very fun - the only light you see while you sit around it, usually drinking beer, roasting marshmallows, the smell of these fires is delicious and delightful. Plus there's none of that cleaning up ashes crap. The problems are all related to that you're outside. Bugs. Sitting on the ground. your back is freezing and your face is burning. Plus there's always the chance that you'll start a raging forest fire.

ACCEPTABLE: gas fire - not so fun to watch, or smell, but puts of heat in a direct fashion, and looks kind of like the real thing. Plus the switch on the side to "on" is much easier than lugging wood. Also the odds of the fire spreading are pretty slim. But look at it! It's just so - sterile!

STILL PRETTY NICE: Radiator. The kind you find in the old houses and apartments. I used to have one in an old apartment and it was so nice and toasty. If you're ever cold, you can just saddle up to it and rest your toes on it/ sit on it/ lean against it / leave your towel on it to get warm while you take a shower. I was really missing one of these today. No clean up, no mess, no risk of fire. Only problem is that you don't always have control of it.

OK: Space heater. One of those little guys that sits on the floor and makes lots of noise, puts out lots of heat, but is somehow never hot enough at the same time. Plus the heat it puts out is SO DRY it sucks the moisture out of the air all around it. Also i understand they have a fire risk as well. but what doesn't anymore.

PITIFUL: Heating Pad. If you have to resort to using a heating pad in your own house it's time to either put on more clothes, turn up your heat, add more insulation to your windows, or install one of these other systems of heating. The direct heat is really nice though.

LAME: Video of a fire. I can't believe they even make these. Granted there's no setup, no cleanup, no chance of fire spreading. But no smell, no real sound, and most importantly - NO HEAT. really what's the point? to be festive while you are doing other things i guess? I love how it's like "Over 2 hours!" Like you couldn't just start it over again.

Monday, November 17, 2008

alone time

so on saturday night, Jason went with our friend Chris to the Florida State game. The game was at 8, so they left around 6:30. As Evelyn goes to bed around 7, this meant i had an evening alone. What's a girl to do?

If you thought to yourself, hmm... what would i do on an evening alone with no husband? i would imagine you came up with answers like this:
- drank lots of red wine
- watch girly romantic movies
- watch some tv show that boys can't stand (like project runway, any makeover show, or the food network)
- call up some girlfriends and hang out
- do your nails

those would all have been excellent options. However, let me tell you what i DID do.
1. did dishes
2. cleaned the kithen
3. sharpened my knives
4. scrubbed the fronts of kitchen cabinets
5. cleared clutter from the bedroom
6. cleaned the living room
7. re-organized evelyn's toys
8. had a glass of red wine
9. numbers 6-8 all while watching the FSU football game.

So i did get one of those in... jut not in the way one might expect.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Amazingly Delicious Pumpkin Bars

in the vein of more recipes - here's the one for the amazingly delicious pumpkin bars.

Amazingly Delicious Pumpkin Bars:
for one 9 x 13 pan

  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 (15 ounce) can solid pack pumpkin puree
  • 2 cups all-purpose (I use Whole Wheat - the texture is perfect) flour
  • 1/4 cup quick oats (i add them to everything)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon each of ground cloves, ginger, & nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9x13 inch baking pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the eggs, oil, sugar and pumpkin until smooth. Mix together the remaining dry ingredients and fold/stir into the pumpkin mixture.
  3. I typically line my 9x13 pan with parchment paper - lord knows this recipe has enough fat in it without greasing the pan - and don't even think about skipping this step... the bars WILL stick to your pan.
  4. Pour batter into pan and spread evenly.
  5. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. when done, a stick inserted will come out clean. However, they are amazingly delicious when they aren't all the way done, so if the middle seems not quite there, i'd recommend just letting them be. If you're going to frost them, just allow them to cool first. Frosting recipe to follow.

Joy of Cooking quick icing
  • 1/4 stick of butter
  • 2 cups confectioner's sugar
  • 3 tablespoons spiced rum
  1. use mixer to cream butter, combine butter and sugar
  2. add the rum one tablespoon at a time until the mixture changes from looking like confetti to looking like icing. you may not need all of the rum. Drink the extra
  3. Frost the baked good.
  4. Lick the beaters.
  5. make more because it's so delicious.

I usually serve the pumpkin bars in small pieces - about half the size of a cake slice. It's very rich. Make sure you have plenty of people to share it with. OR instead of frosting the whole cake, just frost half of it. The bars freeze really well. and having deserts in my freezer makes me feel like my grandmother.

Friday, November 14, 2008

more food

On tuesday this week, my friend Jen made us some amazing vegetable soup. I think the exact ingredients are a secret, but it was full of carrots, peas, potatoes, artichokes, tomatoes, onions, garlic, and general deliciousness - here, i took a picture.

to go with it, i made some bread. Here's the recipe i followed:
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  1. In a large bowl, dissolve honey in warm water. Sprinkle yeast over the top, and let stand for about 10 minutes, until foamy.
  2. Stir the olive oil into the yeast mixture, then mix in the whole wheat flour, salt, and 1 cup of the all-purpose flour until dough starts to come together.
  3. Knead in the remaining all-purpose flour, until all of the flour has been absorbed, and the ball of dough becomes smooth, about 10 minutes (adding flour as needed).
  4. Place dough in an oiled bowl, and turn to coat the surface. Cover with lid of bread pan (or towel), and let stand in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  5. reshape dough into loaf shape. Here I made a french bread loaf.
  6. Let rise for about 45 minutes, until doubled.
  7. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
  8. Use a spray bottle to mist water into the oven (helps bread to rise more before crust forms) close oven and KEEP IT CLOSED! varying heat will mess with the rise.
  9. Bake for 20 - 30 minutes until bread crust is hard, sounds hollow when tapped

Friday, November 7, 2008


I've been thinking about the tv i watch and thought i'd talk about that for a minute. Right now shows that are on the air that i watch fall into 5 basic categories. I love it, I catch it, I tolerate it, I hate it, and i probably would like it if i watched it so i'm not going to. Some exemplars of each category follow:

a few examples of Love it shows:
I mean really, why argue. It slipped into the "tolerate it" section for a while last season, but has redeemed itself. I'm excited to find out what happens again. It's a long way from "wtf! was that a giant polar bear? Did he just get eaten by SMOKE? WHAT IS GOING ON???" but is still excellent - i mean "he changed the rules" ??? What did that mean? love this show.

30 Rock

This show really grew on me. I watched the first episode and didn't really like it, but came back for more and it is so hilarious! This week a character said "hypothetical situations are like lying to your brain!" I mean, come on, that's was clearly the most hilarious thing i've heard all day.

The Office
I'm not a total die hard fan like some people, but this show is too funny to miss. If i do, then i don't understand half of the things that are said to me at work the next day. Hopefully I've caught 30 rock if i miss the office, because otherwise i wouldn't understand the other half of things people say to me.

Pushing Daisies

it's so good. It's so fun, so witty, clever, quirky, quick and BEAUTIFUL. Plus Jim Dale narrates. Fabulous. While it's not the show that I quote the next day, somehow they manage to make killing off at least one person every week not at all gruesome, but instead interesting, funny, and charming.

Catch it:

I love this show. However, it's not something that i have to watch every Wednesday night. Rather, its something that when i see is on, or worse a Marathon is on, i can't seem to turn it off. Highly addicting, fun, and semi-scientific.

Tweener shows
Hannah Montanna and iCarly are the best, but also like Wizards of Waverly place, Drake and Josh, even sometime life with derek. I love these shows. If i'm just done and can't think anymore these are the best outlet for me. Maybe it reminds me of the days when i was in highschool and didn't have to worry about electric bills, 401ks that are shrinking, life insurance, and medical bills.

Tolerate it: Lately MANY shows have slipped into this area. in example:

I'm hooked on the characters, somewhat, but this season they've all gone crazy! For example, one character has a "vision" of what the future could be like, and another character somehow is teleported in space and time into that version of the future - where, big surprise here - pretty much everyone we know in it dies. Oh, but remember it's a vision, so now worries, everyone's actually still around. Yeah that's annoying. Hate that.

it's like a soap opera for boys. Overly dramatic, a new person who has a new mysterious power every week, which somehow will inevitably end up endangering Chloe, Lois, Lana, or one of the other regulars, and which Clark will inevitably end up rescuing. Redeeming value? Tom Welling.

Enough said.

Hate it:
Higglytown Heroes

when we wake up in the morning, sometimes I'll turn on the TV to help us move more smoothly - Evelyn is distracted by the tv and so I don't have to hold her and can pee, brush my teeth, and even sometimes get dressed. Unfortunately for us, the show that seems to be on at our "get ready" time is Higglytown Heroes. Let me explain the setup of this - abomination of a tv show. There are these little - russian nesting doll sorts of creatures. See below:They manage to get themselves in all sorts of 'hopeless' situations, and then have a 'hero' rescue them. Here was the plot this morning. A famous author comes to higglytown, and everyone wants to see her! They don' t have enough food for the party so they call the pizza man. He bakes a giant pizza and delivers it by helicopter, but the rope breaks and the giant pizza lands on top of the library, covering it completely with the famous author inside. Then they sing some terrible little song, and a "hero" shows up - this time a crane operator, who somehow lifts the pizza from the library - day saved. The show sucks.

Shows that I don't watch because I'd be hooked immediately if i did:
Best example, Grey's anatomy. I'm sure i'd love this show if i did ever watch it, but i haven't yet, so here's hoping!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


in NFL footbal, each coach has a red flag. football fans, you know, this is the 'challenge' flag, that can be pulled out to force the officials to review a play a team feels was incorrect. In this same spirit, i've often wondered how the game would change if each team got a "mulligan" flag.

Maybe it would be black and white checkered, really that doesn't matter. The point is, each team would get one "do-over" play in the game. Think of how this could change the game of football! Oh the strategy! do you save it for later? or use it for that 80 yard kickoff return the other team just got? Oh the drama! did the kicker just make that 3-seconds-left-in-the-game-winning-kick? He missed it? don't worry? you've saved your checkered flag! Oh the heartache! That poor player who caught the amazing touchdown pass will now have it reversed!

Plays get overturned all the time! Not just "we thought he caught the ball but his second foot was actually out of bounds" stuff, but also on penalty stuff - illegal blocks on kickoff returns, the dreaded holding call, or the fun free plays an offense gets to run when the defense jumps offides. Why not throw one more do-over into the mix?

On a related note, some election signs here in town reads "Mulligan for congress".

I"m all for do-overs in football, as impossible as it might be, but come on, congress is complicated enough.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election day!

well with all the hype, "they" estimate that some 30% of Florida voters voted early. The lines to vote early were very long - 1 to 2 hours at the 3 polling places in our county. I decided that there was just something romantic about voting on election day, even if i did have to wait in a super long line to do it.

So i dropped evelyn off at school and came into work, where i picked up jason and we went together to our polling place, down the road from where we live. As we were pulling into the parking lot, NPR was saying how everyone should prepare for long lines today as record voter turnout is expected. We got into the polling place and there were three people set up to give out voting forms, about 15 places to fill out your form.... and NO line to vote. There was precisely ONE person voting at the time we walked in. We were in and out in about 5 minutes.

So hooray for election day! Can't wait to watch the returns tonight, and am glad i got to cast my vote on the 4th without all the waiting.

Monday, November 3, 2008


are possibly the greatest invention ever. How fantastic to have your own soundtrack everywhere you go. One of the best feelings in the world is having great music playing in your headphones that is just the right tempo so that you can walk to the beat outside when it's a glorious day like today.

can you tell i just got to do that? it was amazing. It makes me miss walking everywhere.

Saturday, November 1, 2008


We've lived in our apartment for 4 years - well for 4 halloweens. Every year, there's a big party in our local park where they serve pizza and beer and wine. TONS of people come. when it starts to get dark, the mob begins to circulate the neighborhood. The first year we were there, we sat in our apartment for the first few trick-or-treaters, and found that they wouldn't come into our building to knock on doors. So we sat on the front porch with our neighbors and drank beers and handed out candy and had a great time. Then those neighbors left, and every year since we've sat there alone. key words there are EVERY YEAR. This year was no exception.

We sat on our big porch steps, with pumpkins glowing, lights on outside and in, a huge (bread) bowl clearly full of candy, a 15 month old climbing up and down the steps being generally very excited about everyone walking by.
From Halloween Pumpkin Shopping 08

And most people just walked by! we saw about a 50% rate of people who walked by actually coming to our steps. We were very confused. I guess no matter how much you dress it up, we are still renters, we still live in a place that we aren't responsible for the upkeep for, and our too-rich neighbors still think we're not worthy to be their neighbors.

That's why when i got this email from my friend Anne's mom, we were neighbors growing up - it made me want to cry -

"I remember when you two (Anne and I) would go Trick or Treating on Halloween on a night just like tonight, not too cold and not too hot. The first time was when you all were two or three and you all sat on the Logan front porch. I don’t think you all collected too much candy. I remember Anne Moody in her hot pink footy pj’s with bunny ears. We all had many great Halloween nights. Then on the Sunday night after the time change, we (the adults) would put you all to bed on the old time, pull out the baby monitors, rake a pile of leaves and put a blanket on them in our front yard and have leftovers and champagne. This included the Hills, Popples, Rolands, Logans, and Swains. Once Harriet and Chuck Dunn joined us and maybe Anne McKee. I’m sure you both remember those times. But we had a great time."

Why can't i live someplace like that? Why did i have to choose a profession that makes me live far away from most everyone that i love and why are we living in this AMAZING but too-rich-for-us neighborhood where i feel like everyone resents that we live there because we're too poor and too young. Why don't I just open myself up so that i CAN have relationships like this with the friends i have now.

Happy Halloween.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


yesterday Evey's school called me and said that she was running a fever so i went to pick her up early. She had a big halloween festival at school that afternoon and we had to miss it so we were sad. Instead, Evey and I came home, she took a nap, and then Jason came home and we went for a walk around lake Ella. The Grower's market was in full swing, with tons of vendors and people - it was beautiful! there were sweet potatoes, cranberries, lettuces, garlic, greens, honey, wine, clams, and even someone selling clothes! We forgot it was market day and only had 2 dollars so i re-stocked my garlic and we moved on. We got some Pumpkinlicious ice cream from Barb's Brittles - which Evey loved, and then walked on home.
wow. Lamest story ever.

Hopefully we'll carve pumpkins tonight! Now we just have to decide what to carve... When i was a kid, everyone in my family had to draw a design, then we posted them on the door anonymously and voted on what we liked the best. Oh, now we didn't just vote for #1 or #5, we had separate categoies for eyes, nose, mouth, eyebrows, and other. I remember always being a freak about it saying "we CAN'T put the eyes from #2 with the mouth from #6! They'd look terrible together!!" and i say it was anonymous but with 3 1/2 years, 2 years, and 18 months between the kids, plus the familiarity of your parents handwriting, it was always pretty easy to tell whose was whose - for me anyway. I probably always voted for my own - i honestly can't remember. I think i was such a brat when i was younger that i have blocked most of my childhood from my mind.


yeah so much for writing everyday. I had a sick child all weekend! i swear! it's not my fault!
you: excuses, excuses.
me: are they really excuses when they're TRUE?
you: good point. Yes.
me: dang.

On Tuesday i had my weekly vegetarian meal cooking sharing thing I do with two families. This was my week and i made what i call my Halloween Chili. It came out very very well - so thought i'd share the recipe. All ingredients were organic, except the morningstar crumbles, which don't come organic for some reason. but that's of course not necessary.

Halloween Chili
1 Huge pot
1 Large Saute pan
3 large cans petite diced tomatoes
3 cans black beans
3 cans red/kidney beans
1 can garbanzo beans / chick peas (same thing)
1 can corn
2 onions (one red one yellow) diced into small pieces - remember it's going into chili so it should be about 1/4 of the size of the spoon you're going to eat it in, like the size of the beans
6-8 cloves of garlic minced
5-6 big carrots chopped
3 green peppers (diced)
1 red pepper (diced)
1 yellow pepper (figure it out)
1 bag morningstar crumbles (fake ground meat for extra protein)
2 TBS Chili powder
1 1/2 TBS Cumin
3 bay leaves
salt & pepper

1) Find friends to watch your child so that you can work
2) open all cans (*a good activity to get helpful hopeless cooks to do so you don't have to be alone in the kitchen) drain slightly and add to HUGE pot
3) turn on heat to higher than you think you should to get the canned ingredients to start bubbling STIR OFTEN to keep from burning
4) Add Carrots to give time for them to soften
5) While that's heating, chop all veggies
6) Saute veggies in large skillet in batches you're comfortable with and add to huge pot - watch the pot - when it starts to bubble, turn heat down to med-low and continue to stir occasionally
7) add spices
8) add crumbles
9) stir stir stir. It's done!
takes about an hour.
Can leave on stove on low heat all afternoon - just keep stirring every so often to keep it from burning.
It's great served with some cheese and cornbread on the side. Yum!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

rapping and rhyming and other nonsense

every day every day i will write every day...
oh that was a little rap song. I write them all the time. They're pretty much two lines long and either rhyme a word with itself (see first example), or they end in *verb* a mother mother *noun*. Although, come to think of it, the *noun in that example is always rhymed with itself too. In other words, i can not write raps or songs of any sort. We do however own a rhyming dictionary - you'd think i could come up with more creative rhymes than always rhyming words with themselves with one of those lying around, but no.

Oh, so life story. Today, when i took evey to school she was again very happy to be there, immediately she was laughing and pointing to the teachers. I was at school for about 10 minutes today (i was going to leave sooner, really i was, but one of the teachers ran a quick errand right after we showed up). AND when i picked her up (well jason and i both did- fun friday) she was happy to see us but not eager to leave! AND AND she took not 1 not 2 but 3 naps! two were 30 minutes and one was 45! AND AND AND (uggh that's annoying now) they got her to sleep by patting her back - PATTING HER BACK! Now if you've ever tried to put Evey to sleep you should know that this is pretty much impossible. I don't know how they did it, but hooray that they did!

Today for dinner we had leftover turkey from the easy 17 step recipe from a few days ago. The re-heating of the meal was much easier than the original production:
1) put stuffing on the stove to heat
2) put child to bed
3) it's now 45 minutes later and your husband (if you're lucky) has taken the stuffing OFF of the stove to keep it from burning
4) put the stuffing back on the stove
5) remove top from container containing (ha) the leftover turkey and vegetables
6) heat in microwave for 2-3 minutes
7) get caught up in watching videos on youtube and go back and re-reheat the dinner
8) serve! Yay!

see! leftovers cut the work in half!

Friday, October 24, 2008

woah! where did the time go?

A couple of years ago, some of you may remember a little flash game involving a yeti, some penguins, a bat, and great sound effects. (for the curious or just nostalgic for the easier days that were 2 years ago - here's a link to the game - ). That was pretty much my first foray into flash games. For the most part, i find them boring and not as addicting as they are hyped to be.

Today i have an exception - my friend Jo sent me this link.
There are no instructions, you just have to start playing. It is incredibly addicting, and although there are no yeti (plural of yeti is yeti?) or penguins, and the sound effects aren't quite as fun, it does have monkeys, coin, upgrades, strategy, and balloon popping.

i mean really, how much more fun could you cram into a game?

I would bet that if you begin playing this game, as you try to figure out what the heck is going on, and begin to be successful, you'll all the sudden look up and it will be dark outside - unless it was dark out when you started playing, in which case... well you know. Playing this game is kind of like reading a Dan Brown book - the chapters are really short so you think "well, just one more chapter" and then all the sudden you have read the whole book. In this game, the levels take between 20 second and 1 minute so you always think 'just one more'...

Sorry to give you a time waster, but really i think we all need to waste a little time now and then - especially at midnight on Thursday apparently.

Thursday, October 23, 2008


today for dinner i made turkey in the crock pot. A deceptively simple meal. As i'm trying to log all the randomness of my life here's the recipe:

deceptively simple turkey dinner
2 turkey breast halves from publix on sale
some olive oil
1/2 cup of chicken broth
1/2 bag of frozen green beans
3 big carrots peeled and chopped in big pieces
2 cloves of garlic peeled and halved
some spices (rosemary and thyme plus salt and pepper)

1) remember to make dinner before noon
2) find crock pot
3) figure out some way to entertain child while you climb on the counters to reach the crock pot
4) when that doesn't work, try not to fall while listening to child scream because you left her on the floor while you did something cool (how dare you)
5) take cover off crock pot and throw to child in hopes of entertaining her while you get the crock pot set up
6) when that doesn't work, put child in high chair and gi ve her something that you shouldn't (for example, an unpeeled carrot) so she can watch you cook
7) while handling raw turkey breast the child will inevitably drop something that will make her scream. Endure until you can wash your hands.
8) put turkey in crock pot and wash hands.
9) peel and chop carrots, cutting on the side of your body so child can see
10) smash garlic with side of knife. If you're lucky this will be highly entertaining to child.
11) add other ingredients hastily
12) give up and take child out of high chair
13) don't forget to turn ON the crock pot (Cook on low, and until you're ready to eat it, but for at least 4 hours)

oh but wait! there's more!

14) realize at 5:30 that you don't have stuffing or cranberry sauce, both of which would be remarkably yummy with turkey
15) go to publix all together and hunt down said ingredients
16) realize that you also need beer - because when don't you need beer
17) agonize over which beer to try while child enjoys waving at strangers and playing with beer bottles in boxes
18) go home and serve! (and good luck getting child to eat anything but the cranberry sauce)

and that's it! just 18 easy steps and you too can have this yummy meal!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

october road

Today i've been thinking about voting -
I kind of wish it was on a lickert scale - like a 1-5 sort of thing, with the scale being:
1) i hate this person with every fiber of my being
2) not voting for you that's for sure
3) undecided
4) s/he's ok, or at least better than the alternative
5) holy god i love this person please please please let her/him win!

so you cast a vote for every candidate. But can choose to not vote for any candidate (#3), AND the "holy god"s count more than the "s/he's ok"s. Plus, the "i hate"s and the "not voting"s count as negative1 and negative 2.

This was all brought on by trying to figure out who to vote for in the more local elections, when you have a hard time figuring out what the people stand for, and an equally hard time figuring out what the heck their responsibilities would be, and far less time to even look it up. We've got a nice liberal website called "progress florida" that goes through and suggests who to vote for based on who is the most in line with liberal issues.

But jason has helped the most because he can find ANYTHING on the internet. Literally anything. My favorite story is when he was sharing an office with a tech-savvy guy who wanted to find something online. After nearly an hour of searching finally asked jason if he could please look for it. He found it of course - but in like 2 minutes. That's when we decided that finding things on the internet is jason's superpower.

he also has the superpower of being able to eat/drink smoothies and milkshakes wicked fast without getting brain freeze - he is completely immune to these nasty cold-related headaches. Me, i take one sip a little bit too big and i'm in agony - jumping up and down or trying to warm up the roof of my mouth to make them go away, squinting all the while. When we get smoothies together he's done before i've gotten less than 1/4 the way through. He's often heard to say things like "you still have that thing?" and "you're not done yet?" to me on such occasions.

On the note of smoothies - why do they only come in gargantuan size. here are your options at our local smoothie place - 42oz cup or no smoothie. Seems like they could come up with some sort of halfway. Granted they do have kid sizes, but the kid smoothies suck (strawberries and ice, chocolate and banana, or something else lame). and the few times i've asked for a normal smoothie in kid size, i've gotten a big one anyway. Plus i'm annoyed at the whole 'smoothies are good for you' thing when they put a quarter of a cup of raw sugar in every one. How can that be good for you?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

once upon a cd...

here's the story:

I was re-reading Twilight (Stephenie Meyer) again - I started it about a week ago. At the same time jason had left a CD in the player by the band Muse. He had played some of their stuff for me before, and I wasn't a huge fan, it's really dark... unomfortably so sometimes - actually at times it encroaches on metal. But for whatever reason I left it play - Oh wait i know the reason, i was really mad about some lame school thing. Anyway, so i was listening to it and was struck by how much the music kept reminding me of the books - the whole series really. Basically, the sentiments and emotions in the music were very reminiscent of the Twilight books. Creepily so. I didn't think it was possible to have music remind you of a book but it REALLY did.

So I just wallowed in that idea for about 5 days, and finally told jason what I'd been thinking about the music/book connection - thinking he'd tell me i was crazy. BUT he just said "yes." This intrigued me. So I pushed, and he explained that apparently Stephenie Meyer listened to them A LOT while writing the books! She even thanked them in the acknowledgments sections of the last 3 books - i believe at one point saying something like "Did I mention Muse yet? Muse Muse Muse - I could not have written these books without the genius that is Muse"!

Can you believe that music can sound like a book? If you've read them, or if you're going to, i challenge you to have a listen to them and see if you think the same thing. Although maybe now that you know the connection you wont' hear it... Here's the link to their website - . And for the well informed or the just curious, the CD that first caused this reaction was Black holes and Revelations, but we also have Absolution, which also does the same thing.

happy listening!

Sunday, October 19, 2008


today i made pancakes for Evelyn. She loves loves loves pancakes, and they're so easy to make that i do it all the time. Actually the other night i dreamed that i was making pancakes, so i think that proves that i can make them in my sleep. Here's the Evey pancake recipe:

Evey's Pancakes
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup oatmeal (quick oats)
1/3 cup wheat germ
1/4 teaspoon salt (can't make anything without it)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1 cup applesauce
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup water or milk to thin batter as needed

you know the drill - combine dry ingredients, combine wet ingredients. make a well in the dry ones and pour in the wet ones. Stir as little as possible, and make pancakes.

and that's the one.

Friday, October 17, 2008


today is jason's birthday. True to my craziness, i basically forgot to have a party for him. I did manage to invite a couple of people over, but VERY last minute. I only know for likely that 2 of them are coming, so talk about lame-o, how much do i suck?!

Today when i dropped evey offa t school, she was being really clingy so i hung with her for a good 30 minutes before i left. I'm being that mom! Sorry to my daughters teachers. Oh one of the teachers in her room has a son who is exactly one day older than Evey, AND he was also born on his due date. Crazy! He goes to school at the TCC center, but she works at Eveys' school, so i'm not sure what that means, other than that she's smart not to have her kid enrolled the same room where she works.

We're doing lunch for jason's birthday today, so i'm sure i'll have fun and have more things to write later.

i really thought i was going to be much wittier on here, perhaps i just need to drink more coffee.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


So how the heck did it get to be october? That's all I'll say about that. Kind of makes the name of the post lame though.
Today was Evelyn's third day of school. She seems to really like it. When we were in the car i said "do you want to go to school?" and she got very happy and tried to get out of her car seat. She pointed all the way to her classroom door and laughed when we got inside. So far so good...

Also today, as a hallmark of how scatterbrained I am at the moment, several things happened:
1) i packed evey a peanut butter sandwich for lunch, even though they're not allowed at her school (oops)
2) I forgot to eat breakfast until 10
3) I made coffee, but forgot to turn the coffee pot on this morning. sigh.
4) Left my phone in the house when i took evey to school and had to run back in for it.
5) also found that i left her pancakes that i made for her breakfast on the counter - but didn't notice until i got home from taking her to school which i had to do because:
6) that was without me actually getting ready, but just pulling on jeans, a t-shirt, flip flops, and a hair tie being as i haven't showered in I think 3 days.
7) even though i can take her as early as 7, we didn't get to school until 9:15.
7) I left my purse - with my wallet in it - at work yesterday. Frantically searched for it for about 30 minutes before I asked jason to look for it for me. He found it of course.
8) I just used the number 7 twice.
9) and it's not even noon yet. Or wait, yes it is.

so this is not for you to pity me or feel sorry or get depressed - just laugh at me, that's why i'm doing this. I will laugh at me and will be more likely to laugh at me with your help.


I've been thinking a lot lately about how i'm doing a zillion things all the time and thought i'd like to share - with myself if nothing else. Kind of like a diary of whatever random things i happen to do that day. It's my goal to write every day, but we all know how goals work, right?