Sunday, November 30, 2008

'tis the season...

Three tree sections assembled. One mightily pinched little finger - the bottom section fell into the base before I could get my hand out of the way (that thing is heavy).

I am not looking forward to untangling the lights. I wish I hadn't been so lazy last year... Wow, I can type with my eyes closed! (still tired from the holiday)

Anyway, house decorating is progressing. I had a moments panic when I could not find the lights or the box of my favorite decorations. All is well now.

I'd still rather be napping.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

There's a pumpkin pie in the fridge with my name on it!

Seriously, I will share, but my mom knows how much I love pumpkin pie, so she made one for me!!!!! She's making a pumpkin fluff pie for my sister, Mallory, which is a low-cal version of pumpkin pie. I like the fluff, but nothing beats pumpkin pie.

I made dinner for my parents tonight, and it finished just as my dad walked in the door. We all ate as much chicken tortilla soup as we could hold, and then my dad made hot wings. He tried a new seasoning combo, and his favorite sauce.

My mouth is still burning. I have never tasted anything so hot in my life, but it was incredibly tasty. (That is our word for the week). We could have skipped the sauce, and they'd still have been really spicy. With sauce... watch out.

Anyway, I am wiped out from the drive, and am ready to get some sleep. Tomorrow is going to be a long, long day. should be fun... I just wish all of my sisters were able to be here...

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Well, that's one more thing I can scratch off of my list of things to do.

I learned how to make rolls from scratch! Someone mentioned Parker House Rolls in a comment on a NYT article. So, I googled for a recipe. After I finished cleaning today, I decided to experiment, and see if I could make them.

They turned out great! I am, however, going to have make some adjustments, as I placed too many rolls in the baking dish, as I misread the instructions. I am also going to brush the tops with butter before baking, as I think that would help improve the texture and taste of the top of the roll. Not that there was anything wrong with either of those, but I like the crisp, flaky tops I get when I make rolls from frozen dough.

It did take a serious amount of time to make. For example, if I were going to do this for a holiday meal, I would need to get started about 3 hours before I intended to bake the rolls. It's a lot of hurry-up-and-wait, and a lot of oh-my-god-has-it-been-10-minutes-yet while kneading. It was totally worth it, and it makes a gigantic batch of rolls. Probably not enough for my extended family, but more than my son and I can eat before they go stale (any one nearby want some homemade rolls? The lab monitors are gone for the week, so I can't bring this home cooked goodness to them).

My son loved the rolls, and ate about 6, some with peanut butter, and some plain. Plain! And he's already thought of the next project he'd like me to try.

Home made noodles.

Not sure I'm up for that.

In any case, I have two more experiments for our holiday meal tomorrow. Green beans almondine, and roasted brussels sprouts. I was going to try making cranberry sherbet, too, but I don't have enough room in the freezer for the pan. Some other time. In any case, here is our Thanksgiving menu for tomorrow (and yes, this is just for my son and I. Leftovers are much anticipated!)

Roasted turkey breast, with my special seasonings
wild rice with water chestnuts and green onions (prepared ahead of time, and baked with the turkey)
green beans almondine
roasted brussels sprouts
parker house rolls, warmed
cranberry sauce

Of course, I couldn't eat so much as a single bite right now, as I, too, am stuffed full of rolls. And timing is going to be an issue, as I have never cooked just a turkey breast before, and in fact, have no idea where my meat thermometer is.

Hopefully, tomorrow night won't end with us in the ER...

Friday, November 21, 2008

Friday Funny

Today, I bring you everyone's favorite ex-vice-presidential candidate, Sarah Palin, showing the utmost in class and complete unawareness of her surroundings. (warning: do not watch if you are a vegetarian, or have a fondness for live turkeys)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Hypocrisy here is just astounding.

So, apparently, certain of the clergy are freaking out about Obama being voted president, and are saying that
Roman Catholics who voted for him should do penance, and not receive communion until that penance is completed.

This is, of course, over abortion. Let's just put that out there right now.

I am too angry right now to even write everything that I am feeling at this moment. I am also disappointed.

I think I am done with the Catholic Church.

I was shocked during mass Sunday morning, when our priest, who I had respected very much, said some things that he shouldn't have about the topic. I wanted to stand up and challenge him, but it would have been inappropriate.

And now I am thinking that this is what has to happen. For far too long, these men in Rome have dictated to women what we can and cannot do. It is not a matter of abortion, it is a matter of control.

Control. Period.

For the clergy in the Catholic Church to try to tell us that voting for Obama is something to be ashamed of is unconscionable. It cannot stand.

One has to wonder at the contradiction provided here. Let's see... how many years of war, how many billions of dollars that could give the children of this country health care, an education that does more than prepare them for a life of "do you want fries with that?" or "How many grams did you need?" or "Where's my money, bitch?" How many kickbacks to corporations, how many cries of "we have to deregulate!" or "we need smaller government!"

How's that working out for you?

America spoke on November 4th.

It's time the Catholic Church to understand that sometimes, the best person for the job may not be the one who tells you what you want to hear.

I've lost something this week that will never be recovered.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

And... it broke again.

The vacuum, that is. Second time in three months, and the stupid thing is JUST over a year old.

So, after about 20 minutes of deliberation after the second attempt at fixing it failed (no, it's NOT supposed to squeal like that!), I had my coat and shoes on, and was on my way to Target for a replacement.

This time, I spent a little extra and got a vacuum with a four-year warranty, instead of a cheap one with a 90-day warranty (never, EVER buy a vacuum without a good warranty). I vacuumed the main areas of the apartment, sucking up what the old vacuum had missed.

And as a bonus? The one has different scented filters you can buy, so as you vacuum, it makes the air smell good. I immediately installed the apple cinnamon filter, and the house smells nice and sweet.

Sometimes, it's nice to just give up fixing something and buy new.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

So why haven't I been doing the post-a-day thing?

Well, the biggest reason would be that I forgot to actually sign up for it! I participated the first year, forgot about it last year, then remembered just in time for this year, but forgot to register! How is that for an illustration of how my life has gone for the last two years?

Anyway, in the interests of not turning this blog into an unending litany of complaints about everything from politics to health concerns, I have been avoiding blogging when I am MOST irritated by those two subjects. And since I have been nothing BUT irritated by one or the other for weeks now, you have the reason why this blog has been mostly silent.

I am, of course, breaking this fast to give you an update on the situation.

I am sick again.

How is THAT for luck?

A couple of weeks ago, I had the flu. I was sick a full seven days, so nauseous I could barely raise my head, so lightheaded I could barely walk. I missed three days of work. The next two weeks I worked, and started to get a cold towards the end of last week. My son was sick during this time with a sore throat, and missed two days of school.

Over the weekend, my cold turned into a sinus infection. Oh joy.

My son missed school yesterday, and I stayed home as well. Both of us went to the doctor. My son - has a virus, nothing we can do other than fluids and throat lozenges. I, on the other hand, got the confirmed diagnosis of sinus infection, and had the supreme joy of having to visit the grocery store at the busiest hour of the day to get my prescription filled. And you know how the light just needles into your brain when you have a sinus infection, right? Add a bunch of noise to that, and it was not a very fun afternoon.

T the nurse practitioner recommended that I get some Claritin-D 12-hour, to take in the mornings to start drying up my sinuses. So I had the added joy of having to surrender my driver's license to the pharmacist, so he could swipe it and make sure that I wasn't a wanted meth-maker. Dude, look at my swollen sinuses. My only interest in the claritin is to get them back to normal as soon as possible...

Anyway, the babbling is just the boredom talking. I will go back to work tomorrow, as I can't take another day at home. Hopefully, I will last the whole day, and won't have tears streaming down my face from the sinus pain.

Oh, and if you are in Ames, watch for the Iowa State Daily, as I was interviewed for an article last Friday afternoon (one of the only reasons I dragged myself into the office that day, as I was dealing with a sore throat that was a prelude to this sinus infection). It is supposed to run early this week. As I was not at the office yesterday or today, I may have already missed it. It wasn't online, though, so perhaps not. Anyway, it has to do with how to waste time productively online, and stems from an article I wrote for my work website 8 years ago. You'll get the idea when you read it, as it really isn't about wasting time at all.

Okay, the teenager will be home shortly, and I am sure he has a ton of make up work to do. Plus, he missed a day of standardized testing on Thursday, and I am not sure when he'll have to make up that test. But, it does mean that he didn't miss much actual coursework that day.

I also suppose I should attempt to clean up the mess he left in the living room, where he camped out yesterday while recuperating on the couch. I have no idea why, with a wastebasket right next to the couch, he still managed to leave tissues and cough drop wrappers everywhere BUT in the basket. I've cleaned up most of these already, but I still need to pick up the various books, DVDs, and gameboy games that he piled around the couch. This is my fault for spending all day yesterday in my room, as he had claimed the couch. And since he left for school this morning, I have been alternately sleeping and reading in my room all day today. I DID empty and reload the dishwasher while waiting for my soup to warm up. So at least the kitchen is sort of tidy. It's just depressing that there is so much to do to get the house back into order. And I hate to even think about the laundry...

Oh well, I am two moments from sneezing right now, so I am going to sign off.

I hope this antibiotic works quickly...

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Two down, one to go

I'm sitting in the basement of my parents' house, enjoying what little peace there is to be had in a house full of seven adults, one teenager, one toddler, and two babies.

I am exhausted from cooking, picking up, and cuddling my nieces and nephews. Not to mention the fact that my cold is getting steadily worse as the weekend progresses, and church was at 8 this morning. I'm ready for a nap.

Except, this little bit of stolen time will be the only down time I get until I am back at home this evening. You see, in about an hour, the third birthday party in two days will begin.

Yes, you read that right. Three birthday parties this weekend. My granny's was yesterday evening, my nephew's was at lunchtime today, and my niece's party is this evening. All three of these parties are in separate locations, and luckily (or maybe NOT so luckily), the last one is at my mom and dad's house.

This means that in the last 24 hours, I made a pasta salad, and helped make potato salad, baked beans, and Mexicorn. I did NOT have to make the cake or frost it. I DID wrap all but one present, as I am "so much better at it." This, if you do not know, is code-word for "I really don't want to do it" in our house.

So, I should probably be upstairs helping get ready for the party. I will go up in just a few minutes, or the guilt will keep me from enjoying my moment of privacy.

But here is the BIG question for the day:

Can I eat another piece of cake today?

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Insanely busy day, and insane weather.

Thunderstorms tonight, snow by later this week. I am SO not ready for snow.

Way too many laser cutter training sessions today, way too many yesterday, way too many tomorrow. It really made it hard to get anything done. I played catch up all day.

Anyway, it's been a relaxing evening at home, and I am so ready to crawl into bed and sleep to the sound of the rain.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Okay, Now I can be HAPPY!!!!

Watching McCain's concession speech...

The only way I could be happier at this moment...

would be if I had a margarita in my hand to toast, and if it were closer to midnight that CNN was projecting Obama as the winner.

Forgive me if I want to be absolutely sure that Obama absolutely has won this election before jumping up and down for joy. We've been burned the last two presidential elections.

So, when a little more time has passed, and more complete numbers come in, I will join in the exhilaration that is sweeping the Chicago area.

He's got a very difficult job ahead of him, but I would not have voted for him if I did not think he could do it.

And yes, I am sitting here crying right now, just overcome.

This man SO needs to be our next President.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Words of Wisdom, and my opinion on Election Eve

"Have you noticed that there is this attempt to demonize those who would dare raise questions, or criticize any of our policies, and this whole effort to make people believe that Sarah Palin, for example, McCain for example, they love America more than you do. They love America better than Barack Obama does. This business about 'I love America, I care about it. I'm more patriotic.' I mean, that has been the whole mantra of this campaign. I think that Americans should not get frightened or fear offering criticism of their country. If we are to have a strong democracy, we must guard it with criticism, and to be able to point out where it's good, and not so good." - Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), from "Real Life" with Bill Maher, Oct. 17, 2008

For everyone thinking about voting third party tomorrow, please think about how you would feel if you woke up Wednesday morning to the news that McCain won. Gore lost Florida in 2000 by less than 300 votes. Every single vote counts. Please vote for the candidate who stands a real chance of changing the world for the better.

Obama/Biden - 2008!!!!


Sunday, November 02, 2008

Busy, busy, busy.

Tuesday night was the Marching Band Spectacular, which featured the marching band playing in the high school gym. It was really enjoyable! A couple of weeks ago, the freshman band marched at one of the last football games (they only participated in two). I managed to capture the hyper trombone player right after the halftime show. They do not take the uniforms home, so this was my last real opportunity to catch him in uniform.

Yesterday, my son went to his first high school Halloween party at a friend's house. He decided a week before the party that he wanted to be a Jedi, rather than a pirate. I was up for the challenge, as I was in need of a project to flex my sewing muscles. I did the best I could at the last second, but I ended up not being able to get any pants sew, or find any boots. Still, there are some solid pieces to build upon for future Halloweens.

While my son was at the party, I was at the Des Moines Renaissance Faire cast potluck at Sleepy Hollow Sports Park. At the end, only four of us wanted to go through the Haunted Houses. We had a GREAT time, and I haven't laughed so hard in a long, long time. We definitely agreed that we have to do this next year, as we had so much fun.

The front gate, spooked up for the holiday!

Saturday, November 01, 2008


Post a day keeps the brain in play...

Went to Sleepy Hollow Sports Park for the haunted houses. Way too much fun!

I can still taste the fog from the fog machine. Yuck.