Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Five More Days...

...Until I can send Yummy back to school.

But who's counting?

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Thinking of Girl's Names

Most of the time I receive nice presents. They are exactly what I asked for, and I am grateful for them. As a rule I do not like surprises so I am perfectly happy with this arrangement.

But once in a while, the perfect surprise happens.

And that is what my mother did this year for Christmas.

Meet the newest addition to My Sewing Room:
A dress form. An adjustable, pinable, stand alone dress form.
She keeps telling me her name is Vanessa or Denise. Neither of those names seems fitting (no pun intended) for my body double.
And since I know somebody will ask, she is wearing a dress I made for a friend's wedding several years ago. It's fully-lined, hand-beaded and has a matching stole. Approx size 12 if anyone needs to borrow it.

Won't You Be My...

My neighbor (the wife of the one who nearly electrocuted himself in my driveway) brought me three giant bags of boys clothing from her twins.

It was better than Santa. After all, he only has one bag.

I now have at least two years of basic clothing for Yummy, and Vicious will get the hand-me-downs. Not only does this help the budget (just think how much yarn and fabric I can buy now!) but I don't have to go shopping (for boys) for a while.

I think I'll make her some of my cinnamon rolls as a thank you.

Wouldn't it be great if all neighbors were neighborly?

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Daring Bakers-December

This month's challenge is brought to us by the adventurous Hilda from Saffron and Blueberry and Marion from Il en Faut Peu Pour Etre Heureux.They have chosen a French Yule Log by Flore from Florilege Gourmand

My camera is lurking in the depths of Christmas mayhem and the pictures sucked anyway.

This has been the most futzy recipe yet, which is why I joined DB in the first place so it's all good. I had to make a daquoise cake (I am learning some great terminology with this group), a mousse filling (I chose milk chocolate), a crisp filling (I chose coconut), a ganache filling (dark choc), a creme brulee filling and a frosting (I chose white chocolate). The link to the recipe is 20 pages long but once you choose your flavors it's more like seven.

I decided to use my springform pan and ended up with not enough room for the creme brulee filling. As my springform leaks anyway, it was probably good that I didn't make a creme brulee in it. I also experimented with agar for my frosting (as opposed to the gelatin) and learned I need more practice with agar--the frosting was more like a glaze, with bits floating in it--Very nice.

Luckily, I decided not to make this for any special event (less pressure) and simply spent a Saturday puttering around the kitchen, cleaning a TON of dishes and making my challenge. It tasted really good, but it looked sloppy. When it was done, I sliced it into 16 pieces and froze them individually. I still have several left.

Overall, I was disappointed with myself. I knew my frosting was a disaster but I still poured it on and I would have learned more from making the creme brulee (which I have never done).

I look forward to seeing January's challenge. Maybe I'll have my mojo back.

Recipe here.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

Holiday advice:

Vicious: Walk softly and carry a big stick.
Yummy: Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.

Mountain Mama and the Businessman: Have a very Merry Christmas!

Hope you enjoy our card!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

No Better Use For a Computer

I can think of no better reason to own a computer than to go on this site:

Where is Santa now?

Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas Card 2007

This was another montage year. Only it was because we had so few decent pictures. The inside was so lame I won't even blog it.

You wouldn't believe how much cropping and finagling it took to get these pictures.

You will just have to wait until after Christmas to see this year's card. If you're on my list, they went out yesterday (the printer taking two weeks to ship them to us).

We had one cute picture this year (well, one that had both kids in it). I'm still thinking the inside is witty, but that may change. The businessman likes it. He also likes Cops, Hamburger Helper and Windex so I'm leary of his opinion.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christmas Card 2006

This was the year we had several pics we loved. It was also the year we moved to Colorado.

There is an exception to the "No Adults" rule here. Those are my feet (the big ones not the small ones).

Inside it read:

After six years in Washington
Enjoying the rain, trees, and fun,
We decided to head for high country.
Included: Grandparents and sun.

So Christmas is in Colorado this year
In the city where mom and dad met.
And though we still miss the Pacific Northwest
Santa will not get as wet.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas Card 2005

This was our Christmas card/birth announcement. It is my favorite picture I have ever taken.

And also the last time Yummy was nice to Vicious.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Christmas Card 2004

This was the cover of our 2004 card. Inside it read "Happy Nude Year!"

That day we took pics of Yummy running around in the sprinklers. He grabbed a daisy and I loved the way the camera focused on the flower and slightly blurred the rest of the image.

This is also why I should be setting money aside for therapy sessions when he is an adult.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Christmas Card-2003

I love our Christmas cards. Every year, we go through our limited supply of pictures and chose the best to grace our card. I spend long hours thinking of something witty to write on the inside (and then come up with it after I place the order) and then we go to Starbucks and address, stamp and mail them out.

Love the pixilation. This is our first card. For Halloween that year we themed out and presented ourselves as an all American family. Little Yummy Bear (now age 5) is a bald eagle sucking his thumb. The others are self explanatory. Inside was the smarmy poem:

It started as a costume
Of feathers, felt and glue.
Now Liberty and Freedom
And Uncle Sam want you
To share the holiday spirit
as the year turns new,
And have a Merry Christmas
From the three of us to you.

Every Halloween my MIL offers to take our pic for the card. This is the only time we used a Halloween picture, and the only time adults appear on the card.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008



That's the cost of my car repairs.

Merry Christmas to me.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Carbon Monoxide or Hypothermia?

Businessman: Hello?
Me: Hey, when you drove the car this morning, did it smell like gasoline?
B: Uh, no.
Me: Hmm, maybe it's the car I'm driving behind.

This conversation happened while I was driving thirty miles away to a kid's birthday party. While on the interstate, the smell dissipated.

When the party was over, someone offered to start my car for me to warm it up. Five minutes later, I got in the car and almost gagged on the fumes. A quick check outside showed exhaust coming out of the tail pipe, so I didn't think it was clogged. However, every time I stopped at a light I was inundated with fumes. I called the Businessman and explained the situation. His suggestion:

"Promise me you'll crack the windows."

Of course this sounds ridiculously smart, except for one problem: the temperature outside was -5 degrees. Not a typo.

When I got our slightly blue children home (blue from cold, I assume, and not asphyxiation) he noted that my car made the garage smell like gas.

So, guess who gets to drive my car this week?

Friday, December 12, 2008


I joined a gym this week.

Yesterday I was trying to get Vicious dressed so we could go to the gym while 5yo was in school. He started crying because he wanted to go to the gym too.

So I went twice.

I wonder how long the kids will enjoy the play area.

Don't Kill the Cat

I received a sly little present in the mail today. From a devoted reader.

You're all curious aren't you? All three of you.

You'll just have to wait until I have a chance to try out my new. . .item. I live with people who are not worthy of such largess but I may indulge myself a little.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


My neighbor got a new toy last year, a snowblower, and didn't get to use it. We got snow last week and I smiled to myself when I heard his toy start up. Gradually the noise got louder and louder and then there was a horrible grinding noise and the snowblower stopped. Ten seconds later there was a knock on my door.

"I was blowing your driveway and I ran over your extension cord (for the Christmas lights). Could you unplug it for me?"

!!! I rushed into the garage, unplugged the cord and then ran out to assess the damage. The cord managed to get wound around the barrel three times and was frayed in a couple places. He tugged and untangled but couldn't free it.

Enter Super-Homemaker. This operation was very similar to extracting yarn from a vacuum. I did it with finesse and a flourish.

And I am thankful the man didn't electrocute himself in my driveway.

How nice it is to have a neighbor who'll do nice things though.

Monday, December 08, 2008


I brushed my teeth with baking soda today.

I tried to multitask last night and search for my iPod downstairs while brushing my teeth with my toothbrush. It automatically shuts off after two and a half minutes which seems an eternity unless I'm multitasking. I eventually found my iPod and brought it upstairs but left the toothbrush downstairs.

This morning, while doing my usual control-the-chaos-of-getting-the-kid-ready-for-school, I realized my toothbrush was downstairs, but my toothpaste was upstairs. In a pinch, I used baking soda. I should have climbed the stairs. Not only do my teeth not feel clean, but I almost tossed my cookies in the kitchen sink. Lovely.

Toothbrush is back in his home. Baking soda is back among my cleaning supplies.

We (baking soda and I) will never speak of this again.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Now It's Just Redundant

I saw yet another lady from my old colorguard today. That makes four in the past two months.

Since fate is filling in the holes with very little effort from me, I'll make a wishlist of missing links I'd like to find:

The one from Illinois who graduated a year before me
My co-caption
The red-headed guard instructor
My waistline

Well, that last one will probably need a LOT of effort from me.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

The Economy

I know someone facing possible foreclosure. In fact, among the five of us that were offering moral support, we knew four families facing this problem.

One lady asked: Why can't the government just insist that the banks stop raising the ARM rates?

I usually ponder questions like this and try to see the other side and this time I can't.

Why do the banks have to raise interest rates on ARMS right now? Wouldn't it be better for them to still receive a smaller mortgage payment than a foreclosed home?

It wouldn't solve our economy, but it would help out thousands of families. That can't be bad.

Or am I ignorant of something?

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

He's Back!

My 5yo has been strangely charming. He's generous with unsolicited "I love you"s. He's doing all his chores and some of mine. On rare occasions, he's nice to his brother.

Which led me to realize...

The original Big Brother is back.

Parents everywhere who spend a big chunk of the year using every discipline in the book and inventing some that aren't now have their work made easy:

Santa is watching.

In the time it takes a two year old to climb on top of the refrigerator; in the time it takes a three year old to lock his parents out of the house so he can eat all the yogurt; in the time it takes a four year old pretending to be a cat to try using the kitty's potty (all of the above are true stories, though not all mine, and all happened in a ridiculously short amount of time); those three words practically guarantee good behavior.

Santa is watching. Let the holidays begin.

Potsticker Salad

My family loves potstickers. Rarely I make them from scratch, more often I buy a bag of them frozen and pull out as needed.

They can be high on calories though, especially since I could eat about 15 in one sitting.

So I went to workout with the Businessman (his gym is giving free guest passes until January) and I was starving, but I didn't want to betray all my efforts of the previous hour. We both agreed this salad should be in the permanent rotation. It is ridiculously easy.

Dipping sauce/Dressing:
Equal amounts soysauce and rice vinegar
Chili oil to taste.

One bag of Broccoslaw
Potstickers, cooked your favorite way (see directions on bag)

Steam the broccoslaw in the microwave about four minutes until tender. Decide whether to cut your potstickers into bite size chunks or leave them whole. Toss them, the slaw and some dressing together.

You could also add shredded carrots, tofu, water chestnuts, whatever. The idea here is to make a salad out of a potsticker filling.

If you don't have potstickers on hand you could also cook some pasta (rotini comes to mind) and fry it in a little oil until it's crunchy and toss that in. I would add more fixins to the salad though, so it really was more like potsticker filling.

Monday, December 01, 2008

A Little Love to a Soldier

I mentioned before that I have a friend in Iraq. I can't imagine being in her shoes. She has two small children and is several thousand miles away from her family. We decided we wanted to help make her Christmas special.

She requested some "pretty slippers" to hang out in. With soles. I made her some.

She's also a quilter so I found some pretty fabric (at least I thought it was pretty) as well as some special fabric that you can print on. I don't know if she has access to a printer, but if she does she can print some pics of her kids and make a quilt around them.

I also included a quilting magazine, a puzzle magazine, some biscotti (thanks for the suggestion), some taffy (a rememberance from visiting her when she had a massive pregnancy craving), and hope that she'll be home soon.
I mailed it and have since learned that she might have liked coffee. I didn't know her coffee capabilties at the time or I would have hooked her up.
Maybe I'll send another package in a couple months.

The Vish

My 2yo becomes a 3yo today. He is headstrong, adventurous and daring--all traits that can be traced directly back to the Businessman. He has a mop of curly blond hair and a darling Germanic face--attributes from me I suppose. (Yes I know I have brown hair, but just look at my baby pictures.) He is into anything extreme: Hockey, skateboarding, BMX, flight and skydiving. He asked to go skiing for Christmas, well, skijumping but we'll start with skiing.

For his birthday we got him a helmet.

I love you Vicious. Happy Birthday!
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