Sunday, February 22, 2009

He da man!

Weekends are extremely busy for us right now. My oldest daughter has play rehersals on Saturdays (she's in a Shakespeare group), and band practice on Sundays (she's a piper in a bagpipe band). My hub and I do a lot of running around as neither of these practices is near to our home. Today, my husband kept our little one with him, and when I got home (with a car full of groceries--which he put away!), he had done 3 loads of laundry, vacuumed for a visit from my mom and out-of-town auntie, and changed the sheets. He had a nice fire roaring (it's--you guessed it--raining here in the Bay Area). He even wanted to help make the late lunch we were all going to enjoy. I kicked him out of the kitchen--that's MY jurisdiction :) After we ate, he even did the dishes (I didn't kick him out then, lol).
Am I a lucky lady or what??? ;)

A few things about me. . . .

I see other bloggers do this. It looks like fun--here goes:

  • I'm a vegetarian. Who doesn't want to hear about it.

  • I have always wanted to learn to drive a semi-truck.

  • My favorite song is "Dig" by Incubus.

  • I dream in color.

  • I'm terrified -- beyond all reasoning -- of heights and small spaces.

  • I've never, ever colored my hair (80% of American women do!).

  • Despite that fact, my hair used to be a lot. . . .browner.

  • Cosmetic surgery doesn't seem quite as ridiculous to me as it did 20 years ago.

  • Embarrassingly, I found out that a song I liked was sung by Justin Timberlake.

  • I'm dyscalculic (look it up).

  • My parents almost named me Tracy.

  • I have one brother and one sister, both younger than I.

  • I sometimes edit my friend's Christmas letters. I can't help it.

  • I don't suffer idiots or cruelty easily. I'm getting old enough to not care what others think of me when I intervene when faced with either.
  • I'm currently reading Ted, White and Blue by Ted Nugent.
  • I can dance. Really well.
  • I cannot bowl. People bring me to bowling alleys for comic relief.

That's it for now. When I think of something that I think someone else would like to read, I'll let y'all know.


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Had the yummiest dinner tonight. Want to know the recipe? There isn't one. I'm not that kind of cook. I love to cook, and I cook yummy foods. But recipes are for sissies. OK, not really, but I try a recipe once by the book and if we like it, I'll make it again, but all bets are off as far as following the recipe exactly. Baked goods are an exception :) Here's what we had tonight:


Get a loaf of good quality rye bread, any style you like. Grandma Marilyn (my husband's paternal Grandma) always made them on those tiny rye bread loaves. They are pretty cute. I like the "Natural Preferences Cocktail Rye Bread" which I found at Whole Foods. I'm a nut for natural food. But any good rye bread will do, and if you don't care about living past 60, by all means, get the bread they have in regular supermarkets ;) Mix in a big bowl the following: 1 little can of diced olives (4.5 oz.), the kind that's chopped up reeeeally small, about a cup of shredded cheddar (maybe more), and about 1/4 to 1/3 cup of finely diced onions. Mix and add approximately 1/3 cup of mayonnaise, just enough to wet it up and hold it all together. Adjust as you see fit, but it can't be too sloppy, no matter how much you may like mayo :) Spoon about a tablespoon on top of those little rye breads and pop under broiler for a couple minutes, till they are golden brown and bubbly. Or bake at 375* until they look golden and bubbly, or you can't stand it anymore. If you baked these on regular sized bread, use a pizza cutter to cut them in quarters. Plan on about 6 per person, if served as an appetizer or with soup. Plan on eating the entire loaf if you have nothing else as a side dish.

We had this with MOMMY SOUP, also made without a recipe. This is fun, huh?! This soup was first introduced to me by my dear friend Shirley (Hi, Shirley!), who brought it to homeschool park day and doled out little samples to everyone. That was so nice of her! That's just the kind of sweet person Shirley is. Well, we all loved it and showed our appreciation for her kindness by almost trampling her trying to get to the tureen for more. She gave the recipe to everyone, but to be honest, it was a bit too much work for me. I soon memorized the ingredients I really cared about and made it my own, hence the incredibly well-thought-out name. The beauty of this soup is it's versatility. If you don't have something, it works well without an ingredient or two, and doesn't rely on measurements overmuch, as you can see. Here goes:

Assemble: A bunch of carrots (tonight I used only 3, but they measured 8" at the large part so they were pretty significant carrots, as carrots go). A bunch of broccoli (I cheat and buy it pre-cut in the bag from Trader Joe's). A bunch of cauliflower (same thing about the bag). A couple russet potatoes, peeled and chopped. A box of stock (I use vegetable), or several cups of your own homemade. First, I toss a large chopped onion (or 2) in some olive oil and cook it over medium heat till it's nice and translucent, perhaps a bit brown. I also toss in some garlic cloves, chopped in half. Then I put in the stock, starting with about 2 cups and adding more if necessary. You want the stock to cover the veggies so they cook thoroughly, but not so the veggies are completely floating. Next, add the diced carrots, broccoli and cauliflower, all chopped up. Put it on "high", cover the pot, and walk away for a little while, and let the vegetables cook and get soft--perhaps 15 minutes, depending on how many vegetables you have. After they are soft, the stock should be diminished. If it isn't, leave the lid off the pot for a few minutes till the stock decreases a bit. You want to see stock, but not have the vegetables covered by it. Then, pour in a cup or two of cultured buttermilk. This is really important, since it imparts a lot of flavor, and buttermilk is good for you :) Here's where it gets fun: get out your stick-blender (if you don't have one of these, get off the computer, go to Bed, Bath and Beyond or Target and get yourself one. You'll wonder how you lived without it). Blend all this good stuff right up in the pot. What could be simpler? Add more buttermilk if you need to to make it soupy. I like to season with salt, pepper and dried dill. Yum. The best thing about this "recipe" is that it's almost fool-proof. Tonight, for instance, I didn't have any cauliflower or broccoli. I made it with just carrots and potatoes, and loads of onions. It was beyond delicious. Serve with crusty sourdough and real butter if you don't have the Rye Bread Thingys. Remember to say Grace before eating.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Rain Bizarre. . . .

Today I looked out into our backyard and this is what I saw: rain in the southern part. Sunshine in the other half. Our backyard is average-sized, but the weather has been so bizarre lately, we actually appeared to be having two different weather systems going on in a 50-foot space. We all watched it for a while, and then the cloud that was raining in only part of our yard moved on and life went back to normal. Wet, rainy, hair-frizzing normal. Life is good. . . .

Dive Right In and The Drive From Hell

Yesterday, my 4-year old and I went food shopping. We parked and spent about an hour inside the store. When we were finished, I was grateful that we'd asked for "help out". Surprise--my car was sitting in about 6 inches of water, water that certainly was not there when I parked an hour previously. My car was sort of just floating, or at least that's how it appeared. I couldn't believe it. "I guess the storm drain backed up again--I should call Maintenance about this!" said the keenly observant clerk as he tried to direct me through the shallowest part of the pool. All I could think was, "Again? This has happened before, and no one thought to check this out today?". It's been raining most of the last couple weeks around here, and it shows no sign of stopping. The storm when we parked was particularly fierce. Ten-day weather forecasts have mostly that little cloudy icon, with "showers" and "rain" predominating, although I'm not sure exactly what differentiates the two. Since we live in a very suburbanized area, where everything is paved, there isn't a way for the ground to keep up with all this rainfall--rainfall we desperately need. So we flood. Talk about insult to injury. Back to the car: I stood there, holding the little hand of my baby girl, and pondered this soggy mess. I wracked my brain trying to figure out a way to get around this problem. My car was completely surrounded by water. The clerk had it easy, since there was slightly less flooding at the back of my SUV, where he was loading my groceries. Plus, he wasn't wearing clogs. Cloth clogs. Read: absorbent. Finally, I figured out the truth: there was no way, absolutely no way to get out of this mess except to dive right into it. Yes, it was going to feel cold and disgusting. Yes, I was going to get wet. But I was already getting soaked standing in the pouring rain wondering what to do, and it wasn't getting me any closer to dry clothes and a warm and toasty fire at home. So I stepped in. . . .and I was right: it did feel cold and disgusting. Also, the water started wicking up my pants legs, something I hadn't thought about. I gave a little dramatic gasp, said something like, "Eeeeuck!" and tossed my little girl into the back seat. And proceeded to begin The Drive From Hell. To say, "It was a dark and stormy night" would be accurate. Hey, sometimes, it really IS a dark and stormy night. It was so stormy, no one was doing more than 45 on the freeway. I hydroplaned not once, not twice, not three, four or five times during that ride home, but six times. Scary as all get-out. People were just flying all over the road, in little swervy manuevers, and I'm betting I wasn't the only one with white knuckles. You've heard the expression There are no atheists in foxholes ? Well, there are no atheists on roadways like this, either. Or at least there shouldn't be. I'm no atheist, and I felt especially close to God during this horrendous ride home, with my soggy shoes and soggy pant bottoms.

How about you? When faced with a less-than-desirable situation, do you hem and haw, or dive right in? Keep in mind, there weren't a whole lot of options for me, but I still hesitated. I really, really wanted something supernatural to happen right then and there, like perhaps a very minor earthquake, just big enough to make a teeny-tiny crack in the parking lot and drain some of that nasty cold water so I could get to my car in comfort. I'm laughing about it now, since some time's gone by and I can find it humorous. Plus, I'm warm :)

And tomorrow, I get to go shopping for another pair of shoes. I think I'll pick a store on a hill.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Wintertime, and the living is easy. . . .

For some reason this winter, I've been pretty relaxed. I'm usually pretty high-strung and energetic, although I have my mellow side. But lately, the mellow side has sort of taken over. We normally take down the Christmas tree right after New Year's ("C'mon, it's time, Christmas is over!!!"). But this year, it stayed up until after my Birthday, which is the third week of January. The weird thing is, it didn't even bother me to have it up so long! We went on a snow-play trip on the 26th, and we had to take it down right before then, for obvious safety reasons. And because I'd be really embarrassed for the pet-sitter to see it :)

Have you been feeling mellow this winter season? Wanting to sit by a fire and bake cookies and just veg for much of the time? Let me know. I'd like to hear what good books you're reading, and how you spend your mellow-time.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Some Blogger I am!!!

My apologies to all my fans. Seems I took a little longer than I intended to post my. . . .ahem. . . .second entry. I promise to be better in the future :)

A lot has happened since September. We've visited several sites as a family, the kids have participated in many activities, changes have occured, yada, yada. So much to talk about. Right now, I've got to get to bed. After a good night of beauty sleep, I'll be able to post something tomorrow or the next day.

Thanks for your patience, my loyal and dear fans (this is pretty much my sister, and a couple friends and maybe my husband if he has time at work). Sleep tight!