Saturday, December 13, 2008

It's Friday night and I ain't got nobody...........

Yes, I was alone. In the car. For 30 minutes! It was dark and cold and I was lonely. Being alone sometimes is lonely. I am so used to a small crowd or my little person next to me chanting for food, that I don't get a chance for peace and quiet. Someday they will all be gone and I will really feel lonely but for now I'll enjoy the blessings of my leg being used as a transportation device to get from room to room, having to share just about EVERYTHING I eat with whomever followed me into the kitchen, and carpooling everywhere I go, to include extra children who just happen to be in the stampede.
Besides, isn't the bathroom "THE PLACE" for peace and quiet?

Monday, December 8, 2008

Smoke Alarmed French Toast

This morning I decided to make an old favorite, French toast. Mind you, in this house between the hours of 6:30-7:30 I am like one of the folks on "Iron Chef", making lunches, getting breakfasts ready and getting people out of the door in 3, count them 3 shifts. Now add a little kindergarten neighbor who is extremely, cheerful in the morning and you have a recipe for fire. So her I go, Mr decides he wants a different lunch than the one I packed for him, Spring chick got up late, Science dude is chatting away, Cali girl is sleeping late and Queen E is I don't know where in the morning. So I get Mr and Spring out the door, get the French toast started, cut on the iron to iron some "out of the black hole" clothes for E and bake some cookies that Wyndon mixed last night. (The recipe follows this blog.)

So I get the first batch of French toast out and start the second one. The little folks are eating and I'm enjoying the moment of silence (rolling out cookie dough) when all of a sudden, from the next room, Science dude says, "Mom, I smell smoke!" Not a lot, I tell you, but just enough to trigger the loud and oversensitive British smoke alarm. That's not what you want to hear when you have 20 minutes to get hair done, cookies baked, bags checked, coats on and children out the door. Here we go, Science dude runs upstairs to baby who is screaming in terror, Queen E, covers her ears and hovers in fear and I'm yelling for a fan to cut on and blow away the cough of smoke that triggered that stupid thing on! Nobody hears me and I'm running to get the fan, open a door and window, plug up and aim the silly thing, shut the door to the screaming baby and cover my ears! Oh Lord,help me! Now the fan on and aimed,I endured the eardrum piercing shrill for 6 minutes before that thing finally went off. Then, seconds after the air was clear, the phone rang, someone was knocking at the door and I can't remember what else happened.

I did get the cookies to the children and they made it to the bus on time with ears still ringing. But the kicker was that the toast wasn't burnt, but just a lovely dark brown.

Now, how can I disconnect that thing?

Mama Reed’s Tea Cakes- Recipe from

1 C butter or margarine
1 C sugar
3 eggs
3 1/2 C self rising flour
1 tsp vanilla

Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and mix again. Add vanilla and flour and mix well. Roll thin on floured board, cut with cookie or biscuit cutter. Bake at 350 for ten minutes. Sprinkle with sugar while warm or ice with simple icing.

Simple Icing

2 T softened butter or margarine
1/2 C Confectioner’s sugar
2 Tablespoons milk (can add another if needed)
1 tsp vanilla
Few drops food coloring

Cut butter into confectioner’s sugar. Add milk and stir until lumps are gone. Add one teaspoon of vanilla and a few drops of food coloring, stir until combined. Spoon onto cookies or tea cakes and spread with back of spoon. Top with sprinkles while still wet, if desired. Let dry before stacking.


Black Holes and Laundry

Alright. Where are they? I've been questioned about it for the last time. I don't know where the underwear have gone and I haven't seen them. Either they don't make it out of your room or they get into the hamper and disappear into the black hole.
Tell me, is this happening at your house too? I don't understand it. Sure,supply-wise, I make sure that everyone has a weeks worth of undergarments each plus a couple of extra, but where do they go in the meantime? Aruba? Yes, the children have 2 days of laundry each as their chores, and I end up doing most of that, but honestly, where could they hide them if they wanted too? And if they wanted to hide them, could they even find any?
Are we talking in circles here? I think it's time for the laundry swat team!
I'll let you know what happens after the raids begin.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

A troublesome cake

You all know the classic German Chocolate cake, right? Well, I love them insanely if they're made from scratch. I set out to make that cake, and make it, I would.

Well the first thing I ran out of was flour. Easily remedied, that was on the storage shelf. Next problem was eggs, nearly not enough for the recipe either. What is this-a conspiracy??? Okay, the last straw was vanilla. I KNOW I bought 10 bottles of that when it was on the clearance rack. I looked and looked but no vanilla. I used half of what was required for the cake itself and I finally had to break down and call for help. My handy neighbor, Heidi, Lord bless her, was happy to help and in doing so she earned 1/5 of that delicious cake. After all of that trouble,the bottom layer fell when Science dude opened the door and poof! It was flat, but delicious. Anyhoo, I'm glad I don't make it that often since that gives me a chance to appreciate it.

Gee, after all of that trouble, it only lasted a few days.......

Thanksgiving-Okay, I'm a little late on this.

Well, we had an eventful Thanksgiving at our house starting with Mr. going to work. He always seems to get the jobs that care not about a holiday, but about the mission. Yes, I made him a good breakfast with a promise of bringing him lunch once the cooking marathon was over. Needless to say, he got out of the door and 15 minutes later, the phone rang and someone announced that Mr was going to get sent home early! Thank the Lord! Needless to say, it still took him 3 hrs to get home, but he made it and helped with the continuing sink loads of dishes and pots. We had a great time and were blessed with each others company that afternoon. Everyone's favorite food was there except for my German Chocolate Cake. Sniff, sniff, he had to wait until Friday since there wasn't much room in the fridge for him or anything else. So sadly, we had no guests and we didn't get to make any crafts and we were tired from I don't know what, but it was a good day of thanks.
And for all things Lord, we are thankful.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Mr Turkey comes home!

I finally did it. I bought the Thanksgiving turkey. I wasn't sure of what size to get since the guest list was up in the air, but I went ahead and picked out a mid-sized one. I thought I should have gotten 2 but our freezer space is minimal and the fridge will be full of other things.
So I get home from the road trip for gas, school stuff, mail check, and turkey run and I see that there really isn't room for Mr Turk in the freezer or fridge. I was not giving up my reduced yogurt space for him (Oh, they marked another kind down that we like), so I had to come up with a plan. He would sleep in the garage. Oh yes- even though we don't have a fridge for him. He has to thaw anyway and the weather is at a brisk thirty something degrees so he can sleep in a cooler in the garage.
If we get ill from food poisoning you know what happened, but for now sweet dreams Mr.Turkey.

Beef Stew, Revived!!

Okay, Sunday was a couple of days ago, but I can't help but remember this lovely beef stew I made. It had huge chunks of beef, stewed tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, celery, bay leaf, and a variety of spices. Ladled over a hot piece of cornbread, it was a lumberjacks dream meal."Spring chicken", who happens to not be nearly the size of a small lumberjack, was in foodie heaven. As sensitive as her stomach is and how easily it fills and bloats, I was surprised when she asked for seconds and then proceeded to request a third bowl. "Whoa, Nellie!" was my reply to that since I knew she'd never make it through the night with all of that food processing in her tummy without a shot of Guinness to push it through. She went to bed disappointed but not feeling ill which could have been the case.

Mr. came home waaaayyyy late from work and by then, I had scrubbed the pots and pans which always mean, "You are too late for me to serve you. I have moved on to my other job as a bedwarmer for short people". He served himself and said something to me which I can't remember because of the "shut-eye" position.

So, Monday comes and off to work goes Mr. He works 14+ hrs when he goes to work so we might not see him for 2-3 days, but he generates laundry and dirty dishes so we know he has been here.

Dinner, what can we have for dinner? Did I mention that Science dude is home, hacking a lung, dragging tissues and infecting us all? Dinner-okay I reallly don't have any ideas for this until I spy the hunks of beef laying in wait in the fridge. Beef soup! Oh yeah, I just have to add some broth, tomatoes, cut up whatever meat and veggies are left and put in my secret ingredient to thicken it. I had to move it to a bigger pot because Spring Chicken said it didn't look like enough. So we added more broth, secret ingredient and some tomato sauce to it. I personally though it tasted better than the stew. Oh, we served it over cold cornbread to cool it off quickly. Even California girl, the vegetarian, enjoyed her broth and veggies over cornbread crumbs.
Now to clean out the fridge for Mr.Turkey!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

What a week!

We survived and didn't get much done, but thank the Lord, we survived! Mr has encountered a lot of pain lately and I am starting to wonder if he should be reevaluated. He can't cough or sneeze without pain in his chest. I have ordered the top of the line pain reliever for him and am waiting for it to come in the mail.
Talk about the mail. I ordered a pattern on the 20th of October and just got it on the 22nd of November. They said give it 3 weeks and I think I was extra patient for this one.

We ran out of yogurt to go with the granola I made last week. I can't seem to get the balance right. Now I have to get some more yogurt and I'm sure that it won't be on sale. Balance, balance, and patience. Teeter tottering. Hmmmmmm..........

Thursday, Mr, Cali girl and I went to Asda in Cambridge. Asda is just like Wal_Mart, only here. We had a good time and bought too much bread since it was still warm from the oven and we couldn't resist. Friday, the previously mentioned trio mailed boxes, and I had a speaking engagement about living in Britain. Mr. and Cali went and got lost at the BXtra and I couldn't find them when I walked over there. It was cold and the wind was starting to kick up a bit but it was a good and brisk walk for me.

Friday night, I decided that Mr and I would take a little trip to spend some time and try to figure out some ongoing issues that have been plaguing our household. We spoke to a few people and learned a lot. Prayer is needed on that subject.

Mr had to work over the weekend, so I decided that it would be a good time to unpack some boxes in the garage that haven't been opened since the spring. It was like opening gifts on Christmas morn. Since it was so cold outside, Science dude and I only lasted about 40 minutes before we declared it too nippy to work. I didn't guess that my fingers and toes would be so uncomfortable thawing out! Oh, it hurt when they tingled and felt like electrical shocks. And yes, I did have on gloves and socks but apparently they weren't thick enough.
I cooked all day,(at least it seemed like I did), and we cleaned up for a bit, but I was back and forth on Yahoo messenger talking to an old friend from my old neighborhood.

Our Saturday menu was like this:
Homemade biscuits, orange juice and a fat slice of Polska Kielbasa
Moms Not-so-Chinese fried rice
Moms Beef, onions and pepper pizza (Cali had macaroni with cheese sauce)

It was cold that night and Science dude went to spend the night at his friends house. He was sniffling all day and I didn't attack him with any remedies like I should have.
He dosen't get sick that often and he is so apologetic when he is.
I hope this isn't the start of an epidemic!!!!!!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

What expiration date?

Okay, last week I hit upon a great deal on this German yogurt we love and is a bit expensive. Instead of $1.95 it was .50 cents!!! Woo-hoo, so I bought some, or to be exact, a LOT of it. Was I thinking? Probably not, but hey,I got a good deal. So with this plain yogurt that I bought comes granola. But we just happen to be out of granola in any shape, fashion or form. The yogurt was to expire 48 hrs later and the clock was ticking. So I decided to make granola. My good old standard recipe given to me by Leslie A. of Grandview. My oldest, aka,"Spring Chicken", dosen't like this kind and wanted me to make freezer granola (Rachel U. of Squaw Valley's recipe), which I have deemed impossible due to the size of our miniature freezer(that's another story). So with the clock ticking on the yogurt life span, I forgot about it. Yes, another forgetful episode of mine-rare indeed. Saturday comes, we have overnight guests and I am running around with Mr. and didn't have time. Then Sunday came around and I went to the bazaar, blah, blah- we blew out the lights in the dining room and I was making Sunday dinner and -no time again. Monday comes and we are out again, me and the Mr. He blew out the lights upstairs and we were really in the dark until he went out to the garage (I know it's an insane place to put it, but the circuit breaker is in there), so we could have light. Was I distracted? Well yea!!
So, Mr. goes to work on Tuesday and I have to go to the allergy clinic for "Spring Chicken"-has allergy treatments twice weekly, go by the school for paperwork for "Royal E", and drop off "California Girl" for her first time at the baby sitter.
Can you see the miles rolling by?
Okay, after all of this, I make it home 20 minutes before the bus pulls up with Royal E, Science Dude and neighbor boy, Xander. So I get to working on dinner and spy the dying yogurt in the fridge. Oh, I have got to make granola NOW!! Dinner is cooking and I need peanut butter for the granola.Mr. has insisted that I use this natural peanut butter we brought from the states that expired- let me finally check the label. Hold on, drumroll.......... in APRIL 2008!!!
Oh, I feel sick. I know it's mental, but it's real. So I make this granola and bake it, finally tasting it with Spring Chicken when we look at each other and say, "this dosen't taste right!" I , being of sound mind and tight pockets declare that i am not going to throw it away and will save it by adding MORE peanut butter, but Spring Chick says use Jiff!So I remix honey and pb, mix in the recycled granola and put it back in the oven. Nearly forgot it this time due to an emergency bath needed by Cali girl so Science Dude got it out of the oven. We finally ate dinner and went to taste the granola again. This time it was more palatable and we decided to keep it. If we didn't, there were going to be some ducks and cows having a good time down the road tonight!
It was getting late and Mr wasn't home by 8:45 so I got everyone to finish their chores and we were in bed by 9pm. Whew!!!
So, the moral of this story is, don't stay up too late helping teenagers because your faculties will not be up to par for several days beyond and always check the expiration date even after your hubby says "It's all right to eat". Someone has to survive the mass poisoning!
At 6:30 am, in his lunch today was packed: 2 yogurts, a fat ziplock bag full of granola and some cottage pie!
I hadn't checked the date before I wrote this..................

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Every promise in the book is mine.......

Frankly after only 5 hrs of sleep, I am toast! My head is floating and I can't remember a thing. I was on the way upstairs to get something and forgot about halfway up. Then I remembered and then forgot again before I touched the top stair! Now, if you know me, I usually have a good memory and today's episode on the staircase is NOT ME! I am just so tired and weary, which made me think of the song;

"Every Promise in the Book"

Every promise in the Book is mine
Every chapter, every verse, every line
All the blessings of His love divine
Every promise in the Book is...

Mine, mine, mine
Jesus is mine
Mine when I'm weary
Mine when I'm cheery
Mine, mine, mine, mine
Jesus is Mine
Jesus is Mine all the time

Now, I must have been on the brink of delirium, but when that song went through my mind, all I could see with my eyes opened, mind you, was the picture of the Sistine Chapel. Yes, that's right! I was seeing the beautiful work of Michelangelo swirling above my head.( I think it had something to do with Spring chicken's schoolwork and the extensive study of Raphael that she was doing. And that Raphaels work mimiced Micaelangelos who complained about it after his death.) Angels, yes, and lots of them. It was a wonderful sight and then I blinked and it was all over. So, I think with that I am going to go and take a quick nap before the baby wakes up!
I'm not sure I'll be able to drive later without one!

Late one night.........

It's midnight and a half and I am finishing up some schoolwork with my teenager. I got to do the fun part. Something that we all learned to do in preschool. Cut and paste and color. It has been a long time since I got to sit down and be creative with a box of crayons. Usually I am passing them out and picking them up. This time I got a bit fancy and worked a few flowers into the picture. We were doing a family tree for my teenager and I was trying to color in the background around the tree. A little grass here, a couple of flowers there, a cloud or two and voila! A relaxing moment with not a care in the world. Now I can see why artists can paint uninterrupted for hours and lose all concept of time. Perhaps that's what happens to my beloved when he starts doing things. He dosen't check the time and I have to awaken him from his concentration. Hmmm.Is he really working or is he ignoring me?
That, Dear Watson, is a mystery.

Friday, November 14, 2008

"No" hurts

Right now I am trying to teach California girl, maybe train Cali girl not to do things such as pull things off of the shelves. I was pretty sure she got this concept a month or two ago but has regressed since then. As I type, I am inhaling the fumes of a bad diaper and flagging down my rampant shelve disorderer.
Let me take care of something right quick.
Be back shortly!

So, I thump her hand when she touches things she shouldn't and she cries something awful. Sad faces, snot and all come from her. She is learning that "No" means "No", and pain is imminent. She has now become saavy to "No". When she hears it, she starts swinging, mainly to deflect the painful thump that comes from nowhere. So, our plan has to evolve before she gets more destructive because frankly, I'm tired of replacing books.
To be continued....

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Disappointment or utter joy?

Hmmm, by the looks of it, I am having a bad day. I was supposed to attend a Red Cross Instructor Training class for 2 days this week and had everything all settled- babysitting with Mr and all, but since he changed jobs, his schedule changed and he can't be here for Cali girl. She has NEVER been with anyone else without a family member with her for more than a few hours even when Dad had his accident. I have called the few close friends we have here to see if she could integrate with their families for the 2 days and it looks like the Lord wants me to wait. You see, Cali girl is extra sensitive and a bit home-bodied, plus she has been going through separation anxiety since birth! Ha! That's a good one! So, I guess I'll be hanging around the homestead tomorrow enjoying my little one as she unfolds the clean laundry.

Be Blessed!!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Porcupines and parenthood

I'm trying to see my daughters' world from her eyes. She has been replaced (pushed aside), by a new sibling, swept into near obscurity except for demanding attention by being aggressive toward her older siblings and constantly asking previously answered questions. There are other things being done to divert our attention towards her, all negative. What's a parent to do? I am doing my best to give her extra love, but I only have so much time and just two hands! She pushes my patience to the limits and disciplining her is seemingly useless. Lord, give me strength! It's like that book I had seen before, "How to Hug a Porcupine." I will pray and ask for wisdom from others. She pushes hard, but I guess I'll just have to hug harder.


Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Alpha blog

Well this is the beginning and I'm not sure of how to pursue this feat of blogging. My time is at a premium and I am not one to sit still much. In spite of other necessities that consume my time, I will do my best at this endeavour.
I have been looking at a few other blogs and I think that just speaking my mind on what's going on in my life and the world would be how it works here but I think there is more to blogging than that. There is so much more. You see, I tell my children I come from the Old Country where things were different. People were more caring about each other in most, if not all aspects of life. Children weren't wild and disrespectful, businesses weren't ripping you off and overcharging you and people had a lot more common sense and personal responsibility. An example would be going to the park, falling off a merry-go-round and breaking your arm. Back then, we would go to the hospital and get it fixed. No blame- it just happened. Nowadays, you go to the hospital, they file a claim against the owners of the park, you sue for medical damages and loss of whatever. The park scraps the merry-go-round and the children who use this park lose out. Liability. That's what it's all about.
Of well, I can remember the good old days later. But right now,today, I have a small army to feed.