Friday, October 31, 2008

The Scariest One Of All



Whew! Caught up in the Halloween plus House Guest frenzy over here! I've been promising people pictures of the jack-o-lanterns, so I am taking time out of my busy Snickers-eating schedule to post a few photos. Above, you can see the spider and the bat. My photographic skills (or lack thereof, really) do not do justice to these pumpkins. They looked fantastic. Here's a close-up of the spider:





This one is supposed to be a kitty cat, but it sort of didn't work:




As I do not possess math skills advanced enough to enable me to buy the proper number of pumpkins for our family, Susie and Rachel had to share this one. Rachel carved the cat face on the front, and Susie selected a more typical jack-0-lantern visage for the back:




And the last one, alas, does not have a picture that would adequately represent its awesomeness. Theo found the pattern and carved it while I was out. He is also responsible for the carved commentary near the bottom (so don't yell at me, okay?). People were coming over just to see it (and take pictures), it was so awesome. This photo of it simply sucks:


It looks, in this photo, to be portraying some member of the Beat Generation; but I swear, in person, it was such a good representation of the current governor of Alaska that people walking by on the sidewalk would stop and exclaim, "Sarah!"

Do you see how in the photo the pumpkin appears to be levitating? That is totally creeping me out. Do you think it's a sign?

Oh - and we had 2 dalmatian puppies, one robot, and one lego piece trick-or-treating this year. In case you were wondering. The lego costume was easy (meaning, Larry took care of it), and so was the robot. But the dalmatian puppies? I struggled to create a costume for Rachel that would match her sister's pre-made one. You know, these things are way trickier than they look. At least, for craft-impaired people like me. In fact, the only reason Rachel had a tail at all is because Auntie Kate leapt into the breach this week, as it were, and saved my faltering efforts with her special creative powers. I owe her big.

And now, back to my previously scheduled Snickers...

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

As The Food Turns: Election Week Edition

There is no doubt we are living in an exciting, unpredictable time, what with a global economic crisis and a crucial US election looming on the horizon. Everywhere I look, people are discussing the complicated issues of economic reform, abortion rights, immigration laws, and universal health insurance, just to name a few of today's hot-button topics.

And me? Well, I'm cleaning out my fridge. That's right - in a world fraught with crisis and change, there is only one thing you can count on: Suburban Correspondent's Wednesday afternoon fridge frenzy. Isn't that sort of comforting? Think about it - no matter who wins the election next week, you can still come here the next day and witness my latest edifice of inedible former comestibles. And that's a promise.

Over to the left, observant readers will notice an open but full can of tomato sauce atop a half-full carton of low-sodium chicken broth, which itself perches precariously on a glass container containing a single serving of our famous Enchilala Duff along with a lone taco shell; this container, in turn, sits Jenga-block-style atop my Tupperware celery keeper, which apparently was not doing its job (as evidenced by the photo to the right).

At the base of the stack is, quite frankly, an impostor. I had assumed it was a chicken dish of unknown origination date; but upon closer inspection (after the photo shoot) I discovered that this particular leftover entree was a mere 2 days old, and therefore ineligible for participation in this weekly feature. Sorry about that.

Despite my impressive tower-building talents (finely honed by years of playing with Duplos/Legos), I was unable to figure out a way to include this pitcher of orange-juice-gone-bad in the stack. Believe me, I tried. But, alas! Such an achievement must wait for one who has fridge-cleaning skills far greater than mine.

Perhaps one of our potential First Ladies would like to have a crack at it? Cindy? Michelle? Aren't you lovely ladies anxious to show the voting populace (well, a small segment of it, anyway) that those White House refrigerators will be in experienced hands? Or are you both, perhaps, housekeeping mavericks who order take-out every night? Inquiring minds want to know...

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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

In Which I Sell Out

Well, Sarah has solved for me the riddle of the mysteriously increasing blog stats - apparently, as she informed me in the comments yesterday, everyone on Facebook is searching the Internet for images of their favorite childhood cartoon characters to use for their profile pictures.




Now, a lesser person than moi would undoubtedly try to take advantage of this situation, perhaps even attempt to optimize their search whatevers to extract even more traffic from this profile-picture craze.  Imagine!  Posting random cartoon character pictures on your blog just to attract more "eyeballs," as the Internet folk call it!  And even (on the advice of a certain computer-savvy teen)  listing the character names - Bugs Bunny, say, or Tweety Bird or Fred Flintstone  - all to improve the page's meta http equivalence...or something like that...



I swear, such money-grubbing opportunists are making all us Internet hacks look bad.  How will I ever be taken seriously as an artist again?

On the other hand, I could really use some extra yarn money...














[Bugs Bunny image credit: Hollywood.com]


[Tweety Bird image credit: blogs.voices.com]




[Fred Flintstone image credit: manhattaninfidel.com]


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Monday, October 27, 2008

Time Flies...

...when you're procrastinating.

I was supposed to clean the house today in preparation for Auntie Kate's arrival on Tuesday, but instead? I spent it researching (with Theo) the accusations implicit in yet another election-related, out-of-context audio clip e-mailed to me by a friend. The entire afternoon, we did this. I call it a homeschool crash course in critical thinking and analysis of sources. I also call it a great way to neglect my younger children and fall even further behind on laundry.

One more week, right? I really hope Auntie Kate doesn't want to talk politics.

I'm relieved to hear that I am not the only one leery of messing with gas appliances. I swear, your comments make me feel almost normal. Or, at least, less lonely...

Almost midnight - more tomorrow, after I indulge in a desperate housecleaning frenzy...

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Sunday, October 26, 2008

Living Dangerously

I'm over at MidCenturyModernMoms today, begging people to explain how to let my teen daughter indulge in Facebook safely. There have been some pretty helpful comments, too; so any of you wondering the same thing (I mean, about your teenager, not mine, of course) should check them out.

And someone from Glencoe, Illinois, has practically been living on my blog the last few days. I don't mind, but would it kill you to comment? I feel used.

I'm late posting because I made the mistake of asking Larry to ignite the pilot lights on our 2 gas fireplaces tonight. Well, I more than asked - I threatened to try to do it myself tomorrow, because his sister is coming to visit in 2 days and I know she will not enjoy sleeping in a 58-degree basement (albeit on a brand-new Ektorp sofabed). Not wanting to come home from work to find our house blown up, Larry tackled the job this evening.

You would think it would be easy, wouldn't you? Like, maybe an on-off switch should do the trick?

No. That would be too simple, and it wouldn't provide divorce lawyers with any clients. Instead each fireplace has a big plastic card covered with complex instructions interspersed with dire warnings of what might happen if one does not follow said instructions precisely. So our evening consisted of such scintillating conversation as, "Are you sure that's safe?" and "Hold the glass up! I said, hold it up!" and "Do you smell gas? I smell gas."

This was not quality relationship time. And the children learned a few new words.

Have I mentioned this is his sister who's visiting?

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Saturday, October 25, 2008

Weekly News Round-Up

You know, I've just spent almost an hour trying to write a post here with amusing news highlights from the week. But, there aren't any, really. I give up. The presidential candidates are still going "Nanner nanner boo boo" at each other; Governor Palin is still doing her hockey-mom schtick on the campaign trail; Senator Biden is still opening his mouth and sticking his foot in it. There is nothing new under the sun, and November 4th cannot come quickly enough for me.

Isn't there a war/occupation happening in Iraq? I haven't heard anything about it for a while.

Does anyone else have the impression that the Treasury Secretary, and the Federal Reserve, and the Congress do not actually know what to do about the financial crisis? That they are, in fact, sort of feeling their way along? And was there anything scarier this past week than watching a confused Alan Greenspan being grilled by irate Senators to no purpose? The guy never knew what he was doing, folks. That's the long and short of it.

Click on that last link - it's got a good cartoon.

Nothing funny here, folks - maybe you should listen to that traitor Christopher Buckley instead. He's a pretty amusing guy. (Skip the first 3 minutes if you are the impatient type.)

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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Moms Say The Darndest Things

My aviation-obsessed son David and his younger siblings recently went on a paper-airplane-making binge. So now there are approximately 67 paper airplanes in my living room. This afternoon I caught Brian about to filch some of my printer paper in order to make yet more flying machines, and I snapped, "Stop it! This paper doesn't grow on trees, you know!"

Yet another time when you've got to wonder why I'm allowed to homeschool my children...

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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

As The Food Turns

But first, some non-food news (well, sort of...)...

This news story is making me rethink everything I thought I knew about the blogosphere. I mean, knitting bloggers all seem so nice (so long as you don't threaten their stash). If you can't trust a knitting blogger, who can you trust? And if you peruse those published blog posts of the accused, they all seem fairly standard, don't they? Will we all start wondering who else amongst us might be a wolf in sheep's clothing? (Well, a wolf knitting from sheep's clothing, anyway...)

And doesn't this incident mean that all of us knitting bloggers should refrain from joking about how we steal from the family food budget in order to add to our yarn stashes? I wouldn't want the FBI showing up at my door, waving some printouts of this blog and demanding to see my teenage daughter. It just might upset Larry. Run-ins with the law do that to him, you know.

Speaking of knitting bloggers (at least, those of us who are law-abiding), I can only assume that we are all of the same mind about this news item. 150,000 dollars on clothes? I could have made do on half that and then spent the rest on some good sock yarn. And a decent set of circular needles. And a few knitting books....

It's all about spending priorities, isn't it? Judging from hers, I'm betting we can't count on a Vice President Palin to support yarn subsidies for knitters. I wonder, is there a knitter on the Democratic ticket? Does anyone even care about the knitting vote?


And now back to our regularly scheduled feature -

  1. Sauerkraut (again!) - it migrated back into the refrigerator while I was still trying to decide whether or not to toss it.
  2. 2 Gladware containers of mashed potatoes
  3. 1 Gladware container of some kidney bean concoction - it was slated for the freezer, but someone shoved it into the back of the fridge instead.
  4. Our scrambled eggs from last week - I told you so.
  5. A CorningWare pot half full (or half empty, depending upon your outlook) of homemade chicken noodle soup. My kids like the canned stuff better. What can I say? They're sodium junkies.
  6. And in the back is some leftover Amigo Chicken Tortilla Soup from SavingDinner. This tasted pretty good; but then Anna decided that it smelled like the sausage chowder she had thrown up 2 years ago, and now no one wants to eat it. Including y'all, I suppose...
I must say, it is a wonder how I am able to work the subject of vomit into almost any post. I do pride myself on it.

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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Not Dead Yet

Today? Better? Barely. I've got the cold sore from hell on my lip. My head still hurts; I'm still taking random doses of Sudafed (and, yes, Marie, it is the real stuff, because I'm worth it). In fact, I went out and scored some more today. I don't want to risk running out, you know.

And thanks, Jami, for looking up the pseudoephedrine overdose dangers for me. Thanks a lot. My heart's not pounding yet, but I do seem to be experiencing the dizziness. It hasn't been debilitating enough, however, to keep me from driving to Target because my teen daughter has "nothing to wear." I swear, there is some sort of black hole in her closet which swallows clothes. I mean, am I not always taking Anna to Target?

I haven't heard from Larry at all. I assume he is too busy touring local pubs to think about his adoring wife. That's fine. I'm too busy making surreptitious online purchases to worry about where he is.

Time for all sickies to go to bed....

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Monday, October 20, 2008

This Is My Post, On Drugs...

To the person who landed here after Googling "water makes me vomit": you really need to fix that, but I am sure you did not find any answers here. And I fear that reading my graphic descriptions of various puking episodes didn't help matters one bit.

Yesterday? Well, Larry was away, I had a killer head cold that got me up at 5 AM, and the kids still seemed to need me all day long. Plus, it must have been early-onset dementia that prevented me from remembering just when I took my last Sudafed dose. So I kept taking it. I would have Googled "overdose effects of pseudoephedrine," but I didn't care. I mean, could I have possibly felt worse? I think not.

I've been trying to explain to Theo that, usually, elections aren't this interesting. And, usually, neither is the economy. We've become veritable news junkies around here, checking electoral maps and the Dow Jones and the latest SNL skit. I mean, there's always something happening. Is this weird, or what?

Speaking of news, I'd like to thank General Colin Powell for explicitly stating that being a Muslim does not make one a bad American. And someone please remind me - why isn't he running for President? What's he been doing for the past 3 years, anyway? I mean, I can't think of a lot of jobs that are appropriate for a former Secretary of State. Maybe he's just been hanging out at home and driving his wife up the wall. You know how those newly retired husbands can be.

I know, I know - y'all come here just to hear insightful political commentary like the above. What can I say? I have a knack for taking important issues and boiling them down to trivial details. It's a gift, really. And I'm only too willing to share it with you.

And now, I think it's time for more Sudafed. That's good stuff.

[Edited to add: Blogtations has used a quote from one of my posts today. I'm thinking this is an honor; I mean, so long as I'm not presented with any more kitschy trophies...]

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Saturday, October 18, 2008

Business Trip? Really?

I was dealing pretty well with the prospect of Larry's being away for the week (and really, it's only 6 days, so if I did complain, Mary Alice would have to call me a wimp - her husband is away for 6 months). Where was I? Oh, yes - so I was all fine and dandy with his deserting me again until I discovered that he had been perusing this website prior to his departure. That's right - Larry was researching where to find the best beer in his destination city. Tough trip, eh?

I sense an online yarn purchase or two in my immediate future.

I picked up a computer chair last week at a yard sale - the basic kind, with wheels and a little lever to move the seat up and down. Only 10 dollars! When I brought it home, you would have thought I had given my youngest 3 kids a trip to Disneyworld - they were having that much fun with it. Hours of fun. I didn't think I was depriving them that much.

Anyone who wants to hear an excellent explanation of the economic crisis (as opposed to the drivel I type here), listen to this episode from This American Life. [Edited to add: here's a shorter version that sums it up.] Even you NPR haters should check it out (oh, I know you're out there, although it's beyond me how anyone can enjoy a Saturday without hearing Scott Simon's voice on Weekend Edition)...

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Just For Laughs...

Because I think we all need some, don't we? Check out the videos on this page - both Obama and McCain were highly amusing on Thursday evening in New York. Self-deprecating, even, which is a tad refreshing...

(And, yes, I am posting this at an ungodly hour - I've contracted the head cold from hell just in time for another of Larry's business trips. This week is going to be a treat, I'm sure.)

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Thursday, October 16, 2008

Just Wondering...

Today, I have a question. It is one I have been pondering for several weeks now. Maybe you have wondered it also.

Why is anyone surprised by our current economic situation?

Innumerable times over the past 4 years I have read newspaper articles saying that easy-to-get credit was overinflating the housing market, and at some point there would have to be a correction.

So why was our Treasury Secretary shocked, shocked, when that correction came? And Bernanke? I mean, don't they read the papers? Why should anyone have been surprised?






And, while I'm busy asking questions, tell me: why do people in the government lecture us on how we need to practice the thrifty spending/saving habits of our parents and grandparents? Why don't they admit that the main reason our forebears didn't use too much credit was because they couldn't get any?

Essentially, the government (which should be safeguarding our economy) unlocked the doors to a candy store, invited everyone in, and is now acting appalled that people ate themselves sick.

Of course people should exercise personal responsibility and not rely on credit. But, you know, if people always acted in a rational manner, we wouldn't need a government. Isn't government's job to set some boundaries, some rules, so that people (who do tend to act selfishly and with an eye to short-term gain) can't behave in ways that jeopardize our group welfare?

And isn't it ironic that the people in government who insisted on almost no regulation for the financial industry are now leading us into partly nationalizing our banks? Their fear of government interfering with the markets has led to government interference on a scale we've never seen before.

Wouldn't it be nice to have a government that doesn't swing to such extremes? A government that realizes that a totally free market leads to chaos, and chaos leads to the type of government over-involvement that we all would like to avoid?

Moderation, folks - it's the new black.

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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

As The Food Turns

I'm still here! My husband had the nerve to use the computer for an InstantWatch from Netflix yesterday evening; so when I waltzed in at 9:30 from my yoga class, expecting people to be snug abed so that I could blog in peace, I was greeted by the sight of all the boys in the family gathered 'round the screen watching Apollo 13. I went to bed in a huff.

Because I am mature like that...

And now, it's fridge day! You know what bothers me? I mean, besides temps in the 80's in October? It bothers me that if I didn't have this half-a**ed obligation to empty out my fridge on Wednesdays, all the items you are about to see would probably have remained in there until the night before my sister-in-law's impending visit. At which point there would have been an extremely frantic fridge-cleansing episode.

In other words, I will show perfect strangers my expired(?) sauerkraut, but not Auntie Kate. That doesn't seem right to me.

So here are this week's contestants in the Fridge Follies. I would like to start on the left [edited to add: the "left," meaning the right - I am spatially challenged], with the stack of glass storage containers. These are not Pyrex, but Martha Stewart Living brand from KMart. Do not buy these! The lids develop tears in them. They are, in a word, cheap. Go for the Pyrex; you won't regret it.

Whew! Got that off my chest! On the bottom is leftover pot roast. I know it is time to discard this because we are having a newer pot roast tonight. I have no idea when it was made. Atop the potroast are some green beans. Again, provenance unknown. The little container on top has scrambled eggs from Monday.

Wait - it's only Wednesday. I'm putting those eggs back in the fridge. But I'll bet all my comments that you will see them here next week.

Yet more dregs of hummus have center stage this week. They are accompanied by some forgotten-and-left-to-rot baby carrots and a very yucky-looking jalapeno pepper (from our salsa-making days). Actually, you can't see the pepper in this photo. You'll just have to trust me - it's there.

Behind the hummus are all-but-empty bottles that do not have to be cleaned or otherwise taken care of if they are left in the refrigerator. The Newman's Own has been kicking around in there for about a year; my tossing it now is a ceremonial nod in memory of its maker, who has just recently gone to meet his Maker. RIP, Mr. Newman. I have no idea where the apple juice came from. There must be a little trap door in the bottom of the refrigerator that things pop up through.


Moving on...on the far left is a jar of sauerkraut. I am guessing we opened this back in April on Brian's birthday. I dug it out this afternoon and sniffed it to see if it had gone bad. But, it's sauerkraut. Sauerkraut always smells as though it has gone bad, doesn't it? So how do I know if this stuff is safe or not? Any advice out there?

Next to the sauerkraut of dubious quality is a container of leftover cinnamon-raisin oatmeal that I forgot to foist upon my starving children; and, on top of that, an old friend: dried-out dill weed that first made its appearance in this feature several weeks ago. I crumbled a bit of it into a potato salad a while back; but now it is, quite frankly, leaving me uninspired. Good-bye, my friend, and godspeed!


There is a huge canning kettle pictured behind the leftovers, because I finally (after 2 days) managed to can my applesauce. Tell me, when you look at this picture to the right - do you see healthy home-canned goodness stored up for winter? Or do you, like me, see cases of botulism waiting to happen? Just wondering...

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Monday, October 13, 2008

Twitters Never Win

I just realized that people are following me on Twitter. But, I have no idea how to use Twitter. I don't even remember how I figured out how to sign up in the first place. And the FAQ's on the site don't help, because they are too advanced for me.

Also, I seem to be following a few people on Twitter myself. But how do I know when they've Twittered something? Do I have to keep checking my Twitter page? I've seen some people's Twitters on their sidebars on their blog. How do they do that?

Did I miss the class where we discussed all this?

I lost 5 dollars at Bunco tonight. So I ate a lot of food to make up for it. I also took 2 migraine pills (active ingredient: caffeine) to get through the evening. Now here it is, close to midnight, my migraine is gone, and I'm wide awake.

Hmmm...I could knit, I guess. Or maybe I'll tackle some quilting. Or I could try canning the applesauce that is sitting on my counter. Did you know it takes 84 apples to make 6 quarts of applesauce? And did you know that peeling 7 dozen apples by hand gives one ample time to regret not spending a mere 12 bucks for the handy-dandy apple peeler at Target?

I was going to link to the apple peeler, but I can't find it online. Maybe I can get through this entire post without a single hyperlink. That would be a first, I believe.

Naaah....can't do it....check out this fun news report...and let me just say, I'm not surprised.

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Sunday, October 12, 2008

Yeah, I'm Stupid

Today I went out canvassing and agreed to share a route with another woman who showed up. She was very nice. I know she was nice because she continued to speak with me after I asked her when she was due.

She wasn't. Not at all. Nope.

My whole day was like that.

I'm over at MidCenturyModernMoms today, talking about teens, and learning, and humor (or something like that). I think I even manage not to offend anyone in the post. Miracles never cease.

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Saturday, October 11, 2008

We Interrupt Our Regular Programming...

Fawndear has presented me with an award, but I can't figure out how to show it to you. I know it has to be simple - I right-clicked on the image and then I tried to paste it in my post, but nothing showed up. So thanks, Fawndear, for allowing me to demonstrate to everyone out there how dumb I can be. Really. Thanks a lot.

Larry took me out on a date tonight. We shared a salad. Life is just so much fun when you are scared to eat. It didn't help that the place we went to has the best calzones ever.

Sorry - the rest of this post was deemed unacceptable by the local censors. Stay tuned for Sunday...

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Thursday, October 09, 2008

Never Procrastinate

Random thoughts from today:

1. The problem with waiting several months to look at my photos on the computer is that I belatedly learn that the haircut I got in April makes me look really awful. I don't think even photoshop can fix the problem. Although I am not really sure what photoshop is. Can it give me different hair? And, the real question here is, have my friends been acting in a compassionate manner by not telling me the truth? Or should they have staged an intervention?

2. How about that Dow Jones, eh? And whoever thought a bank failure in Iceland would be big news? I didn't know Iceland had a bank.

3. Larry returned early(!) (as in, this evening!) from his week-long management retreat.

4. I spent the afternoon lying in bed not suffering from gallstones. It was fun. I comforted myself with the thought that I still had all day tomorrow to clean up the house and prepare for Larry's birthday before his return late tomorrow afternoon, but...well, see #3. Sometimes surprises are not a good thing.

5. This study about acetaminophen use for infants should be getting way more attention. Parents, check it out!

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Wednesday, October 08, 2008

As The Food Turns

[If you don't understand why I am showing you pictures of moldy food, please read the post that explains it all. After you read it, you still might not understand why I'm doing this (my husband sure doesn't); but at least you can say you tried.]


It's time, folks, once again, for me to air my dirty leftovers in public. Let's just do a list this week, shall we?

  1. 4-qt pot containing less than a cup of baked beans. Please note large serving spoon sticking out of pot - heaven forbid someone should bother to wash it.
  2. almost empty bag of baby carrots shoved to the way back of the refrigerator - apparently, whoever was clearing the table one day decided to make sure that I wouldn't serve our vegetable of choice the next day at lunch
  3. unidentified food object wrapped in blue saran wrap - we'll have to send this one to the lab for identification
  4. hard-to-recognize dinner leftovers - it looks as though there are some bowtie noodles mixed in there, however
  5. green beans - circa the second Clinton administration, for all I know...
  6. diced tomatoes from a can - I must have needed just part of a can for some recipe and foolishly thought I should save the rest for future use. I'm a cockeyed optimist, that's what I am.
  7. leftover homemade pesto - I feel bad just looking at this, because David made it for us and it went to waste. Tell me, is there anything that won't make me feel mother guilt? Anything at all?
By the way, that blue saran wrap encasing various and sundry leftovers in my refrigerator each week has an interesting (well, interesting to me, anyway) history. We bought this particular item way back in May, when I was conscripted to bake loaves and loaves of banana bread for the workcamper's Mother's Day Bake Sale. My original plan was to package the loaves attractively in festive-looking saran wrap, forgetting that yellow (banana) and blue (plastic) make green (bread). The resultant moldy look somehow didn't scream "Buy me!" So we had to ditch that idea.

But we were left with a box of blue saran wrap that just won't quit. I've wrapped dozens of leftover egg sandwiches in it and I still have not reached the end of the roll. And every time I see it, I'm reminded of how much I do not want my teens to be involved in workcamp fundraising again this year.

And, hey, did anyone notice there were no leftover sandwiches this week? I chalk it up to Larry's being away again; I have been forced to restrict the children's calories for the sake of convenience.

And there should have been 2 bags of apple cores and peels in today's picture; but I lost my head this morning and threw them out prematurely. They were slated to be given to my livestock-burdened friend yesterday, but somehow that never happened. And now...now is too late, I'm afraid; her pigs are being "hauled" (as she so euphemistically puts it) tomorrow. I must say, she doesn't seem too broken up by the prospect.

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Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Brain Candy

Watch tonight's debate? (Gaaah! I know, politics) Does Obama make brains look sexy, or what? I had to convince the kids I was drooling over health care policy.

Wondering what was true or false in the debate? Go here for the latest. Also a fantastic site for truth-checking is this one. Its truth-o-meter (a portion of which you can see over there to the left) is one of my favorite features. (I particularly like its "Liar, liar, pants on fire" rating.) Both sites seem to be fairly unbiased and extremely informative. Go! What are you waiting for?

Oh. That's right, we need the results of the candy poll. Just a second, I need to check my tallies. Let's see - it looks as though Reese's Peanut Butter Cups pulled ahead at the last moment to win with 6 votes. A close second with 5 votes were the terrorist-sympathizer Butterfingers.

Really, I think you guys voted for those just to yank my chain. I can't believe anyone likes them.

Personally? I go for the KitKats (2 votes). And the Twix (4). Oh, and the mini Snickers, of course (3 votes). And, really, is there anyone who can turn down those Peanut Butter Cups? But I draw the line at 3 Musketeers (3 votes) - they've never done much for me.

So now you know why I have 6 kids - I get more loot on Halloween. It's that simple.

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Monday, October 06, 2008

Candy We All Get Along?

It is once again that time of year when legions of people across the US are frantically Googling "tornado costume." And they all end up here. You're welcome. I have instructed our children not to involve their father in their costume plans this Halloween. It gets too frightening (and expensive).

Besides, Larry won't be here much this month. I think he'll be dropping in for his birthday this Friday and maybe he'll stick around over the weekend to do some laundry, and then he heads off on yet another trip. Somewhere. But I don't care. I travel places, too. Just today I went to Target. Tomorrow, who knows? I never make plans that far ahead. I go where the wind takes me: grocery store, Trader Joe's, Kohl's...each day is a new adventure.

Susie is insisting on being a pumpkin again for Halloween. We all want her to be a puppy dog, because every kid from Anna on down has worn the puppy dog costume when they were 3 years old (and, hey, I paid all of 3 dollars for it at the local thrift store 12 years ago); but she seems to be intent on breaking with tradition. The kid's a maverick, I tell you.

Sorry, couldn't help it.

I wonder if I could get through the next 29 days without mentioning politics at all? Wouldn't that be refreshing, if election-weary people could come to this blog and count on not hearing anything at all about the Dems or the GOP, no partisan bickering, no hockey mom jokes (like this one)? Just a place where we could all come together as people needing a break from all the name-calling?

We could talk about something innocuous instead. Like, candy, maybe...Yeah, that's it. How about everyone tells me what his/her favorite Halloween candy is. You know, the stuff you grab out of your kids' bags and hide for yourself? We can't fight over candy, can we? I mean, unless you are one of those incompetent lying terrorist-sympathizers who claim to like Butterfingers...

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Sunday, October 05, 2008

Where Did I Go?

I have no idea what happened to the last 3 days. Sleep deprivation will do that to a person. That, and chronic campaign watching...I think I am going to have to impose a news blackout on myself in order to get through the next 5 weeks.

Everyone keeps coughing. Me, too. So 2 nights ago I took some of Rachel's codeine cough syrup from January (of course I held on to it, I'm not stupid) and settled down in hopes of getting 3 hours of uninterrupted sleep. I gave some to Rachel, too. One hour later she's standing by my bed with a stomachache. Crap. Looks like the codeine doesn't agree with her, as the stomachache wore off at the same time the medicine did.

So I didn't sleep Friday night. All day Saturday I had to help run our townhouse cluster's grounds clean-up and barbeque. All day - don't these people realize I need to blog? Last night I collapsed into bed, but somehow ended up on the couch again. It worries me that I don't even remember why. Rachel is still coughing. And, no, I don't know where Larry is during all these nighttime disturbances. He sacrificed his entire Saturday to help with the clean-up and the barbeque, so I'm not about to bitch at him. Besides, he goes away today for his management retreat (again); and I want him to want to come back.

David's missing - at least, I haven't seen him around. Or heard him coughing. Maybe Larry knows where he is.

There was one bright spot in the past few days, but you have to go here to read about it. Because I'm lazy like that.

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Wednesday, October 01, 2008

As The Food Turns

[If you don't understand why I am showing you pictures of moldy food, please read the post that explains it all. After you read it, you still might not understand why I'm doing this (my husband sure doesn't); but at least you can say you tried.]

Look! No egg sandwich! From the bottom up, I present to you the contestants in this week's refrigerator clean-out:
  1. my spectacular dill potato salad (I don't even remember making this, which makes me suspect I need radiocarbon dating to determine how old it is);
  2. 6 cucumber slices sitting forlornly in the bottom of a Gladware container;
  3. some almost-finished hummus (Trader Joe's brand this time, rather than that feeble impostor pictured here last Wednesday);
  4. leftover apple oatmeal that I forgot to force on someone for snack;
  5. and some way-past-its-prime parsley lying limply atop it all.
You know what I did immediately after taking this picture? I tossed all these items into the trash can! Isn't that a good idea?

Too bad I didn't think of it last week. Instead, I put all the discards right back into my refrigerator because I was too tired/lazy to wash out the containers that evening. And then? I forgot about them. So imagine my surprise and dismay when I pulled the following from my refrigerator this afternoon:Look familiar? At least I did toss the egg sandwich...

If you are wondering (as I am) why my refrigerator didn't stink to high heaven from housing that chicken-carcass-in-a-bag (yum!) for a whole extra week, I have no answer for you. I do know that my friend with the livestock problem will be happy to hear that I took up valuable refrigerator space saving that bagful of apple cores and skins for her pigs. Plus, a bonus:
This week's peelings, for their porcine dining pleasure...

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