Showing posts from 2017

Too Stuffed To Think Of A Title

Around 10 PM last night (Thanksgiving Eve), fed up with the low level of help I was receiving from fellow members of my household, I decided that my family was composed of ingrates who didn't deserve the lovely holiday dinner I had been spending most of the week cooking for them. I vacuumed loudly to share my displeasure; and by the time I was done, not only did I have a clean floor and staircases, I also felt calm enough to compose a complete list of chores to be done NOT BY ME the next day.

Moral: Never underestimate the problem-solving power of passive-aggressive vacuuming.
It also helped when I then sat down and logged onto Facebook, where approximately half the middle-aged women I know were complaining of the same thing. Solidarity, ladies! Shoulder to shoulder, we march on, planning the festivities and making sure that our children have something to remember besides (hopefully) that their mother always seemed strangely cranky on holidays.

So today went well! Brian and Rachel …

Holiday Prep

Today was a cooking day. Cranberry sauce and brandied sweet potatoes and stuffing...LOTS of stuffing. Throw in an orthodontist appointment and a trip to the bank, and it was a pretty full day. I got it all done, though, so I'm feeling pretty pleased with myself here.

The house didn't get cleaned, however. Maybe I'll get to it tomorrow, maybe I won't. All I know is, day after tomorrow? Is Knitting Day. That's the day I get to just sit and knit, in a (maybe) clean house full of leftovers. Also, yarn stores have gotten into the whole Black Friday thing, which explains why a former Black Friday refusenik such as myself is leaving the house at 7 AM on Friday: I've got to take advantage of a "30% off everything from 8-10 AM" yarn sale.

We all have our price.

Brian, retail wage slave that he is, has to work from 4:30 to midnight on Thanksgiving  (THANKS A LOT, BEST BUY).  Folks, before you run out to shop on Thanksgiving evening, think a second: those people…

Cut-Rate Entertaining

So tonight I did what I know I shouldn't - I tried another "copycat" recipe from the Internet, this time for Nando's amazing Portuguese rice. However, unlike my previous attempts to imitate beloved restaurant food (and don't think for a second that Brian isn't still scarred by my attempt at Panda Express Orange Chicken), this rice turned out not quite the same as the restaurant version, but...close. Very close, is what I thought when I tasted it. I would call it a win, but Susie deemed it unsatisfactory. Rachel ate her rice uncomplainingly, but she hasn't had the real thing yet, so her opinion doesn't really count.

So, yeah, back to Nando's for more research, I guess. Luckily, one just opened nearby. People, words cannot express (although you know I'll try) how good their chicken is. I mean, you take a bite and suddenly you are no longer an adult, assessing calories or fat or whatever else we adults think about to ruin our meals. You're a …

Doing The Can-Can

Wow, the Internet is helpful! I ended up going with the razor blade approach that a number of people suggested (turns out Larry has an entire collection of these little thingamajigs that hold straight razors) and then some WD-40 towards the end, to get off the last of the film. It worked great. Maybe one scratch on the stove, but I don't care.

Today Susie and I spent the morning sorting food the Boy Scouts collected for the local holiday food drive. The church basement we met in had full grocery sacks piled high (HIGH) in one corner. The rest of the basement was filled with tables pretty much groaning under the weight of donated comestibles, already sorted. The walls were lined with shelves holding even more food. It was an impressive sight.

I probably wasn't as helpful as I could have been, because my OCD kept kicking in when I'd see the different types of soups all jumbled together on their table or the different boxes of pasta practically screaming at me to be organized…

5-Alarm Applesauce

Good news of the day: my house didn't burn down!

Bad news: I still have to figure out how to get dried melted plastic off the glass cook top of my stove.

Feel free to chime in with suggestions, because I've lost the capacity for rational thought at this point. I was counting on Larry to come up with something, but he came home from work in a rental car and explained that his car was in a body shop, getting repairs for some extensive rock damage incurred on his way to work that morning. All the poor man could do was stare at the stove as I explained - again - what happened and say, "Uh-huh, uh-huh" while attempting a knowing nod that looked weirdly off kilter. And then he went to the basement fridge and got a beer.

What happened? I was using the Instapot as a crockpot, simmering apples for sauce, and at one point I pushed it further back on the stove and then left the kitchen. I didn't realize it had somehow hit the stove knob in the back and turned the rear burne…

A New Day Dawning

So I was throwing something away in my bathroom the other day when I spotted something strange in the trash. I looked closer. Could it be? Was it possible?

Yes, it was.

Larry THREW AWAY AN EMPTY TUBE OF TOOTHPASTE. Long-time readers of this blog will know that this is an event which is about as frequent as the appearance of Haley's Comet. In fact, I have always been the one in this marriage who finally discards a squeezed-out tube and replaces it with a new one. It's as if we've been playing an ongoing game of Chicken for the past 27 years, a game that I have repeatedly lost.

This means, of course, that anything is now possible in my marriage. ANYTHING. Maybe Larry will purchase a household item without first creating several spreadsheets documenting the pros and cons of every similar product on the market. Or perhaps he will someday refrain from embarking on some household maintenance task a mere 2 hours before a major social event. It might even mean that - dare I say it…

No Thanks

[A repeat, from previous Veterans Days - STILL relevant]

There's a lot of talk on a day like today about how selfless military people are.  People left and right in the blogosphere are thanking veterans like me for our service.  So I just want to set one thing straight.

I joined the Navy because I needed a job.  I had student loans to pay; I was ashamed of not being on my own (unlike many "kids" in their 20's nowadays); and no one wanted to pay a fresh-faced History major anything close to a living wage.

In other words, I joined the military for totally selfish reasons, as do many in the armed forces.  I joined for money, I joined to gain my independence, I joined in the hope I would get a chance to travel. What I got was a lot more.  For the first time in my life, I worked and lived alongside people of another skin color.  For the first time in my life, I saw African Americans in positions of power.  And I came into close contact with those heretofore exotic people kno…

Gonna Fly, I Am

The dishwasher man is here. He pulled into the parking lot just as my sisters-in-law were pulling out after their week-long stay, if you want an example of the antithesis of perfect timing. And now I hear him on the phone to someone else at Geek Squad, describing some problem with the dishwasher he just found, which worries me. I mean, this thing IS getting fixed today, isn't it?

Tuesday I drove with Aunt Mary and Auntie Kate to IKEA. Because Auntie Kate had never been there, we pulled out all the stops: a slow meander through the entire showroom, the Swedish meatballs plate for lunch, an even slower meander through the entire Marketplace, a stop in As-Is, and then, after the registers, an ice cream cone (plus the purchase of 6 cinnamon buns to take home).

What I'm saying is, we know how to do IKEA right. Also, I somehow ended up with a small desk I had totally not planned on buying. But that's pretty standard for a trip to IKEA, I'm thinking.

Wednesday (yesterday) I t…

All Washed Up

Little time to write, what with entertaining sisters-in-law, changing clocks, and washing dishes the livelong day. I generally like the fall time change better than the spring one, but I have been SO TIRED in the evening. I crashed by 9:00 last night and I was going to do the same tonight, only Larry wouldn't let me because the bed wasn't made because I pulled the bedclothes out of the dryer too soon without realizing it. For some reason he didn't want to sleep on wet sheets - go figure.
I'm feeling pretty pleased that I got to use the word "bedclothes." I've been in love with that word ever since I read it in the book "Five Little Peppers and How They Grew" when I was a kid. Feel free to comment and share your own favorite words from antiquated children's books!
Hello? Anyone?
We've been doing the "take your guests to all the places you mean to visit but never do until guests come" routine. Also, it turns out that Auntie Kate …

Wherein I Don't Even Mention Candy

Okay, so yesterday I buzzed around the house cleaning up the Halloween stuff so we could put the Halloween bins in the attic before my sisters-in-law arrived today. I kept thinking I was done, but - just as with the Christmas decorations - I kept stumbling across more items (and believe me, we don't have that much!). So, finally, after stuffing the Halloween place mats into the almost full bin and feeling confident I had slayed that particular beast, I asked Larry to put everything in the attic.

We know where this is going, right?

Not half an hour after he did so, I entered the kitchen (where I had spent at least HALF my waking hours that day) and saw this facing me from the opposite wall:

Yup, not exactly hidden - but, hey, after the paper chains incident from January, I suppose I knew anything was possible.

As discussed in these pages recently, our dishwasher has chosen this week to go on the blink. Normally, this wouldn't be a big deal. I'd feed the kids cheap pizza hal…


Well! November! Let's do this thing!

I spent all day yesterday wondering why Halloween was so hard and why I didn't enjoy it anymore. Seriously, I didn't even want any candy. And I didn't know what any of the little kids coming to my door were dressed up as, which irritated me.

I decided I must be getting old and boring and that poor Susie would spend the next 6 years living with parents who were no fun whatsoever. For some reason I failed to attribute my poor attitude to the fact that I had a bad sore throat/head cold and had been running full tilt all day despite it.

But then at 4:30 this morning I woke up feeling miraculously better (I could swallow! I could breathe!) and decided Halloween was pretty cool after all. Hooray! I love happy endings!

So today I have a new lease on life - I feel like Scrooge when he wakes up and discovers it is still Christmas Day. I celebrated by eating some candy corn for breakfast. Then I cleaned up the kitchen because - oh, happy day …

Anything-But-Lazy Sunday

Today was Sunday, and instead of having fun hanging out with my knitting friends, I spent the afternoon in the basement with Larry, trying to finish up the Great Clean-Out of 2017 before his sisters visit and before I totally lose my shit about all the crap we have accumulated.
That was only one sentence, but I'm tired. New paragraph!
So, yes, Larry and I stood down there and discussed what to do with boxes of books (GET THEM OUT) and Whiffleball bats and soccer cones and DVD's; I rifled through my oldest's "Collect All The State Quarters" book, removed the coins, and threw the pages out (sorry, Theo!); I dumped old binders and file folders relentlessly in the giveaway bin. We hauled some bookshelves and cabinets over to a neighbor's house (that was emotional for me - we bought those faithful HUSAR cabinets at IKEA 20 years ago and they've served our family well).
We still can't agree on rugs.

In the middle of all this, I managed to bake up a batch of 

Loaves And Dishes

I rallied yesterday from my cold and managed to take Susie skating, drive a client to the SLOWEST EYE DOCTOR OF ALL TIME (I mean, seriously? 1 1/2 hours?), and also go to a challah-baking fest at a local Jewish center (I mean, where else? The Mormon Temple?).

The challah thing was my friend's idea; we even managed to crash the gate, because she thought she had signed us up but we weren't on the list and then they said, "Oh, just grab a seat, it doesn't matter!" The whole thing was particularly awesome because I'm rarely at a public event where easily half the women are the same height as me. Jewish genes, you know...SHORT Jewish genes.

So we made challah. My friend was appalled that I just plowed ahead without following directions, but hey - I'm a bread baker from way back. The results weren't bad, either:

And then my cold came back with a vengeance and I woke up miserable this morning and swore I wouldn't do ANYTHING for ANYONE and wouldn't g…

Sick Bay

I've been fighting off a cold since Thursday evening and was pretty proud of myself for getting through the Rhinebeck weekend moderately healthy. Susie texted me on Saturday, saying she was sick, and I thanked my lucky stars that I had gotten away before whatever virus was stalking my house could lay me low. Good planning, right?

Anywhoo, that darn virus lay in wait and finally got me. Despite my sucking on Zicam tablets for 5 days straight and eating healthy and exercising, it got me. My throat hurts, I'm sneezing, I'm pissed off because I hate being sick. Also, I HAVE THINGS TO DO other than lie around and whine.

All those things will have to wait, alas. In the meantime, I'm trying to be sensible by using this down time to knit and read and generally relax.

I'm not good at relaxing, actually.

So I also vacuumed and put the finishing touches on Brian's high school transcript and made matzo balls for the chicken broth I serendipitously had hanging around. Then …

Never Never Land

I disappeared for a while there - Rhinebeck Sheep and Wool happened this past weekend and I didn't want to miss the fun. I managed to spend all day Saturday there, and meet up with friends, and mingle with, I don't know, a few thousand knitters - so yeah, that was what I would call a good day. And I wasn't even succumbing to the temptation to buy yarn until, well, I came across this:

I grabbed only 6 skeins, which believe me shows a remarkable level of restraint. I also bought a lucet (yeah, until Saturday, I had never heard of it, either), an excellent fresh-baked pretzel, and - for some reason - a set of leather handles that are supposed to go on a large hand-knit felted bag that I have not created yet. A bag, in fact, that I was not even planning to create until I saw those handles...

Rhinebeck's weird that way - you end up buying things you suddenly HAVE to use. It's weird in other ways, too:

I drove to NJ next, to visit a friend's church. You see, I grew u…

Now With A Soundtrack!

So, due to a disconcerting comment on the last post (thanks, Kayla!), I decided it would be wise to change my blog template. I like this new one, but I HATE the sidebar being on the left. I keep trying to get used to it, but I can't. What do you think? Am I the only one who cares? Probably. I mean, most of you are probably reading this on your phones and never even see the sidebar anyway, right?

Wasting time on very trivial matters since at least 2007 - that's me!

Larry came home Saturday, which meant I had to hurry up and finish my project of cleaning out our bedroom of all the junk that has piled up there. Turns out you can be married to someone for a very long time (26 years, say) before you realize they are completely incapable of throwing out old papers and checkbooks. I'm not saying there was too much stuff to take care of, but I did manage to overheat our shredder. Several times.

I made spaghetti and (Costco) meatballs for dinner the evening Larry came home, along w…

Like HGTV, Only Not

Okay, so this week Susie and I dared to go where no man has gone before: 2 different IKEAs, 2 days in a row. It's like Extreme Sports, but with made-up Swedish words.

We had to. You see, for years our family has been living with old Ektorp slipcovers that, frankly, have seen better days. Oh, a couple of years ago I did try to replace them, but that attempt was doomed to failure. So we soldiered on with the orange-red corduroy slipcovers from 2007 on our couch and 2 armchairs AND ottoman, trying to pretend that we liked things that way.

Something pushed me over the edge, though - maybe it was trying to resuscitate those things to look decent when I hosted Bunko last week. Or maybe it was last Sunday, when the friend I hadn't seen in years was coming over and would have to sit herself down on these bedraggled remnants of our once-proud sofa covers. I don't know.

However it came about, Susie and I betook ourselves in search of replacements. We settled - after prolonged discus…

Autumn Can Wait

It's been a warm-ish fall here. Naturally, all last week the kids were subject to my repeated chant, "We will NOT turn on the AC in October." I mean, this is just ridiculous - fallen leaves are covering the sidewalks, yards are dotted with scarecrows and pumpkins, store shelves are laden with bags full of candy. This is not the time for AC - it's the time for digging out last year's sweaters and checking to see if we still own socks and wondering where the heavy down comforters are.

Someone forgot to notify Mother Nature, though, and it's been hot and yes, even a little humid. Nothing we couldn't handle, though. Certainly not enough to break down and turn on that AC. Because we do not use the AC in October.

And then, Sunday happened. It kept trying to rain, but didn't really. Temps weren't even that high - mid-70's, maybe? I ran around the house like a maniac in the morning, because a friend from out of town was planning to drop by around 9:30…


I thought I had updated this since Tuesday, but I guess not. I'M STILL ALIVE. I can eat now, too. So my old-person, proton-pump inhibitor drugs seem to be doing their job. Unfortunately, the drugs don't treat hypochondria, and I read that unexplained stomach pain/ulcers can sometimes be a sign of ovarian cancer, and I'm an Ashkenazi Jew, so...

I'm sure my doctor loves getting my semi-hysterical emails.

In other news, October is not starting well in general. That is not fair. October is for walking through crisp, dry leaves and drinking cider and eating all the Halloween candy too early. Instead, so far, we have mass murder, and the death of a beloved rock star, and the still-looming threat of nuclear war. It just doesn't seem right.

A couple of weeks ago, I tried to convince Susie to take group guitar lessons with other kids her age. She insisted that she HATED guitar. To my knowledge, she has never even touched one. But she was adamant. "I'd lik…

Being Sick Is Boring. I'm Sorry.

Larry drove me to the doctor this morning (because I was still too hysterical and hungry to be coherent on my own) and I explained to her that I still couldn't eat without pain. So she said, "Okay, we'll do a CT scan, just to rule the scary stuff out. Just drink these 2 HUGE bottles of barium first."


So that was hard. I choked down most of the first bottle, but only half of the second, because I thought I was going to start puking up all my hard work if I drank more. And I did the CT scan, which was totally easy and space age, except the iodine stuff they put in you, which feels really weird. And then we waited around for an hour for the results. We were sitting there, each of us looking at the news on our phones, and Larry said, "You know, you have the best ideas for dates."

Finally the doctor called us back in and said everything looked normal. So she's sending everything to the specialist and in the meantime is treating it like an ulcer, althoug…

Starvation Diet

Do you know where 4 weeks of intermittent stomach pain and lack of sleep and food get you? It gets you well nigh hysterical. Don't worry, I'm going in tomorrow again to see the doctor. Now I'm thinking it's an ulcer, which is distressing but way better than all the other possibilities running through my head earlier this evening.

What an awful, awful day. And I miss food.

So, yeah, I probably shouldn't even be blogging, but old habits die hard. I can't even remember what I did this weekend. Yoga, probably, and knitting, like all my other weekends. Wow, I really like to change things up around here.

We sent Susie away on an AHG (Catholic Girl Scouts, essentially) camping trip, which should have been fun but - according to her repeated tellings - was not. Something about stinkbugs and spider-y cabins and a hike to nowhere. Yet her troop leader tells me she was the life of the party all weekend. Go figure.

Actually, there's something different I did this weeke…

Random Friday

Tomorrow, I get to drive. Rachel has a dentist appointment, that we can no longer walk to. Then one of my elderly clients has a hair appointment. After that, I am transporting 5 tween girls to a weekend camping trip over an hour away. And then I am driving straight back home, because nothing in this world could induce me to spend the weekend camping with a bunch of tween girls. NOTHING.

All in all, I'll be in the car for over 4 hours. In a perfect world,  I could get somewhere exciting in 4 hours. But that's not what is happening here.

Idea: Could we just stick Kim Jong Un and Trump in a room and let them fight it out? They obviously have issues with each other, and the rest of us just want to get on with our lives.

Looks like it's a random thoughts night. That's okay, no one looks at this on a Friday, anyway.

I'm already dreaming of Halloween candy. That's normal, right?

Good news! I'm off the hook for planning somet…

Keeping The Faith

So I finally Googled my stomach pain symptoms (I hadn't before because I didn't want to inflame my natural hypochondria, although really, I was already imagining the worst, so why not?), and it looks as though I have sludge in my gall bladder (not to be too technical or anything). Lemon juice, LOTS of water, castor oil compresses, and lecithin supplements are recommended. I've spent half my day in the kitchen and the other half in the bathroom.

So. Much. Fun.

But at least I have hope that someday I might be able to eat somewhat normally again.

Today, Susie and I went out to buy some challah for Rosh Hashanah. Now, remember, Susie is the youngest child in our interfaith family. Many years ago (20, to be exact), we belonged to an interfaith families group at a local synagogue. I took Theo and Anna (and David, but he was only a baby) to a challah-making workshop there. We even had a picture of Theo in the local paper, working on his little braided loaf.  Over the years since…

Sweet Dreams Are Made Of Cheese...

I have to drive to the dentist in 20 minutes with the kids. We used to be able to walk there, but then our pediatric dentist had the nerve to move her office further away. Some people only think of themselves, you know?

Anyway, Susie's still annoyed at me because I made her get braces back in July (she NEEDED braces). The poor kid cried herself to sleep the first night she had them on, saying she didn't like having things in her mouth. So, yeah, if you enjoy feeling like garbage over every important decision you make, then parenting just might be right for you.

In the meantime, I have an appointment for a crown that I've had to cancel twice, and now I just don't want to go at all. I sort of lost my dental momentum, you know? Also, I'm tired of spending money, and for the life of me I don't understand dental insurance rates. When someone says they'll pay 40% of an unspecified amount, it doesn't really matter how good you are at math, you can't figure…

I Miss Ice Cream

Look at that - I survived an entire day without having a medical problem. I ate semi-normally (no fat, but still), I managed not to pierce my body with rust-covered pieces of metal, I exercised and ran errands like a normal person...

I'd kill for a Heath Klondike bar, though. KILL.

You know what bothers me? I've been pretty much starving for over 2 weeks, so you'd think some of my pants would at least be hanging a tad loosely on me. Is that too much to ask? I don't think so. But no, nothing's changed on this body of mine. Maybe I'm just losing weight on the inside? Is that possible?

The doctor last night at Urgent Care called me "young lady." It was disconcerting, to say the least. I can't even remember the last time someone called me that. Actually, it doesn't matter WHAT age you are, "young lady" always sounds condescending. So I punched him in the nuts.

LOL, no. Just wanted to see if anyone was actually reading...

The other day, I…