Friday, February 11, 2011

Hubby Always Said I Can't Measure

He says I think things are bigger than they really are.

I'm beginning to think he is right.

I got my Le Creuset baking dishes from CSN last week.  They got here super fast.  Like 3 days after I ordered them.  Considering that it was free shipping, I expected they would be sent the slowest way possible on the back of a sloth or something, so three days was super exciting.

I tore into the big box like a kid on Christmas day.  Inside I found a LOT of packing material and two little baking dishes.  Huh?  I stood there scratching my head about how they seemed to be half the size I was expecting when the Hubby came over and schooled me (again) in measurement.  The measurements I had even typed into my first post about them, 10.5' x 7' baking dish and bonus 7' x 5' dish.  He pointed to a framed picture on my bookshelf and said "Honey, what size is this picture?"  I replied "5' x 7'".  He held up my small 7' x 5' dish next to the picture and then turned it sideways while cocking one eyebrow as if to say "Really?  You somehow expected this to be larger?"  Yes, yes I did.  

So now I don't know what I'm going to bake for my family of five in these little dishes, 
but they sure are pretty.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

More Than a Few Inches of Snow

Another item checked off my "Living in the snow bucket list".

My first foot or more of snow in one night.

This morning we woke up to this.

Guess I'm not taking the dogs out for a walk that way.  Maybe out the garage?

Or maybe not.  That snow is taller than my dogs.

My upstairs window had accumulated a little snow too.

Somewhere under there is our front steps and walkway.

After we dug out the driveway, this is the pile we had.

And there's our front porch again.

View from the porch after we unburied it.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Things I Will Do For Cookware

Remember CSN?  Those folks with over 200 stores?  Even one dedicated to swingsets?

They've asked me to work with them again.  Last time I gave away bunny coffee mugs, 
but this time I think I'm going to do a review.  I'm taking my time browsing this time, 
but so far I'm really leaning towards this 10.5' x 7' baking dish and bonus 7' x 5' dish. 

As I've mentioned before I have a fetish for Le Creuset cookware, so an opportunity to add a piece of their stoneware to my kitchen is kind of a no brainer.  I still really want the frying pan, but it's still a little spendy. I'm thinking that the smaller dish might be perfect for a half batch of my enchiladas, and I can't wait to try it out.  Stay tuned for the review and enchilada recipe.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Cats With Thumbs

I've been promising my children that we'd get new kittens for a while now.

I've been looking and there just haven't been that many kittens on craigslist.
The ones that there were, either didn't have pictures or just didn't pull at my heart strings.

Then last week I saw an ad for these cuties.

 They are sisters and they have thumbs.

We went to go look at them after the kids got home from school.
On the way there, I told my oldest that the cats had six toes,
and she said "Really??" in the most hopeful excited voice you can imagine.
She started ranting about how Jenny The Bloggess recently got a cat with 6 toes also.
Of course I already knew this, because hello,
I've been reading The Bloggess way longer than she has.
Right then, the deal was sealed, we were getting us some cats with thumbs.

When my hubby got home from a work trip the next day, he was slightly ticked that once again,
I obtained new animals for our household when he was out of town.
He really looked at me sideways when I told him they had bonus toes.
He may have said something about them being mutants.
We think they're awesome.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Winter Wonderland

This week, one of Mama Kat's writing prompts was a photo journal entry
about what winter looks like in my town.

This is my first REAL winter.  The first one where I've experienced cold
and the first where I've experienced snow.

Winter in Southern California is palm trees and rain.
Maybe some ice on your windshield here and there.
If you want to take the kids sledding, you load them up in the car
and drive at least an hour to the nearest ski resort.

Winter in Arizona is like summer in Arizona, except not 120 degrees.
It's sunshine and flip flops.  It's 80 degree days.
If you want to take the kids sledding, you load them up in the car
and drive three hours to the nearest place with enough elevation to get snow.

To say that winter in Michigan is different is like saying that
Jerry Falwell and Boy George are different.

It's a WHOLE new world over here.

It's icicles.

It's "Hey, that's the one bush that's still green, buried under a foot of snow."

Because seriously, all the other bushes look like this.

I know this isn't exactly what winter looks like in my TOWN,
but I'm still awed by the simple things right in front of me.

And since I'm terrified of driving in the snow, I haven't been getting out a whole lot.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Who Are YOU?

Everyone else is doing it, and by "IT" I don't mean drugs or sex.

It's this whole De-Lurking day thing.

See?  It even came with a flasher guy!

This thing says that I have 22 followers.  
Exactly FOUR of you comment on any kind of regular basis. 

A special Shout Out to:

Soooo.  Today is the day that YOU tell me something about you.

1)  Do you have a blog or twitter that I should be following?

2)  What is your excuse for not regularly commenting on my awesomeness?
Am I just not that awesome?  
Is it that you come read my blog like some kind of train wreck you just can't walk away from?

3)  What is your favorite thing about my blog?

4) Is there something you wish I'd blog more about?  Or less? 
 Or something really annoying that I do that drives you nuts? 

5)  I fear that I use the word "So" too much.  Please discuss.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Shoveling Snow is Good For the Soul Amongst Other Things

I ALWAYS said that snow was nice to visit, but I wouldn't want to live in it,
I didn't want to have to drive in it, or have to shovel it out of my driveway.


Famous Last Words.

Here I am, living what should be my own personal nightmare, and you know what?  I kinda like it.  My husband wants to buy a $500 snow thrower, and I'm thinking "We don't need to waste our money on that, just give me my shovel and go away".  I know it sounds totally bizarre, but I came to this realization while my mom was here visiting.  (Yeah, that's a whole other story).

I thought it would be nice to have her come and visit.  To see where we live.  To see that we can still be family even though I moved 2000 miles away.  That I hadn't abandoned her.  Seven days might have been a little ambitious considering our not too distant blow up.  We managed not to fight, but we also avoided speaking about anything of substance.
There was A LOT of tongue biting.

When it snowed, I had to go outside and shovel, and for the first time in DAYS, I had peace.  It was just me and my shovel, methodically removing the snow from the walks and the driveway.  I found myself lapsing into this meditative state where my mind was void of worry, I was just moving, just shoveling, without thinking.  It was the quietest my mind has been in ages.

Maybe this too will get old.  Maybe the newness will wear off and it will just become work like so many other household chores, but for now, I'm enjoying my private time with my snow shovel.

I also think that my rear might be residing a little higher than it was before all this physical labor.  Bonus!!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


I'm in a funk.  I don't want to do anything.  

To be honest, "anything" might be too strong of a word...
I want to bake and eat sweet things, but that isn't entirely productive.  

I have a ton of work I should be doing.  Hello end of the year bookkeeping and IRS related chores.  Ick.  I don't want to and I've got until the end of the month to get those 1099's out, right?  It's only the 12th.  I can put it off a few more days.

I should be working on some handmade projects for friends that I promised in a facebook post.

I could be taking down my Christmas tree and decorations.

Instead I think I'll go take a nap.  I'm good at avoiding.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

In 2011 I will either do something really smart or something really stupid. Maybe both.

I'm usually not one for resolutions, and I don't know if I'd call this a resolution.  It might be more of a midlife crisis or a mental breakdown, maybe.  All I know is that I'm tired of continuing to do what I've always done, and being unhappy with what I get.

Mainly I'm tired of the roller coaster ride that is my husbands career.  He works and then he doesn't work.  When he's not working there is no guarantee when the next work is going to be.  Some years he makes a lot of money, some years, not so much.  It's really hard to manage a household when you have no idea how much money you will have or when you are going to have it.  I'm pretty sure I'm on the fast track for an ulcer or a padded room.  I'm the one that worries about how the bills are going to get paid.  He enjoys his off time playing video games.

So in 2011 I'm going to do something different.  I've talked about this before, but I've always put it off because of the amount of time and effort involved.  It's time for me to go back to school.  This freaks me out for an untold number of reasons, starting with it's been 10 years since I've set foot on a college campus and ending with the 5-6 years it will take me to finish my chosen degree (going full time).

When I think about the benefits though, like how in 5 years I will be able to consistently make as much money as the hubby has made in his best years, it seems like a no brainer.  When I think about the fact that in 5 years I will have the first 2 of my 3 children also trying to obtain a college education and having the money to cover that for them, I feel in control.

So first things first, I've ordered my transcripts, since I have no idea where the copies I have are located.  When they arrive, I will meet with a counselor at the college to plan out my next 5 years.  Since it's going to be too late for this semester, I won't be able to put this plan fully in motion until the Fall.  I don't think I want to jump back into college in the Summer.

In the meantime, I'm also considering doing something totally ridiculous, The Warrior Dash.  Not that this event is in itself ridiculous, but ME participating in it is ridiculous.  For those of you that know me in real life, you will understand what a silly endeavor this is.

For those of you that don't, let me break it down for you: 

  • First, my mantra is "I don't run unless zombies are chasing me".  
  • Second, I am the antithesis of athletic, like I trip over air and fall UP stairs                             (ok to be honest, I've fallen down them too, but that is much easier to do).  
  • Third, I DON'T like being dirty.  

Why this event appeals to me, I don't know.  Probably something to do with the mental breakdown I'm having.  I think I'm looking to have control over something.  Either way, it should make for an interesting year.

Monday, January 3, 2011


With all the craziness in December a few things got put off until the new year.

Obviously regular blogging on my part was one of them.  I'm not going to declare that "I'm Back!!" or anything that dramatic.  Those of you that have followed me for awhile know that I don't blog on any kind of regular time table.  I apologize however if your December was in any way less grand because of not being able to read my blog.  Somehow I doubt this, but I'll put it out there anyway.

The other thing that got put off was the shipment of naughty bunny mugs.  As soon as the giveaway ended, I ordered them from CSN which shipped them promptly to my house.  The only problem being that they shipped the FOUR mugs I ordered in one box.  Apparently they come from their maker in sets of 4.  Since I had ordered this many, I got four, in their original 4 pack box. That's fantastic, because that left me having to find coffee mug shaped boxes, suitable for mailing, in the busiest shipping month of the year.  So sorry to my winners, I decided to put off this task until the new year.  Tops on my list this week is to find boxes and get these in the mail.

My tree, and all my other Christmas decorations are still up, and I have no immediate plans to take them down.  The amount of work involved hurts my head. I really don't understand how some people decorate for EVERY holiday to this extent.  Most other holidays are acknowledged in this house by a different hand towel in the guest bath.  Yeah, I know, I got all out.  Then there are the gung ho people that take it all down the day after Christmas.  You know who you are, (ahem, cough, Kim, cough).  Really, how do they do it?  I was still nursing a headache from only having about 4 hours sleep Christmas Eve.

Of course, next year, this won't be a problem.  On Christmas morning, when the hubby and I finally dragged ourselves out of bed, after hours of the kids coming in and trying to extricate us from our slumber, we decided that we'd had enough of staying up until the last of the kiddos FINALLY fell asleep so Santa could come, only to be woken four hours later by those same children who somehow require a third less sleep on Christmas.

No, we aren't going to stop believing in Santa.  What we are going to do is wake the kids up right after he comes.  Yup, next year as soon as the kids are asleep and Santa comes, we are going to wake them all up, (the hubby wants to do this with a bull horn) and drag them all downstairs for present opening.  Then they can either stay up and play with their toys or go back to sleep, but we will be able to go back to sleep and not have to worry about being woken up at 6 am by impatient kids.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

2010 Wrap Up

The month of December was insane.  First my mom visiting, then my mother in law.  After I was done with house guests it was a mad rush to finish Christmas shopping, mail off gifts that were getting shipped, and prepare for the big day.  On December 23rd, it occurred to me that the family might want something fancier than Hamburger Helper for dinner on Christmas day.
I called Honeybaked and was still able to procure a ham, and on Christmas Eve I set out to grocery shop for all the dinner accompaniments.  

Christmas itself was great.  The hubby had been hinting around at the fact that he had broken our tradition of just buying for the kids and had actually got me something, so I purchased a couple of gifts for him.  I got him some new cologne and DJ Hero2.  He liked them a lot.  

All month long I had been fishing for hints since I'm not good at suspense or waiting for things.  While his mom was here visiting I made her a cheesecake.  As I was getting out my hand mixer
to make it, I asked him "OOooh, Is my present a stand mixer?".  He said "No".  I made a sad face.  My mother in law says "You mean one of those Kitchen Aid things?  You need one of those.
I'll buy you one for Christmas."  Now this ends up being a gift for her too, since she is moving here, and I know is hoping there are a lot more cakes and cheesecakes in her future,
not that I'm going to complain though.  

So it turns out that this WAS what he was planning on getting me, but had not actually gone shopping for.  Now that his mom said she was going to buy me one, he had to come up with something else to get me since there were two presents from me under the tree.
SEE why we usually don't do buy for each other.  It gets so damn complicated.
 On Christmas Eve, while I was wrapping gifts and grocery shopping,
 the hubby took the 3 girls to the mall to shop for a present for me. 
 Before they left I dropped a couple of hints as to what I might like.  

I mentioned that I always liked Willow Tree figurines.
Hubby said "What in the heck is that???"
My oldest said "I know dad, don't worry."

I ended up with a Willow Tree figurine from my hubby and each of my girls.

The hubby also was responsible for picking up the stand mixer from his mom.  
She and I had gone shopping for it before she left, but the store was out of them, 
so she had left the money so we could get it when they got more in.

Hubby went to Kohl's though, and ended up getting me a MUCH better one 
for the same amount of money as the regular one she and I were looking at.  
It isn't pretty red, but it has all metal parts so it will hopefully last forever and ever, 
plus it has a larger capacity and stronger motor too.

Even though I knew I was getting it.  Even though he didn't wrap it.  
He wouldn't let me open the box until Christmas day.

So after presents were opened, I broke this puppy out and set out to make a Red Velvet cake for 
Christmas dessert.  To say it was a miserable failure would be an understatement.  
It's been a long time since I've made a cake from scratch, and I learned that Red Velvet is tricky.  I ended up throwing the first one out and making a second one the day after Christmas. 
It was edible, but still not what I'd call good.  I guess I'll just have to do a lot more practicing.  

The last two weeks of December were consumed with house hunting for my mother in law.  
We looked at the good, the bad, the ugly, the smelly, the quirky, the lost in the 70's, 
and the ones that only a match could improve.  

We ended up finding a little cottage on a creek built in 1905 that spoke to her.  It's kitchen consists of one wall of rotting cabinets and a sink.  The single bathroom is the size of most half baths in houses nowadays, and has a shower so narrow that I really have to wonder if super models lived here.  I can't imagine any normal sized person being able to turn around and soap their butt in this thing.  In addition to that, there are parts of the roof that leak and parts of the floor that have rotted away.  It's a really good thing that her sons and I are slightly handy.  It is going to be a LOT of work, but I think it will be super cute once it's done.  You can expect a lot of home remodel blogging starting around the beginning of February.