Sunday, November 30, 2008

Giving Thanks 2008

And a lovely time was had by all at my brother's manse on the hill. He has the most incredible view of the Decorah valley right out his living room windows. Above is a shot of the ubiquitous KIDS TABLE where we put 10 of the 14 kids in attendance. The other 4 had graduated to the adult table. They were thrilled until they learned that sitting at the adult table includes kitchen clean up duty. With much freedom comes much responsibility kids! Now get to work because those dishes aren't going to wash themselves.
Another group shot of the kids. Two of mine are 2nd from left and 2nd from the right.
We had a Thanksgiving adventure involving that sectional couch - stay with me, it's long but funny. The night before some friends and their extended family were up for drinks and snacks. We had a great time, and talked about getting together again on Thanksgiving Day. During our Tgiving meal, we thought it would be hilarious to walk down to their house, dessert in hand, and station groups of us at each 1st floor window and all peer in at exactly the same moment. While talking I looked up in time to see 4 of THEIR kids walk past the front door. So of course in our hysteria we decided THEY were plotting the same thing WE had just discussed, so I yelled "HIDE!" and we all dove over that sectional and hid from view. Of course, it wasn't them, just a few of their kids heading to another neighbors house. But we've decided that from now on, our Thanksgiving tradition will involved some adult yelling "Hide! It's Them!", then we must immediately seek cover.
My brother frying the turkey. That is a fake fur Iowa Hawkeyes football helmet-shaped thing on his head. He has owned and proudly worn that thing since 1980. If that hat could talk, you would tell it to shut up because there are kids listening.
Doesn't he remind you of Clark Griswold's cousin, played by Randy Quaid? Funny coincidence, for many years, they owned a historic house in Decorah known as the Griswold House. It used to belong to Luther College. How appropriate. Last I checked my brother doesn't own any white dress shoes.
The founders of the feast: all the women. From the left: ME, doing my best Jabba the Hut impression, sister Valley Vortex, Cousin Vet Tech, sister Cheesecake Maven, and SIL Southern Belle.

We don't have any lovely photos of the food because we are pigs and dig right in. The menu included: deep fat fried turkey, marinated roasted turkey breast, fried potatoes, cornbread stuffing, scalloped oysters, squash, tossed salad with smoked almond tapenade, crudites, dips, sweet corn salsa, 3 different cranberry compotes, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, chocolate pecan pie, pumpkin pie, apple pie, and gingerbread cookies.

We DID end up walking the pies down to the friends' house where we caroled on their porch until someone noticed. With a combination of our five families, and their three families, we played "Mafia". Great game for a group of all ages and all you need is a deck of cards - if you want instructions let me know.

Another wonderful Holiday with family. Life is Good. Money stinks, but life is good anyway.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

A Holiday Meme

Roses are red, violets are blue, I was tagged with a meme, now YOU are too!
I've also just decided that posts in December may or may not contain gratuitous Christmas-y images that may or may not have anything whatsoever to do with the post subject.

1. Five names you go by
a) Mom
b) Moooommmmmm!!!!!!!
c) Margaret
d) Margie
e) Cueball

2. Three things you are wearing right now:
a) jeans
b) Smartwool socks
c) old lady reading glasses

3. Two things you want very badly at the moment:
a) Someone to pay my mortgage
b) a good job for my husband

4. Three people who will probably fill this out:
a) Michael
b) 2nd sister
c) themom - wait, too late!

5. Two things you did last night:
a) drove home for NE Iowa to Minnesota
b) cried the whole way out of sheer stress and an ego that is shattered all to Hell

6. Two things you ate today:
a) scrambled eggs
b) chai tea

7. Two people you last talked to on the phone:
a) Twin #2
b) My sister

8. Two things you are going to do tomorrow:
a) take a stack of books to the used bookstore
b) take some too-small ice skates to the consignment shop

9. Two longest car rides:
a) NE Iowa to San Diego, CA
b) Minnesota to Daytona Beach, FL

10. Two of your favorite beverages:
a) iced tea
b) hot coffee with cream

It Feels Like Christmas

NOW let the Christmas fun begin! If you haven't seen The Muppet Christmas Carol with Michael Caine, go rent it now. Especially if you can remember The Muppet Show.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving All!

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! We're leaving tonight for a few days of merriment, long walks, cards, coffee and good food with my extended family in Iowa. I will be back next week in CHRISTMAS COLOR and SPLENDOR! Till then, be thankful, be gracious, be generous, be joyous and be your wonderful self.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The REAL reason Mormons backed Prop 8

It was to keep their manly Mormon boys out of sparkly sets and tight flashy pants. And to keep them from singing about "holiday greetings and GAY happy meetings". Give it up Mormons, it's just gonna happen and there is NOTHING you can do about it!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Men are Pigs, like we need proof

Men are pigs.

I learned another shocking atrocity about the male gender today over at Coaster Punchman's Five Things I Hate. I learned that men moan and groan and make actual statements while they poo in public bathroom stalls!!

Men, this does NOT happen in the ladies room!

Women need everyone to think that only strawberry ice cream comes out of our bodies. Women will hold back a virtual tsumani of excrement if anyone else is in the restroom. We will sit with clenched cheeks while veins pop out of our foreheads waiting for the other bathroom user to flush. THEN we will expel as much as possible while the flushing is at it's peak. After the flushing has subsided, we will clench again until that horrible other woman turns on the hand dryer. Once she leaves, we are home free. Unless another rude patron enters, then the whole circus starts again.

We also stay locked away, anonymously, in the stall until the other women have left. This leaves the mystery of the actual poo bomber intact, because no woman wants to be identified as the thunder cheeks who must have had an extra large bean burrito for lunch. We will NOT exit the stall until the restroom is clear, thereby leaving our ego intact. Even if you KNOW who's in there, you let the mystery continue. "Poo? No, no, no one poos in here!" Actually we don't even talk about it. We just hold our heads high.

Men are pigs

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Are you a better scholar of civics than our leaders?

WASHINGTON (AFP) – US elected officials scored abysmally on a test measuring their civic knowledge, with an average grade of just 44 percent, the group that organized the exam said Thursday.

Ordinary citizens did not fare much better, scoring just 49 percent correct on the 33 exam questions compiled by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI).

I answered 28 out of 33 correctly — 84.85 %

Average score for this quiz during November: 77.8% Average score: 77.8%

Go to the Intercollegiate Studies Institute and take the quiz.

Post your score in the comments.

No Politics, Just Cookies

Dear Friend MG already posted a hilarious account of our cookie day, and I have to offer my two cents. MG and I whipped up multiple batches of gingerbread cut outs, chocolate chips, chocolate crinkles, and pecan sandies. A fantastic way to usher in the Holiday season. Poor MG was a bit undone by the constant interruption and noise of three kids plus a neighbor kid add-on. MG lives in adult-land where you have complete sentences, listen to your own music, and have utter control over the frosting and the powdered sugar.

It's nice to be posting about happy things, like gingerbread men, instead of political rancor. My recipe for these cookies is incredible.

MG is going to hate the above photo - it makes him look about 40lbs heavier than he is. But on his blog I look like Mrs. Claus on prednisone, so we're even!

Here you can see the mess we created, helped along by two nine-year-old "elves'

Previously I had posted here a photo of one of my teens and her girlfriends at their first formal dance of their High School years. She was so upset by this that I acquiesced and took it down. Twin #1 also begged me not to post her photo. You'll have to take my word for it, they were beautiful!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Movies that scared the crap out of me

A friend and I were talking about Bette Davis the other day, and remembering being scared half out of our wits by "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane" and "Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte". Baby Jane Hudson especially gave me nightmares. We'd sit with our homemade popcorn covered in butter, in our pj's, covered with blankets on the sofa getting so totally creeped out that we'd fight over who had to get up and close the drapes over the now-dark windows. Every time she fed Blanche the rat I'd pee my pants. And every time I'd squirm and root for Blanche to hurry up, hurry up!!!!! HIT HER already!!!

It wasn't until my 20's that I discovered Bette Davis was quite the young bombshell in her time.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


I've got some nagging questions about the current economy.

1. If we declare bankruptcy, or go into foreclosure, the bank will then own a house they can't sell. Our home is currently valued at $359K (that's another story!) but we had it on the market for 6 months and had only 2 showings. A house two doors down in foreclosure has gone from $350K to $170K and still won't sell. So if our bank will be stuck with a house they can only sell for peanuts, why not just renegotiate with us for those peanuts and let us stay in our home? What's the difference? Either way it's the same $ loss for them.

2. Have you been watching the CSPAN coverage of the big three auto makers asking for taxpayer bailouts? All three men flew to DC in private jets, and only one (Chrysler) is willing to consider a CEO paycut and flying commercial. What's wrong with this picture?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Three Bloggin Sisters

A new blogger to introduce! My youngest sister has now joined the blog-o-sphere. Some of you have visited my other sister Cheesecake Maven, but she's posted maybe twice in the last 4 months and is losing online cred in a big hurry. Youngest sister and I will taunt her mercilessly over Thanksgiving about how much better OUR blogs are and I'll be sure to point out my 24 loyal followers. We have a brother too, but he can barely hold his own in spoken conversation and would fail miserably at a blog - you reading this brother dear? The only way for his sisters to get his attention is to have a large TV screen placed on our heads playing uninterrupted football games, westerns, and WW2 movies.

The theme of three sisters runs heavy in my family. My Mom had two sisters and they were quite the trio. I have two sisters and we are also more alike then we'd care to admit and should probably have a talk show. We'd give those VIEW women a run for their money plus we'd have fights which would really bring in the ratings. And I have three daughters and I'm certain they are headed for the same love 'em/hate 'em/can't wait to see them relationship that sisters through the generations have had.

Evidently, the Three Sisters theme is heavy in imagery - enjoy a small sampling of my online discoveries.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Times are tough everywhere

Even Joe Friday can't make enough money.

Monday, November 17, 2008

We're Divorcing

Hubby and I have decided we need to get a divorce.
Cuz then we can get remarried, have a bridal shower, and replace all these ratty old towels we're using. Good plan, eh?

Friday, November 14, 2008

Yes, it's my fault

I set off my building's fire alarms today.
While microwaving popcorn, the blasted machine from 1982 set the thing on fire after only 1 minute of popping! I ran the smoking bag outside immediately, but the loudest alarms known to man set off anyway. My ears are still ringing. This emptied not only all the offices but several classes in session.

The good news is I don't feel so sleepy now.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Irritating my teens

Want to find a sure-fire way to irritate the bejeebus out of your teens?
Get a Facebook page and send invites to their friends.

We MIGHT be even now.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Fiscal Conservatives My Butt

I'm reading with great glee how the GOP is now throwing Sarah Palin under the bus and washing their hands of her. "Wardrobe-gate" is turning into a whole lot of fun. She ran up well over $150,000 in clothing including silk boxers for Todd and $22,000 in hair and make-up. OK, so she's trailer trash and THEY gave her a credit card. I have no sympathy.

Here's where it gets really good though, and all of America ought to pay attention. The RNC is saying they in no way authorized that kind of lavish spending, but instead instructed her to buy about 6 suits and a modest budget of about $25,000.

$25,000 for six suits?? America! That's over $4,000 per suit!!

The GOP is trying to sell itself as the party of Joe Sixpack and hockey moms. Hello? Joe? Hockey Moms? Any of you spend $4G's on a suit lately? EVER?! I didn't think so. Pay very close attention to this fact America - the GOP has absolutely no clue about your financial reality.

$4,000 for a suit is NOT fiscally conservative. It's obscene.

Who does get my sympathy? The "charity" that ends up with Todd Palin's underpants.

Saturday, November 8, 2008


My alma mater The University of Iowa beat Penn State today in a MAJOR upset that ruins Penn State's undefeated season and their hopes for a national championship. I'll bet Joe Pa is having a stroke and spitting venom all over his players. It's one thing for Penn State to lose to a great team, but Iowa is having a lukewarm season. Seems my Hawkeyes have become a major source of irritation to Penn State these past years. I say GO IOWA! - if we can't be consistent champions, as least we can be the raspberry seed in some team's wisdom tooth.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Post Election Questions

Why do we say that the party that lost the Presidential election is "imploding" or "fractured"? The GOP still won 48% of the popular vote. That's a significant number and hardly implies an implosion.

Who stole John McCain's soul? Do you think he's regretting letting Karl Rove and Satan run his campaign? Where is the centrist, pro-choice, populist politician he used to be? Now THAT man could have given the Democrats a run for their money. THAT man might have beaten us.

When will the rank and file Republicans take back their party? Can they?

I worry for the personal safety and health of Barack Obama and his family. Anyone else? Right wing nut jobs are far more likely to take an actual shot. Can we trust the Secret Service to do their job? There have already been significant death threats - are they up to the task?

Sarah Palin - flash-in-the-pan with delusions of power or future GOP candidate? Great article here.

Will the Supreme Court ultimately uphold the constitutional rights of gays to legally marry?

How can America vote in W in 2004, then go all Democrat on us in 2008? I love it but it begs the question.

Did the GOP rig the 2000 and 2004 elections? Why didn't they this time?

Winter? Already?

Woke to a winter wonderland today! Even for Minnesota, this is a bit early but it sure is pretty. Snow mixed with rain was predicted for today, but it must have grown colder overnight and we woke to frosting covered trees and houses. My kids are out of school today for a teacher workshop so the youngest was thrilled to see this weather.
So IT has come a bit early this year!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

A Happy Migraine

Geez-a-loo I hate to post an image like this when we're all still having OBAMAPHORIA!!

I've had a killer migraine ever since election night. Too many emotions, not enough water, not enough sleep, too much crying, too much laughing. Too much trying to control my car on I-35 while also wanting to honk and wave at everyone I see, and while tearing up over yet another giddy American being interviewed on NPR.

Did anyone else cry when hearing that villagers in Kenya paraded to the grave of Barack Obama Sr. and sang "you have sired a King"?

On election day, during a break between door knocking for Obama, we saw a lawyer who will probably be helping us file Chapter 7 bankruptcy. How's that for yet another emotion-laden experience? I think it may be time to start that career as a drug-addicted alcoholic that I've been putting off for so long.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


I'm just wrecked today, but in a good way.
I'm still crying and laughing. What an amazing night!!!

Crazy coot Michelle Bachman squeaked out victory and it looks like Al Franken might lose to Mr. Scumbag himself Norm Coleman. How does this happen in a state that went over the top for Obama?

I hope they are letting the Obama family just sleep all day or lay around the living room in their pj's watching movies.

Does anyone else think that secretly John McCain is at home feeling more than a little relieved?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


I'm speechless

I'm crying

America - you have redeemed yourself

Now the hard work starts

Monday, November 3, 2008

Poor John McCain

John McCain Accidentally Left On Campaign Bus Overnight

Grief sucks

My thoughts, prayers, what ever you want to call them, go out to the Obama family tonight. Losing a loved one just stinks, even when they are old, even when you know it's coming. Think I'll cry a little for him tonight. I lost my Mom, my Dad, and my grandma too - I know how he feels. Like a gut punch.

I'm going mad here

I'm completely on tenterhooks here and I'm sure I'm not alone. I'm so damn excited about President Barack Obama that I'm about to wet my pants. Also feeling nervous pain that the neocons will steal this election somehow - we all know they've done it before and they can do it again. God Help Us if they do.
But again, I'm like a little kid waiting for Christmas - I just want tomorrow to GET.HERE.NOW!! Must stay positive. Must flood the cosmos with good vibes for a big turnout and Democratic victory.
I was thinking today that we're going to see the opposite of the Bradley Effect, and it's going to be called The Obama Effect from now on. I see plenty of white folks publically saying they can't support Obama, but voting for the man behind that curtain. They know an asshat when they see one, and the McCain/Palin ticket is two asshats for the price of one.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Remember Supper Clubs?

We had our anniversary dinner at The Ranchero in Webster, MN - about the smallest town you could possibly imagine. Sure we could have visited some swanky eatery in the nearby Twin Cities but we'd heard this place was special. For my midwestern friends - remember the supper clubs of your childhood? Ever eaten at Nob Hill in Decorah Iowa during it's heyday? Well the Ranchero is JUST LIKE THAT and hasn't changed it's perfect ways since probably 1967.

The place was packed for one thing - lots of kindly old folks in nice sweaters and farmers with ruddy cheeks and white foreheads - waitresses in sensible shoes with heavy Minnesota accents - you know what I mean! Sadly, they didn't have the conga line pictured above, it was the only image I could find online, but I hear it's plenty rowdy for their Friday night fish fry!

We both ordered steak - hubby had NY strip and I had the filet. They were so tender and covered with the most amazing sauce and mushrooms. They also make all their own salad dressings - we had the "italian" stored in an old beer bottle - in one word: fabulous.

But my favorite part had to be the pre-entree relish tray. Remember relish trays??? I hadn't seen one since Thanksgiving 1972. A small platter filled with picked beets (my fav!), gherkins, radishes, canned black and green olives, crinkle cut carrots, and celery. That was sided with some barely-garlic garlic bread. But for this crowd it was an absolutely exotic level of garlic I'm sure. I got tipsy on the cutest little plastic single-serving size bottles of wine - who needs that uppity European stuff???. Apparently no one orders the wine - they just stick with the German import beer.

We staggered out full, feeling good, still in love, and happy. Hubby chuckled when he pointed out the idling diesel trucks parked out front, the one street light, and a nearby combine. Yep, small town for sure but it felt like home.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

THIS scared the bejeesus out of me

Today we took on a chore we haven't tackled in 10 years. We pulled the refrigerator out and cleaned under and behind.

It was the scariest thing I've ever seen!!!

You would not believe the items that had fallen back there and the dirt was deep enough to start some seeds. The dust had mingled with various liquids that had leaked out through the door over 10 years and created a whole new element. We had to use an ice scraper to get it loose.

I think I've caught malaria or cholera from that pile of disgusting mess.

You will be blog Queen/King for a day if you can guess what the image to the left has to do with this chore.

Tonight we travel to an old-fashioned supper club to celebrate our 18th wedding anniversary. To some folks, that would be scary too but to us it's cause for a party! Or at the very least a nice steak.