Tuesday, November 30, 2010

End of an Era

Tomorrow will be the end of my reproductive life.  Because of some recent "unpleasantness", I'm having my insides redecorated.  Not a total renovation - just a little remodel.

My kids have been vaguely aware this is coming.  Tonight one of the teens asked about some details then, in all caring honesty, asked "So no more babies?"

Nope, no more babies my lovely.  Hasn't really been an option for awhile, but willingly and knowingly shutting that door feels kinda sad.  I have loved having babies more than I can relate with mere words.  Me and my endometrium - it's been a good run.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Full as a . .

I blame it all on my family.  If they weren't such good cooks, I could restrain myself.  But damn if we don't make the most delicious food ever.  With no limit.  All over the place.  In a fun setting.  I never stood a chance.

Here's what we had available at Thanksgiving:

Smoked Turkey
Fried Turkey
Roasted Turkey
Smoked ham
Mashed potatoes and gravy
Gruyere-onion-cream potato galette
Stuffing - 2 kinds
Baked squash
Whiskey cranberry sauce
Gingered cranberry sauce
Green beans
Spinach salad with bleu cheese, craisins, nuts, and homemade dressing
Spinach balls
Veggie tray extraordinaire with spinach/veg dip or pesto dip
Pumpkin pie
Pecan pie
Apple pie
Red Velvet cake

All this gluttony followed by multiple games of 500 and Celebrity.  Darling MG taught us Celebrity a few years ago and it's now a family tradition.  Here's how it's played but don't blame me if you have a cardiac arrest from laughing.  The funniest part is when the younger kids are better than the adults.


Take everybody, and divide the group into 2 teams.  Whoever refuses to play must clean up the entire kitchen by themselves.  Designate a person to keep time on each team.

Give EVERYBODY 2-4 slips of paper.  If you have a lot of people, do just 2.
Everybody writes the name of a "celebrity" on their slips.  Try to make them names everyone in the group is likely to recognize - authors, cartoons, actors, musicians, etc.  You can even use the names of people there, or mutual friends. You may have more than one person write the same name - that's OK!

Put all those slips in a bowl, and have an empty bowl ready as well.

ROUND ONE - someone from team #1 volunteers to go first.  Someone from team #2 holds the guessing bowl full of slips ready for player #1 to draw from.  Someone on team #2 has their watch or timer ready to time one minute.
Timer says "GO"
Player #1 takes a slip of paper from the bowl and using words, songs, etc gets their teammates to guess the correct name.  If they get it right, player #1 throws the slip in the empty bowl and takes another etc etc.  If the team is stumped, player #1 throws the slip at their feet and takes another.  This keeps going until timer says "STOP!".  If they were in the middle of a guessing round, that name slip goes back into the guessing bowl.  Team #1 counts how many they got right, and subtracts any they had to skip.  KEEP SCORE!

Someone puts the correctly guessed slips from the 2nd bowl in a pile off to the side.  The skipped names go back into the guessing bowl.

Then a volunteer from Team #2 goes, and Team #1 keeps the time.  This goes back and forth until all the slips are gone.

Starting and playing just like Round One, except this time the player can say only ONE WORD! and NO GESTURES!  This is where anything that happened in round one comes in handy.

Starting and playing stays the same, but this time it's pantomime, like charades.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Pre-Thanksgiving Moment

So I'm shopping for Thanksgiving ingredients.  My sister calls and asked if I'm bringing the veggie tray because cousin Sarah asked if SHE was bringing it, and she said that no, I think Mnmom is, and what should SHE bring?

Sister #3 is bringing a potato dish, and brother is frying the turkey, and who the hell is making the stuffing?  We didn't know, so she'll call cousin Sarah.

Meanwhile I hit the produce section and realize no one has claimed the cranberries!  So I call sister #2 back while I'm unloading my groceries and we realize no one has claimed rolls either and of COURSE what does this remind me of??


Monday, November 22, 2010

Gettin Jiggy with the Veggie Tray

Much like Kirby, I'm bringing the veggie tray to Thanksgiving.  Either my family is being very kind since I'm traveling over 2 hours that morning, or this is their subtle way of saying "we hate your cooking".
Americans like their veggie trays in standard formation, don't they?  Vegetables arranged in spokes coming from a nice round bowl of ranch dip in the middle.

But what if I spiced things up?  Luckily my family would get a hoot out of it.  And I'm making SPINACH dip!

Here's something fun - a cabbage dip bowl!  Nothing says "greedy pig-dog American" like using food as a decoration.

I'm partial to THIS design.  It's reminiscent of us Midwestern women and our unshaved legs in the winter.

Off center, stacked, kinky, I like it!

PESTO!  I've got lots of that in the freezer!

AND I'm bringing Red Velvet Cake.  But I make mine in a jelly-roll pan - it goes lots farther that way.  An old pot-luck trick.  

So what are YOU making for Thanksgiving?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

mmmm smell that?

Anyone who's known me for even two seconds or been to my house knows I love my candles, especially at the Holidays!  So I'm hoping to win a glorious one from Leslie - one of the famous Minnesota bloggers!  You can go to her place and enter her contest - she's giving away a rather pricey candle, some treats, and other goodies.

Today has been interesting - including the smell of electrocuted flesh.  OK I'm being dramatic, but yes I was electrocuted.

I've been having some nerve pain that's been getting on my nerves (HA!) for years, so I'm finally seeing a doctor.  Today they did a test to truly measure or record or whatever sadistic neurologists do. I should have known I was in trouble when he starting taping metal plates to various spots on my hand and arm.  I was expecting a little hum.  He put a scary looking instrument on my inner arm and calmly said "here comes the first shock".

"JESUS CHRIST!!!" I cried as I levitated 3 feet off the table!  I barely inhaled when he evenly stated "and another".

"HOLY SHIT!!!" I screamed as I crapped my pants.  Then started laughing hysterically.  OK I didn't really crap my pants but the hysterical laughter and trucker swearing went on for quite a while.  He never blinked, which tells me it's a standard reaction or he's Dr. S&M.

But he wasn't done, oh no.  The session went on to an electric needle that he stuck in various muscles of my arm, shoulder, and neck.  His conclusion is that yes indeed I have carpal tunnel but he hasn't ruled out Lyme Disease.  The good news is that I'm alive and my profanity gland is in excellent working order.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Hey there! Come on in!

Geez it's good to see you!  You can put your snowy shoes on the rug.  Can you believe this weather?  Summer last week and head first into winter today.

You want sugar with that? oh, and here's the creamer.  You just KNOW I have half-n-half.  And try that pumpkin bread, I made it yesterday.  What are those little crunchy things in pumpkin bread anyway?  No they aren't eggshells, I'm very careful about that.

So how are the kids? Oh that's great to hear.  Yeah your oldest one is a pistol - you deserve sainthood for not sending that one to a foster home.  He's just like his father.  Your Mom doing better?  I was so sad to hear that she'd joined the Tea Party.  Have you scheduled the intervention yet?  Seriously how are you going to survive Thanksgiving at her house?  Does she still pray for Sarah Palin?

Yeah I'm still reeling from the mid terms.  America is one giant mess of stupid people, isn't it?  Does anybody READ anymore?  I can accept that someone disagrees with me, but to be proudly ignorant and have no awareness outside FOX just astounds me.  I really think we need to just split the country in two - we go to our corner and they go to theirs.


What's up here?  Well my twins' room smells like a dead body and we can't figure out why.  Youngest has classmates complaining they can't see around her poofy hair.  The engine light in the van has been on for about a month, and the sliding door pops open at random moments.  Our teeth have all developed problems now that we've dropped dental insurance and I'm down to one good bra.

We need to do this more often, ya know?  Gad it's great to see you!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veterans Day

Each and every day, I am grateful that many Americans are willing to give up their civilian life and enter a world of extreme service.  A world where they leave their families for months or years. A world where they might be asked to die for my protection. To those folks, I say a heartfelt and enduring thank you! Veteran's Day belongs to you, and this grateful nation will not forget your sacrifice.

To those who would take those brave Americans and throw their lives & limbs down a sewer for monetary gains, for unlimited corporate contracts, for control of natural resources, well, Veteran's day is NOT for you. For you I have nothing but contempt and anger. On Memorial Day & Veteran's Day you should visit the maimed and damaged in a Vet's home, visit the widowed and orphaned, visit the bombed-out families of Iraq and Afghanistan, then go take a long hard look in the mirror and into your soul. You should be ashamed.

And for the rest of us, we give these people one or two "days" and call it a thank you?  How about we make sure their families aren't on food stamps.  How about we give them free high-quality medical care for the rest of their lives?  How about we put their kids through college?  How about we pay for their flights home?  How about we give them all laptops so they can SKYPE or email with their families?  How about we make sure they have the best protective equipment money can buy?  How about we never send them in front of bullets and bombs unless it's absolutely necessary?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

And now a word from our sponsors

I'm not at all opposed to a little free publicity here on my blog for products I use.  Like Shutterfly.
We've been using Shutterfly for about 12 years for our Holiday cards.  It's simple, pretty, and CHEAP and you all know that right now THE CHEAP is my middle name.  One year we made a personalized calendar for my mother-in-law with everyone's birthday on it.  It was a big it.

So I couldn't resist an offer to blog about their products and get 50 free cards because, you know, THE CHEAP.  It's real - bloggers get free holiday cards from Shutterfly, follow the arrow à http://bit.ly/sfly2010 
Got a holiday part coming up?  Use their invitations.

I'm rather partial to these designs for this year - what do you think?  And no - none of those pictures is my family - they are samples from the website.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Here's where the GOP can cut

Dear Smaller-Gummit-cut-costs Politicians.
Time to put your money where your mouth is.  In the name of smaller government and lower costs, I expect to see some REAL proposals instead of easy rhetoric.  If you're serious I expect you to start with the following:

1. No more health insurance for either house of Congress.  Go out and pay for your own like the rest of us.
2. No more free parking anywhere in DC - see #1
3. No more free outpatient care from military hospitals - again see #1
4. No more obscenely inflated pension plan.
5. No more furniture expense accts - go to the store room and find something you can use.
6. No more free income tax preparation.  Take it to CPA firm - create some jobs!!!
7. No more tax deduction for maintaining a second residence.
8. Frequent flyer miles no longer available for personal use.  Only business.  Anything leftover is donated to our military service folks so they can go home on leave.  And always fly coach so you can prove you are "in touch" with real America.
9. No more free health club or cafeteria meals.
10. No more voting on your own pay raises.  Time for "merit pay" like you demand for teachers, who by the way make about  1/4 of your salary and work under dismal budgets.
11. How about immediate expulsion and a steep fine for any of you taking lobbyist gifts worth more than $100.  I don't mind if they pay for your dinner, or give you some pens and note pads, but anything else is just immoral.  I'm talking to you, John Boehner.
12. No more "franking" privileges to create a favorable public image.  Just do your job - that should be enough.


Friday, November 5, 2010

Teabaggers can kiss my ass

Oh don't you just KNOW I have a lot to say about the midterm elections.
But it will have to wait - still too busy.

Monday, November 1, 2010


Questions that keep me awake at night . . 

Why can't we just move Christmas to January 25th?
It's not like December 25th has any claim to it - that date was just a Catholic attempt to put down solstice celebrations.  And Biblical scholars all agree that based on scripture, Jesus would have been born in the Spring.  Having Christmas on January 25th would give us all a little breather - a little more time for parties, cookies, music, etc.  Retailers would be foaming at the mouth for one more month of Holiday shopping.  Thanksgiving would be a stand-alone holiday again, and not an appetizer for the "big one".  Lazy people would have a legit reason to leave the lights up.  And those of us living up north could bring a little cheer to an otherwise rather bleak month.  I'm telling you it's a win-win.

Why do we keep observing daylight savings time?
I mean seriously, what's the point?  Up here in Minnesota we get about 8 minutes of daylight from November through February so it's no big difference to us.

When did it become a badge of political honor to be a dumbass?  
I'm with my friend CH who says anyone running for office should have to pass a basic civics and govt exam.  I'm rather partial to my leaders being smarter than me.

Why can't middle aged people get a good night's sleep?
I've never been more busy or stressed out in my life, but I can't sleep.  When I was 16 I could sleep for days.  And all I had to worry about was my sisters borrowing my clothes, running low on Bonnie Bell lip smacker, and whether I had enough cash to buy the new Eagles album.

Why do costumes for girls get increasingly "sexy" with each year?
Why can't girls and women dress up for Halloween without cleavage and thigh-high stockings?  Why must young girls get their hooker on by age 3?