November 30

Tomorrow is December 1, and I haven’t decorated my house for Christmas yet. I am a Scrooge. I like to wait, because I don’t want to become desensitized to the season, and I want my kids to anticipate it. I remember the anticipation was almost to much for me to bear. The beauty of the lights, the smell of the tree and the fun decorating it. Yep…I am mean like that.

So, I just gotta know. Have you decorated yet?

Do you decorate for Christmas?

Do you decorate a lot?

Do you put lights outside?

Does your house look like Tim Taylors?

Do you use a real or fake tree?

Do you decorate every room in the house?

Details ladies. I must know!

November 29

I am about to admit something to you, that I haven’t admitted to very many people. Actually, only 2-3 know this.

I am a closet Trekkie. I had a crush on Captain James T. Kirk. He was strong, in control, fought for the weak, and upheld the law. I love listening to Scotty’s brogue. I totally, thoroughly and happily revel in Bone’s sarcasm, and I wanted to be calm, cool, and logical like Spock.

I have created a Trekkie too. The boy just loves Sci-Fi, but really loves Star Trek. From the library, he has gotten the entire season 2, and in every spare moment, he is watching it. Sadly, I am sitting there right along with him too. Taking  in all the hokeyness and loving every minute of it.

Last Saturday, Superman steam cleaned the carpet. He only had time to do half of it, so he finished it the other night.

After supper, the guys wanted to watch TV, but the carpet was still wet. Desperate, they came up with a solution.

Trash bags. They invited me to join them, but there is no way I would sit on a trash bag. Not even for Star Trek.

I sat here at my desk, watching secretly and comfortably in my chair.

Can you guess why I wanted to be like Lt. Uhura?

November 28

Fast forward 3 years

Imagine, if you will that you don’t like bugs.  You could even say that you prefer mice to bugs.  Some are tolerable, but you especially dislike spiders. I know that this will not be a stretch for some of you.
Now imagine if you will it is a Sunday morning. You are sitting in Sunday School. The room is quiet except for the teacher. ( Does any of this sound familiar?) You are busy listening, glancing down at your Bible and Sunday school book, and just for hypothetical sake, you happen to see something moving on your dress. Your brain instantly registers it is a spider.

Do you…

  1. Calmly squish it between your fingers.
  2. Control yourself just enough, making a quiet “eww it’s a spider” sound and brush it away, or
  3. Give into your primal urges, scream bloody murder, scare the teacher and the rest of you class over a spider that is the size of a pencil eraser.
  4. Decide that you will never go to Sunday school again in that classroom.

November 27

Imagine if you will that you do not like mice. Yes, they are small, yes they are furry, but they have beady little eyes and a long tail, and they leave little gross gifties for you to find everywhere they have been. They procreate more than rabbits and spread all sorts of nasty disease.

Now, imagine if you will, that you attend a church that is in the middle of nowhere. A corn field sits in front of it, and on one side. Pasture surrounds the rest of the church. It is the middle of winter three years ago, and you are sitting in Sunday School, listening to the teacher. She pauses, looking at the floor directly beside you. She quietly but urgently says “CC, don’t move.” Of course, you look where she is looking only to see a mouse, scurrying directly to your feet, and begin to climb up your foot.

Do you…

  1. Kick it off, like it is no big deal?
  2. Jump up and and try to stomp it?
  3. Give into your primal urge and scream bloody murder, scaring the teacher and all who are in your class, never putting your feet back on the floor for the rest of the lesson?

November 26

Yesterday was the last of our cake decorating classes. As much as I have enjoyed them, I much more enjoy laying on the couch all afternoon doing nothing. Cause I am lazy like that.

This last day was decorating a wedding cake, or a stacked cake, or a tiered cake of some sort. Mine needed more icing on the sides. My only excuse is that I was icing the cake at 25% brain power, and was 75% asleep.

Here it is, in all of its crumby glory.

Here is the boy’s. I think he did a great job.

His icing was thin as well. We need to work on that.

I really wish I could say that this cake was mine, but it isn’t. The dear woman who sits next to me in class, and has come over for me to tutor made this cake. It was the best cake there.

She did an outstanding job. I am so proud of her!

So, now I can be in the cake business. I need a name for it. Give me some ideas.

November 25

Yesterday was a very busy day for me. The girl and I went shopping. I baked 8 cakes, I took the girl to and from the animal shelter where she volunteers, and I know I did something else…I had to have. I was ready to drop at 5 last night.

So, in an effort to keep things real around here, I am going to expose myself totally, completely, and irrevocably, and horrifically.

For those that know me well, please do not faint.

I left my kitchen a mess when I went to bed. Shocking, I know, but there it is.

Rarely…rarely…rarely do I do this, but, here it is. In all of its awfulness.

Unwashed dishes, unwashed counters, unwashed stove. Where did that towel come from?

Dirty table, things left out. It is just almost to much to bear. What is on that chair? Sigh…You know what I will be doing today.

Please tell me that I am not the only one who goes to bed with a dirty kitchen. Please.

November 24

Thanksgiving was filled with family and food. Family that came in from everywhere.

The sister came in from Missouri.

An aunt from near Springfield.

A cousin all the way from Washington.

Other family from down Xenia way.

This aunt and uncle left a big hole at our table. We all missed you.

Who is this? I haven’t seen him in so long.

The cooks were many.

There was mom,

dad,

the sister, the boy and myself.

The girl offered moral support.

So did the boy.

I think they were hungry. I was.

I could have eaten this all by myself! Everyone was lucky I held myself back.

Finally the food was ready.

Green bean casserole with extra FFO’s.

We can not forget the best part of the meal.

Nope. Just can’t. There were even some Schulers donuts, but they were hidden.

Before.

During.

Who is this again? I think he just crashed our party.

After.

As family began to leave, and the house got quieter and more still, and I began to get more and more sleepy, I praised God for my family and just how blessed I am to have them all.

November 23

Black Friday.   I don’t participate.   To many crowds, to many horror stories of hateful women, and all that getting up way to early!  Nope.  I value my sanity way to much, and for those of you questioning my sanity, it is there…somewhere, I think.

So, my burning question for the day is do you?   Do you sacrifice your sanity for the stupendous sales on Black Friday?  Do you crawl out of bed at an ungodly hour to save $10?  Do you wear your jammies to the store as my hair stylist does?  Did you get good deals today?  Share them, I need to know if all this getting up early, standing in lines most of the day, and fighting off  53 other women is worth it.

November 21 and 22

French Fried Onions. What is it about onions, a bit of flour and oil that make me ga-ga over French Fried Onions? Today I will be making green bean casserole to take to my mom’s tomorrow for Thanksgiving. I always add extra FFO’s. Then, if no one is looking, I will eat the biggest one that is left in the canister. You do it too, I just know it. I can not be the only one that looks for the biggest one, or the one that has a bunch stuck together, or big ones with tons stuck together, and if I can’t find one, I will peel it off the top of the casserole. Sometimes, I will eat a whole handful. They are as bad as Lays potato chips. You just can’t eat one. It is impossible.

I will not be posting tomorrow, because I will be busily spending time with family, and well…so will you. So, have a great Thanksgiving. May your mashed potatoes have no lumps, your pumpkin pie have loads of cool whip, and your green bean casserole have extra FFO’s.

November 20

The girl and I went to a jewelry party my mom had last week. We had tons of fun ogling high fashion jewelry, and eating…ok, I had the fun eating, she had the fun ogling.

See, she is having tons of fun. Can’t you tell? Neither can I.

What I truly would like to point out to you is this picture.

I want it. I want it bad! This picture was a wedding gift for my great great super old relatives on my dad’s side, and it is dated April 1, 1887.

It belongs in my house. My house is about as old as that picture, my house is about as old as the treadle (it was theirs too) that sits in it, my house is about as old as the hills, and deserves to have such a lovely painting hanging on its walls. My house longs for this painting. Sometimes I hear it crying in the night, lonely for the painting to hang on its wall.

I think it would look absolutely gorgeous above this. I’d like to think that great-great super old granny sat at this machine, with the picture above her. She would look at it as she sewed. She would think of all her descendants, and wish that her great-great super young granddaughter to have them both, because she would appreciate them.

It is a sad, sad thing to hear your house crying in the night. I need to make it feel better.

Maybe some chocolate would help.

November 19

During the winter months, instead of granola , we eat baked oatmeal. I got this recipe from a missionary from MMS. Rosie is a great lady, and she now lives in Canada.

To make baked oatmeal, you first must preheat your oven to 350º.

Greasing your pan is most helpful. We always half our recipe, as I will eat way to much of it if we don’t. This is a 7 x 11. An 8″ square pan works well too. Or….just make the full batch and be very, very content.

Whisk 2 eggs together.

Add brown sugar,

and melted butter. Whisk these together. I might have failed to mention that this recipe isn’t uhh…err…low calorie.

Add oats. These can be quick oats, but it really is much better if they are just old fashioned rolled oats. This is stick to your ribs stuff, peoples.

Add salt.

Baking powder.

Cinnamon.

Freshly grated nutmeg. This is wonderful in baked oatmeal.

Maple syrup. Please do not use real maple syrup. Even though the taste is much preferred, it is thinner than the fako stuff, and you need the thickness of the fako stuff for this recipe.

I added a squirt of molasses too. This gives depth of flavor.

Don’t forget the milk. Nuts are optional. You can use pecans or walnuts. We like them both.

Mix this all together and pour it into your pan.

Bake for 30 minutes. The smell will begin to torture you, but ignore it. You are strong. I believe in you!

Oh….wow!

Now, you can eat yours plain, or with milk.

I prefer a more sophisticated flavor.

It looks better all ready!

You just gotta make this. You won’t regret it. You will thank me for it. Just please…..don’t forget the cream.

November 17

Being November, the color is almost gone.

90% of the trees have succumbed to the inevitable~~the lack of sunlight and the wind~~and have let go of their beauty. They stand stark against the sky. Stark, brown and dreary.

This one tree however, has stubbornly refused to let go. This tree has spunk. It is tenacious. I like this tree. It is a rebel. It is bad to the bone root. I bet it has a tattoo under its bark somewhere. I just know it.

Novbember 16

Friday’s burning question.

How does your husband show in a tangible way that he loves you?

Superman does this.

I like it!

PS.  Can anyone confirm the rumor that I heard that Hershey’s is moving lock, stock, and barrel to Mexico?  All production to Mexico?   Anyone???

November 14

Sunday, we had our first cake decorating lesson in fondant.

Let me just say for the record, I hate fondant. It looks pretty, it goes on smooth, and it is really like playing with play dough. That is all well and good,but fondant is a harsh task master, a slave maker, a tyrant, and it tastes like play dough.  Not a plus in my book.

The boy and I just made a single layer cake because we knew that we were just going to throw it away. This didn’t inspire the boy to do anything nice with his cake. I wasn’t inspired either.

It isn’t bad, but I could have done better. Truth is, I hate fondant, and I would have much rather decorated the cake with buttercream.  I can lick buttercream, I can suck the extra icing out of the tips before they are washed, and then if some is leftover, you can schmear it between 2 graham crackers and have a wonderful snack type thing.   Buttercream is much more versatile, and it tastes good!

One of the ladies in the class knew that she couldn’t be there on Sunday, so I told her that she could come over and I would help her with her cake.

She hates fondant too, but she was inspired. It could have been because she was getting tutored by moi, or it could have been because she likes pink too, or it could have been because we were going to fix her sausage gravy and home made biscuits or maybe it could have been because her cake was going to be taken to her son in Norfolk  today.

We both decided that butter cream is much more fun, but we really like playing with play dough.

How long do you think it took to decorate this cake?

November 12

***Warning~~this post is picture heavy.***

Saturday’s the girl and I spend time together. We call it “Spill Your Guts Saturday”. It is our ‘thing’.

This past Saturday, we went shoe shopping. I haven’t been shoe shopping with her in years. My mom has taken her, or she has just plucked a pair of flip-flops off the shelf at Stuffmart, but Saturday, let me tell you, we went shoe shopping! The girl awakened the Emelda Marcos in me. The longing of nice shoes, pretty shoes, every day shoes, flat shoes, heels and just because shoes.

The girl tried on just about every shoe in her size.

She tried on flats.

She tried on boots.

She tried on open toe heels.

She tried on fancy schmancy shoes.

She tried on strange shoes that have no category.

She even tried on Barbie shoes.

I even joined in on the fun, because for the first time in almost 16 years, I found a store that carries fun shoes in a size larger than 9.

And for the first time in a very long time, I didn’t feel old, or frumpy, or fat. Just pretty.

Strange what a nice pair of shoes will do for you.

Which pair is your favorite? The girl purchased 2. Which pairs do you think she got?

November 11

Because I can.

I like to think that she is contemplating how wonderful I am, how glad she is that I am her mother, and how special I am to her, how much meaning I bring to her life, how funny I am, what a wonderful teacher I am, and what kind of chocolate she is going to buy me. Alas, I know she was just looking at the crumbs  on the table.

Does your table have crumbs?

November 10

Someone asked to see a picture of my Birman cat.

I have 2 cats. Grace, the seal point  Birman , and Sugar, the mutt. Grace is show quality….except for that fun patch of white under her nose leather.

She is such a pretty girl, but not much use for anything except looking pretty, and warming my lap.  I call her my Paris Hilton.

Sugar isn’t much to look at…see that lovely scowl on her face. (I haven’t given her a treat yet, and she thinks that the scowl will induce me to give her one. ) She is very smart. I have her trained to wait for her food, and I am training her to wait for her treats too. See that scowl….she isn’t happy with the training.  I call her my mafia queen.

Treat? Did someone mention treat?

Yep…treats! I am so generous with my doling out of treats. They call me Mother Teresa.

We know you have food, hand it over!

I feed her first, because she is the dumb blond of catdom.

But this one, she is waiting patiently for me to give the word.  If she weren’t so temperamental, she could be a dog.