Saturday, December 30, 2006

Just stopping in

Just stopping in to show you this. Just a bag of pecans, nothing extraordinary here. Until you turn it around and see this (sorry for the blurry close up): Does anybody else find that absolutely hilarious? Perhaps it is just me. Carry on about your day.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Dinner is done. Almost.

Ah, the smell of food cooking in the crockpot. Heck, at this point, the smell of food cooking at all is a wonder to behold LOL. It's about 1pm at and dinner is pretty much taken care of. Stew bubbling away. A loaf of bread rising. Salad already chopped and dressing waiting separately in the fridge (thanks to DD, who loves to help in the kitchen). Did all that before 8:00am, actually. Which is a good thing, because my e-mail has been blinging non-stop since then. I decided I HAD to take a break for a pee and a coffee and a blog. In that order. I have been looking over my recipes for some good appetizer like thingies for New Year's Eve. We are going out to dinner (early enough to call it lunch, but I digress) but then coming home for a family fun evening. We will play some games (some old, some new just this Christmas). We will eat nibblies (whatever I come up with). We will write wishes on slips of paper and burn them, then scatter the ashes to the four winds. We will ring in the new year with pots and pans and horns and an electric keyboard (one does what one can). But before we can do all that, I have to buy the ingredients and make the stuff. Sheesh. Who would have known it would be hard? Plus SOMEBODY promised perogies for New Year's Day dinner. It was not me. And I have half a mind to say no and stomp my foot and refuse, and see what the offerer does to get out of it. But then again, perogies are a good excuse to try out my new pasta roller for the Kitchen Aid mixer. Such difficult choices, my friends. The last couple of days have been a doozie for interesting comments. Apparently I am rude, ugrateful, bitter, and angry and need a life. In much coarser terms, of course. I took the liberty in removing them. Which is not like me, because I believe in letting it all hang here, the good the bad and the ugly. Those who don't like me or what I say have just as much right to post their comments as anybody else. But when those comments come in force and under anonymous, well, if you aren't brave enough to at least invent a name for a blog comment, then I think I can do whatever I want with it. And really, "You are a big fat ungrateful bitch" seven times in a row? Well, that is hardly fodder for conversation, is it? After all, it is stating the obvious.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

I need a t-shirt

I need to make myself a t-shirt. On the front it will say "Fat girl with bald husband, hyper child, and ugly dog that makes bad tarts". On the back it will say "I am so stupid I could be a teacher". My paternal grandmother is not.....grandmotherly. All my life I have been telling myself that some grandmas are cookies and hugs and loveliness and others....aren't. I happen to have one of each. I didn't see this grandmother much growing up as she and my mother did not get along. Now that she is in her nineties and we are all older (although they STILL don't get along) suddenly she is being invited to all these events, where normally she would not be. And while I always got along fine with her BEFORE, all of a sudden I realize what a mean, nasty, bitter woman she is. She makes the rudest comments about EVERYTHING. While I do believe that some seniors and matriarchs should get some leeway in telling it like it is, there is a line between brutal honestly and sheer ugliness and she crosses it constantly. "Merry Christmas Mimi!" I said as we walked in the door. Her reply was a merry "My god, you are fat!". Minutes later she added that my husband was really going bald in the back, and why was my daughter so HYPER. Seeing as DD had just walked in the door and was hiding behind me (which she usually does after spotting this woman) I am not sure what constituted being hyper, but she asked me over and over again all night. We brought Ruby with us, which illicited cries of "How ugly!" and we got to hear at length how my dog was so hideous it was going to make her throw up or have nightmares. I survived dinner and gift opening by trying to avoid her as much as possible, and doing the mental ear-plug and "la la la" every time she spoke, because frankly she was harshing my Christmas buzz. Then came dessert. My family LOVES butter tarts. Plain, with raisins, with nuts, doesn't matter. Oh, there is some discussion about which is better. There is the raisin camp and the pecan camp, and the plain camp. There are the debates about how many raisins should be in there, should you use whole pecan halves or crumbles, that sort of thing. But they would never turn one down, ever. I brought a huge pan of butter tarts, nut and plain (there is a bag of raisins hiding in this house somewhere - I know I bought them). I used a different recipe, and the filling baked up a little darker than I am used to. But MAN, that is the best butter tart filling I have ever eaten. Considering they represent just about everyting I hate in a dessert (pie dough, sweetness, raisins, that sort of thing LOL) there should be NO WAY I could like them. But hoo-boy these were good. This grandmother also brought butter tarts. I am not sure if her comments were for self preservation or what, but after seeing my "burnt and overbaked" pastries she let loose a diatribe of nastiness that made me want to run from the room, tossing my tarts in the trash as I went. Sure, I laughed it off. But my feelings were hurt. How could a grandmother make such disparaging remarks? My niece picked up on this and made a point to tease me about my tarts, which made it better actually LOL. She said I had bad tarts, I told her she had hooker hair, and we both felt better. She hadn't made it much past the door unscathed either (none of us had). Somehow hearing it from somebody else made it LESS valid, because it sounded as silly as it was. Who cares what SHE thinks anyway? At least now I know why she was never invited for 34 years. Now I just have to wonder why they started inviting her after all this time. Now on to the BACK of the shirt. In DH's family, schooling is a waste of time. You go until legally you don't have to go anymore, and that is that. If it were up to them DH would NOT have finished high school but quit at age 16 to work full time. And if he had listened to them, he would have lost the job he has now. A few years ago they did a sweep to find all those employees without diplomas (many auto companies and suppliers did this) and told them to get their equivalency, or get lost. DH would have been in that number getting lost, because going BACK to school is worse than death and would never have been tolerated. When they found out I was going to University they complained loudly that it was a waste of time. Spending money on educating a FEMALE? That was worse than spending it on an education at all. They doubted I would pass anything, and were genuinely surprised when I graduated. And if there is anything worse, more stupid, than school? It would be those that teach it. Teachers are idiots who make up their own rules to mess you up and keep you down. They are part of "the government" after all. Just part of the conspiracy to grind the little guy into the mud while the rest of them live high on the hog. Somehow the paperboy fits in there as well, but this blog is not long enough to describe EVERY theory they spout. Let's just say we should pass out the foil hats and leave it at that. DH's cousin's son (did you get that?) has been getting in trouble at school for behaviour issues. DH's uncle tells him to do things like give the teacher the finger, swear, and belch words and they wonder why he gets in trouble, but I digress. This started a fierce ranting about how stupid school is, how teachers are such idiots who don't know anything. It was at this point in the conversation when MIL pointed at me and said "Teachers are such idiots these days. Even YOU could be a teacher". Now. To say that it was an insult is an understatement. Yet, in a room full of people not a single one understood how that statement could have been offensive to me. Not my husband, not MIL, not his cousin. "That's not what she meant". So what DID she mean, then? At this point I was accused of being too sensitive and trying to ruin the evening. Folks, the evening had been ruined before we even got there, so it had nothing to do with me. The subject was abruptly changed to discuss New Years Eve dinner plans. I was given a choice of Swiss Chalet or Applebees. I said I would rather stay home and cook myself a nice steak. But seeing as that was not going to happen they could choose between the two themselves. Just tell me where and what time to have DD there. What does it matter anyway? Who eats New Years Eve dinner at 3:30? I might be able to get them to hold out until 4:00pm but it makes them grumble. Plus they want to call the orders in so they are ready when we get there. I am not joking, it takes less than 10 minutes for this dinner from start to finish and they are GONE. They don't sit and talk, they don't savor their meals. I think this year I won't order at all, then have a real dinner later. I might be on to something. And heck, I might even wear my t-shirt!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

The calm after the storm

Well, Christmas is done for another year. And frankly, good riddance LOL. It started out fine, but when you have to stretch out the season to accomodate everybody, by the end everybody is frazzled and cranky and it just isn't any fun any more. I have to admit, food wise this year sucked. Doesn't that sound horrible? But it is true. One dinner was roast pork and beef which is usually very good but this time the beef tasted off (as in rancid fat) and the pork was bland and stringy. Christmas Eve the meatpie was too salty to eat and the pizza was undercooked. The perogies were store bought so the dough was way too thick and they were cold in the middle (we won't talk about that yet, I butted heads with my aunt over that one. She kept turning everything down, I kept turning them back up so she unplugged them). Plus somebody bought lactose free sour cream and it was so bad (tasted like plastic) that people were throwing their food away. Christmas day dinner is usually 'okay' because it is turkey and I looooove turkey. It was over so fast that I can't even tell you if the turkey was good. By the time I made DD's plate and ran back and forth to get stuff everybody was done and somebody had cleared my plate. There was no dilly dallying folks, we are talking mere minutes. I couldn't make another plate because the food was "already put away". Then we sat in tense silence for an hour or two more before leaving. Not a happy scene. When you have whacked out families with lots of mental illness, the food is all there is to go on. If that sucks, then the rest is just down the tubes. Although, the veggie tree I made looked kinda purty. As for presents? Everybody seemed to like what we got them. Even the knitted gifts seemed to be really appreciated (for once, usually we get a polite "thank you" and they are tossed aside). We only got one compaint, and it was from a child, but she complained about every present so we weren't too put out. Dh was a bit ticked off that even though we bought them weeks ago and told the parents about it, his cousin still got their child the same movies. We had gift receipts ready, but it was just the idea that they KNEW we were getting those movies and ran out the night before Christmas and got him the same ones. As for the presents we got? We did pretty good. I do wonder about something though. Is it wrong to encourage one of your presents to stalk and possibly kill another one of your presents?

That there would by robo-raptor hunting down my i-cat. It's not that I don't love the i-cat, no-sirree! Quite the contrary. But the live cats have all been hunted and now won't come near it and Ruby hides under my chair when she hears the thing move. She liked it at first (and it really likes her, to the point that it will follow her anywhere when we put it on "roam" mode) and even seemed to want to play with it. Until she was sniffing it's face while it was in "hunting" mood and it sniffed her back, then SNAPPED at her. Nope, didn't like that. So now she hides. My favourite thing is to put it in "playful" mood and have DH or DD pet it (it nuzzles you in playful mood) then make it snap at them BWA-Ha-Ha-HAAAAAAAA! It stalked and attacked the plastic bag behind it for almost 20 minutes and I nearly wet myself I thought it was so funny. I wonder about myself sometimes. If I turn on the i-cat and set it on the floor, and put the raptor in hunting mood and set it to roam, it slowly circles the cat and hunts it. Hilarious!

I also got the pasta roller attachment for my kitchen aid, as seen on Iron Chef America LOL. It comes with a fettucini and spaghetti-linguini cutter as well. No more waiting for DH to roll my dough for me! NOODLES FOR EVERYBODY! Okay, that might be a little overboard ;). Dh opened the 'toch free' (no, that is what the package said LOL) can opener this morning and it broke on the first can he tried. There are no real instructions and the package is so poorly translated that we aren't sure what we are supposed to do. The can lid is completely wedged in the opener and we can't get it off. I dug the package out of the garbage and said we will bring it back to the store, can lid and all. I wish his mother would stop buying that junk from a certain store. The clothes are all irregulars (she once bought DH a shirt there and the pocket was sewn on right through all the layers, pinning together the front and the back). The food is expired or close to expiry. None of the electronics work properly. I loved the idea of the electric can opener, mind you, but she just doesn't learn that the place sells crappola.

Speaking of crappola, we got another gift from her - for the both of us. When I see a big box to the both of us from her, it strikes fear into my heart. Because, my dear readers, her taste is all in her mouth (and even there it isn't that great). She usually buys us BIG UGLY things. That are supposed to be displayed in places of honour like my good living room. But frankly, I just can't do it. I just can't. There was the four foot long covered wagon being drawn by broken mismatched horses that was also a lamp and played "roll out the barrel". There were the white plastic lamps with coloured beads stuck in them. There was the chandelier that looked like a giant bunch of orange grapes. Or how about the tapestry, almost six feet across that had Bo Jangles on it? Boy, that was a good one. Try as hard as I might, I cannot keep from showing the shock and revulsion on my face when I open these things so now I refuse to do it. I make DH open them, and I usually excuse myself to the bathroom while he does it. I don't want to see them, I don't want to be part of them, I don't even want to know we have them. And in that spirit, I bring you, THIS.

It's over a foot tall. It lights up. It moves. I live in Canada. There are just no more words.