Friday, August 31, 2007


Dark chocolate covered almonds. Brookside Chocolate Bowl. They are like a train wreck. If I eat too many I get a tummyache, and yet I just can't stop. I have to hide them from myself, then I lie in bed awake and think about going to get them from their hidey place and finishing them off. Best not to even bring them in the house. I am thoroughly enjoying my new Tassimo beverage system. Easy enough to use that DD can do it (now that I have shown her how). She likes the hot chocolate, although it was a bit of a learning curve for her. She is used to a sweeter, thicker, milkier version and this is a thinner, less intense (but still very good) version made from a liquid rather than a powder. I think I might try giving her a chocolate disk then a milk disk to add and see if she likes that even better. It might be closer to what she is used to. The espresso is very good. I made myself a latte last night that was even better than what I would get at starbucks, and at about 40 cents per cup it sure beats the price! I find the Nabob coffee a little bitter. But today I added a bit of extra water using the "manual" button and found a perfect balance for me. I have used Nabob in the past for drip coffee and I did find it bitter. I can't wait to try the Maxwell house disks (we are good to the last drop people here). I'll have to set my agents on watching in the US for the green tea, english breakfast, and tazo black tea disks which aren't available here. I have heard you can get the Twinnings earl grey disks but haven't seen them yet. Interested to try the tea. The cafe crema was also very good, and I think DH would like it very much. He was dismayed at the small shot of espresso he got. He didn't realize how little a real shot was LOLOLOL. I reminded him that the dixie cup he normally gets at the local coffee bar is a DOUBLE shot. So far I am very happy with this machine, even with the cost. It's about time I spent some money on myself I think. DH started to be a bit stinky about it. "That much money on something you use, like, once a day?". So I pointed out the money he spends on movies that he might watch once or twice then pile up to gether dust for eternity. He got quieter after that. I'll have to come up with something inventive to store the disks though, I don't have a lot of cupboard, shelf, or counter space to spare. Hopefully in the next day or two I can post some knitting progress pictures. I haven't gotten much farther on the tank for myself but plan to work on it again soon. I have made slippers (a few sample pairs to test the pattern for size and gauge etc.) and a final pair that should fit the recipient. I have started a shrug of sorts for DD. She gets cold arms but sometimes gets too hot with a full sweater or jacket. So I am making her an "elephant trunk" - two sleeves connected by a bit of a back piece. I have seen them called shrugs, hugs, and countless other names. The yarn is a very soft and fluffy super bulky acrylic that should wear well but be warm and soft and cozy. And machine washable! Hand wash and dry clean only items don't survive here. You want to stay in this house you have to sustain the abuse and neglect we ALL get. For the long week-end I plan on hitting the market big time and getting some cooking and canning done. Bread and butter pickles, chili sauce, "blue" pickles (very sweet, and take days to make), I might make some jelly if some fruit looks good. Possibly mustard pickles as well. These are to give as christmas gifts, sort of nostalgia for some people that might be needing that right about then. I would also like to cook and freeze some mushrooms to use instead of canned. DD noticed all the canned whole mushrooms here are from China and that concerns her. A seven year old with her finger on the pulse of national news. What do you know. We use a lot of canned whole mushrooms. I have done this before when I got two boxes of really good mushrooms for an excellent price so I know it works fine and we like the finished product. Plus there is always a satisfaction in using something you have put up yourself, you know? If I play my cards right I might have enough cukes leftover to make a big container of "counter dills" - kosher style pickles made in a glass container on the counter before chilling. These don't get canned and are meant for eating as soon as possible after they are "done". Think Claussen pickles without the 4.99 a jar price tag. Fall must be in the air, because I am getting these strong "nesting" instincts. I long to make hearty soups and chicken and dumplings, roasts surrounded by savoury root veggies and boiled dinners. Winter food basically. I enjoy spring and spring food, summer and summer food, fall and fall food, winter and winter food. I think that is why we have seasons, so we don't get bored with the scenery or the dinners! Or maybe I just need to turn down (up?) the air conditioning and eat lunch.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Is it next Tuesday yet?

You know, I was kind of excited for this summer. My job was supposed to be ending in June and I planned on taking some time to lounge around and do fun things with DD. We were going to swim and paint and putz and it was going to be really fun. Only, my job did NOT end in June. And keeping DD home for this time has proven to be one of the worst decisions of my life. She is constantly bored and hungry and whining and wanting something. By the evening she is usually in a pretty foul mood. And so am I for that matter. Our summer of fun has turned into my summer of counting the days, hours, and minutes until she goes back to school. I have become one of THOSE parents. The ones with the bags under their twitching eyes who look like something the cat coughed up, who give each other knowing looks that say "Soon. Soon they will be back in school and we will have part of our lives back". So sad. Dh doesn't understand this. "Sure she has her moments" he says. "But really, it hasn't been that bad". Of course it hasn't. Not for him. The man has spent maybe three hours total with her independantly this summer (if you minus our vacation). He gets to leave the house for work. Then he comes home and does his own thing while I make dinner. Then he eats dinner and does his own thing until it is time for him to go to bed (which has nothing to do with the rest of the house, by the way). Other than griping at her to turn the TV down or pick up one of her things, he might as well be living by himself. But then he would have to make his own lunch and dinner. Yesterday I was "allowed" to go out and finish school shopping for DD. She needed socks and undies, and a few new shirts. The minute I walked back in the house he was hovering and asking what took me so long. Didn't even offer to help me carry in the bags (not that I expected him to). After my last trip from the car, he thrust the phone at me. I was hot, tired - exhausted really - and in no mood to have him stand there with bated breath watching me carry in bags of canning jars and not even hold the door open for me. PLUS. We have a bush in front of the porch. Sometimes the branches start to grow inward and eventually it gets hard to cross the porch to get to the door without being brushed by them. Every day he walks by that damn bush, pushing the branch out of his face (usually letting it come back to swat whoever is behind him) and complains and sys "I really have to trim this off". Every day for a month. And every day for a month I have had to drag a clinging and crying daughter past that branch because she is deathly afraid a spider or wasp or something will be on that branch (and there is a good chance of that. Two bumble bees right down my top and a spider or two in my hair is how I know). I have tried reminding. I have tried not reminding. He doesn't want ME to do it (see, I take his thunder when I do this manly things that a man is supposed to do blah blah blah). As of last night with the last bag of canning jars and having him stand there grinning and holding the phone out at me while my hands were full I had ENOUGH. I grabbed the biggest kitchen knife we have...... And whacked that damn branch off. Then I threw it on his car. And I felt a little better. I am sure my sister thought I was insane. Heck, I am sure the neighbours and my DH thought I was insane. Who cares. The branch is gone. Let us hope the rest of the week brings better things. These are the kind of times when vacuums and closet doors get heaved out front doors and husbands go to bed to find their wet towels on their pillow and milk-filled cereal bowls in their sock drawers. And little daughters who whine all day and bug me while I am working get assigned bathroom duty and have to organize the plastic container drawer. I am woman - a woman counting the minutes until school starts. Hear me ROAR!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

One more straw

One more straw, and this camel's back will be broken! Wait a minute. Did I just call myself a camel? Scratch that. It's been a long couple of days! Talk about errands. Prescription renewals which required total re-entry of insurance information, doctors appointments for forms filled out, new school registrations, pick this up here and that up there. I still need to go get a new flexible vent for the dryer (and it has to be gas rated, and I have been told there is such an animal even if DH says no). DD needs a new school backpack, a few more odds and ends of clothing, and Brownie sign up is soon if she decides she wants to go again. I would love it for her to go again, but I just can't handle having to drag her there every week. And once she gets there I have to drag her out again once it is done because she doesn't want to leave. I need that cattle prod more and more every day. Then working later in the night to accomodate for taking the time off during the day, which makes DH and DD grumpy. And that makes ME grumpy because it isn't like I was spending my day playing on the internet or anything. Oh hush. Do you want a blog or not? Tee hee! So I am plying myself with food to make it all better. I got some GOOD jelly beans. Still not jelly belly (these are The Jelly Bean Factory and they are very good) but are hitting the spot. They have black licorice ones in there! Mmmmmm. I bought fresh green beans and sugar snap peas to have with my dinner. And not only will I be making mashed potatoes tonight but I will be EATING them. With lots of butter. My sister and her family went to Frankenmuth MI and brought me back a container of that awesome cranberry relish that I have been trying to recreate forever. I don't taste orange in it this time. But I keep checking for it by eating a spoonful every time I pass the fridge. Condiment schmondiment, this stuff is a food group. Sigh. They love me. If things don't start looking up soon I'll be spending my evenings eating pistashio ice cream mixed with rocky road and shopping for new jeans to fit my supersized arse. Or my teeth will rot out of my head. Or both. But I better get to work if I want to finish any time soon. The jelly beans aren't going to hold out all night, you know.