Winter Snow

Winter

Friday, February 27, 2015

Friday Fragments

Well, let’s see what needs to be cleaned out of the old brain…

Dinner Success: Wednesday night’s Chinese dinner was really good. I was able to get both of the dishes completed, the rice finished, and the egg rolls in the oven in perfect time. The boys loved the meal. When they go back for seconds, I know they enjoyed it!  They already told me that they can’t come next week, but we will be getting Kasey, the Golden. They’ll be headed to Mt. Washington in New Hampshire for a hiking/camping trip. So my husband and I will probably eat something very simple, rather than traveling the globe.

Funny Baking: I’ve written about how I’m baking up a storm for my daughter’s bake sale. Well, after doing a bunch and freezing, she asks me to partake in the little guys’ pre-school fund raiser. They’re selling cookies and other baked goods! Seriously? So, I’m baking from scratch, then buying ready-made items! Seems rather comical to me!

Birthday Party: We’ll drive down on Sunday to celebrate the little guy’s fifth birthday. He’s having a Star Wars theme. So, I bought him three talking Star Wars figures and a light saber. I also got him and his little brother bathrobes, and the littler one gets a thirty-second month birthday gift of a new puzzle set. I like to include both of them on birthdays in small ways.

Sleep Study: The little of the two guys is still having some upper respiratory issues. He had bad ear infections as a baby and eventually had tubes inserted and his adenoids removed. He still kept getting colds this year – nearly every other week. So, it was back to DuPont to see the ENT. He wants the little guy to undergo a sleep study to make sure he’s breathing okay. He does a lot of mouth breathing. So, they’ll head there on Sunday night after we leave, and my daughter will stay with him. I’m praying they get some answers.

Commercials: I know most of you don’t watch ads, but there are two on TV that I really like. The one is for Android, and it shows all different kinds of animals paired up. I love watching it, even though I have no idea how it’s connected to Android. Then there’s the one for Subaru with a Golden driving and a Lab playing the wife. Two little Goldens are in the back seat. They’re called the Barkley’s, and I just love them!

Why: There are so many serious and important things happening in our world, and I write all this drivel. Why? I like to think of it as an escape mechanism. I can’t watch or read about all the bad things that are happening and not want to get away from it all. So I fluff up my blond hair and talk about trivial matters.

Books: I loved Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies, and I highly recommend it. She’s an Aussie, and her books take place there. So, you learn about the country while you enjoy the story. Now I’m into another Bohjalian that takes place in Italy, 1943 – Love in the Ruins.  So far it’s pretty good.

That’s all for another week.

Peace,
Muff



Thursday, February 26, 2015

Grrr, Grumble, Bah, Mumble...

Last night after dinner, I asked my son to update one of my computer programs. When he came back to the kitchen, he said he updated several of them. He assured me that all would be well when I went to work on the computer this morning. All was NOT well. Grrrrr…

I kept getting messages that the computer was restarting, that some updates didn’t complete, and that Windows was reconfiguring. Of course, you realize that I understand NONE of this. But the one message I did heed was ‘Do Not Turn Off The Computer.’ I didn’t. I waited for over an hour for things to right themselves. Grumble…

Finally, my start-up screen came on. Hurray!! Then, just as quickly everything went off, and I began to get more screen messages. While I waited – again – I straightened the top of my desk, I filed some notes, I threw out old papers, I re-read some cards, and I stewed. Bah…

Then everything came back, except when I went to open Outlook. I got the message that another application was in process. When I went to Word, I got the message that Windows Office was reconfiguring. All I had at that point was internet access. Mumble…

Now, I think I have everything working again, but a decent post is not happening! My so-called schedule today is late getting started, so I’ll just finish this and be back tomorrow. Hopefully, I’ll be in a better mood.

Grrrr… Grumble…Bah…Mumble…

Not –so-peaceful,

Muff

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

KP Duty Again

…but I love it. I’ve already started our dinner, and I’m taking a little break before I begin to bake. The boys wanted Chinese this time, so I’m making a few separate things (like a Chinese buffet!)

The two of them enjoy General Tso’s Chicken, but it’s a bit spicy for me. So, I’m having Cashew Chicken. Since they’re both chicken dishes, I can start them together. In the slow cooker, I put 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (you can also use chicken tenders.) Then I mixed a can of cream of chicken soup (you can substitute cream of mushroom, too), a half can of water, a quarter cup of soy sauce, a half cup of brown sugar, a teaspoon and a half of ground ginger, and a pinch of red pepper. It’s all in the cooker now for a few hours. Then I’ll take the chicken out and chop it, returning some to the pot, and some I’ll put in a separate pot. To the cooker, I’ll add a quarter cup of hoisin sauce and some red pepper flakes. With the other, I’ll add a package of stir-fry vegetables, a can of water chestnuts, and a little more water. Once the veggies are tender, I’ll throw in the cashews. I’m also making brown rice, and both dishes will be served atop it. I have veggie eggrolls, too. For dessert, I bought some fortune cookies, and I’ll be baking some other cookies, too. That’s our slow boat [cooker] to China!

In the baking department, I’ll make some chocolate chips (my boys’ favorite,) and some Otis Spunkmeyer copycats. I’ll serve some for dessert, and I’ll freeze the others for my daughter’s sale. Tomorrow, I’ll be doing some breads – probably pumpkin and applesauce. Friday will be cupcakes. I’m hoping my hand holds out so I can decorate then before delivery. That process involves mixing a bowl of buttercream and putting it a pastry bag with a big star tip. With my wonky hand, that can sometimes be messy. I thought about doing a cheesecake, too, but that’s some heavy work. Maybe I’ll do mini-cheesecakes.

We’re having a heatwave today – the temps will go above freezing!!

Peace,

Muff

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Plans Go Awry

Well, much of what I had planned yesterday didn’t happen. This time I can’t blame MS. I felt perfectly fine, but I made the mistake of watching the weather report on the news. I just didn’t feel like going out in temps in the teens. I am a coward! So, after my husband had some lunch, he lined up the ingredients I needed, and I made a cake. The house smells so nice when I bake – and this time the aroma was chocolate!!

I’m freezing all my baked goods, and I’ll frost everything that needs it before I deliver the goodies to my daughter. Originally, I planned to take the baking down to her house this Sunday, when we went for the little guy’s birthday. But I think I may take a ride down on the 6th. That way she won’t be looking for places to store my things.

As for sofa shopping, I think I’ll wait until Friday. I’m hoping the weather may be a little warmer. I’m limiting the stores to two – both of which are fairly close. I’m looking for a very neutral beige. I have that color in the carpet, and it can go with us when we move. (Whenever that will be!!) Since the main color in my living room and dining room is blue, I’ll use accent pillows to bring out the color. I already have colors chosen for all my other rooms that will need repainting before we sell. I’m trying to keep away from bright colors and staying with neutrals.

Today is cold again, so I’ll stay inside for the fourteenth day in a row! I’m going through my recipes to see what I’ll bake, but I think I’ll go with apple pie. Tomorrow, I’ll be cooking for my boys, so I’m not sure if I’ll bake. If I do, it will probably be cookies. That way, I can use it as a dessert plus another baked good. I also have to get a lot of non-perishable foods in stock. Our church will be doing a big collection on Sunday to go along with other churches in stocking area food banks. I’m sure their supplies have dwindled this winter with the awful cold.

So, despite a change in plans, I still got some things completed. That makes me feel as if I’ve accomplished something and my spirits remain up.

Peace,

Muff 

Monday, February 23, 2015

Survivor

No, not the TV show that I don’t watch, but me! When I make it through difficult times, that’s how I see myself – as a survivor. This weekend was one of those times. The ‘gang’ arrived mid-afternoon on Friday, and since the little guys napped in the car, they were full of energy. I, however, was not. It didn’t matter, though, because I always seem to find an extra bit of power to see me through.

Once the dad and mom changed for their dinner, I was ready to have the two little ones to ourselves. The leave-taking always seems to drag on, though, so the younger one started to cry and wanted his parents to stay. Two minutes after they’re gone, though, he’s fine. We got right into the pizza making, and the boys took their little jobs very seriously! The pizza turned out great and the boys ate every crumb. They turned down dessert, but asked if they could have a Poppy milkshake later. They also turned down a movie, but wanted to watch some kid shows that I had DVRed. They didn’t even ask to stay up later, but went to bed on time, and went right to sleep. We waited up for the mom and dad.

I felt bad when they got home because several people didn’t show up, and they were left with a lot of food. They brought much of it home, along with several bottles of wine. I know the weather was frigid, and many people just wanted to stay indoors, but couldn’t they have sent a message? People nowadays can be so inconsiderate. The two of them were tired, and they went off to bed. I did, too.

The older little guy woke up at 5:30 A.M., and came in to see Nanny and Poppy. By six, he was squirmy, so we let him watch TV until my husband got showered and dressed and took him down for breakfast. By then, the younger one and the mom were up, so we had quite an early start. The weather called for snow by afternoon, so I wanted them to get going earlier than we had planned. My husband went off to the store, and by afternoon, I was alone to watch my DVRed shows of the week. I was really tired, but I didn’t want to nap. I was afraid I’d sleep too long and wouldn’t sleep well at night.

I had every intention of going to church yesterday and getting back to my routine. Unfortunately, the snow was still on the ground, and my husband wanted me to stay inside. He went alone and said the parking lot was bad, and it was a good decision on his part. I read for most of the day, and we celebrated Margarita Day before dinner.

Today, I want to go out. I need to look for a living room sofa, and I want to get wrapping paper for little guy’s birthday presents. I also want to start baking by making a devils food pound cake. I’ll freeze anything I make and get the goods to my daughter for her bake sale.

So, I survived another weekend, part of which was hectic and tiring. I think I have enough energy to get me through another week.

Peace,

Muff

Friday, February 20, 2015

Friday Fragments

Another week, another bunch of nonsense!

Guests: My daughter and her family will be here this afternoon, so I’m excited. We’ll have the little guys while the parents go to a dinner. We’re making pizza with them. They like to put the toppings on, so it’ll be a joint effort (and no doubt, a bit messy!) They’ll be doing some crafts, building their towers, and watching a movie. Then off to baths and dreamland. The mommy and daddy are staying over as well. Tomorrow, we’ll have pancakes for them, and possibly lunch [grilled cheese], then they’ll be packing up to go to North Jersey to visit the dad’s family. The visit will go quickly, so I’ll be packing a lot into it.

Polish Dinner: I think it was too much work for the end result. First of all, the pie dough really wasn’t the right consistency, and it wasn’t easy to pack the potatoes and cheese into them. However, I did make sixteen good-sized ones. The boiling didn’t go well because of the wrong dough – and I had to be so careful removing them. Browning them went much better, and the finished product looked pretty good. No matter – the boys loved them and ate every one.  Yesterday was Chinese New Year, but we’ll do that next week. I have to pull my Chinese recipes and decide what to make. Should be fun!

Invitations: My high school alumnae association is having their annual luncheon on March 28th, and my girlfriends want me to go. I know it will be too much for me to handle, but I haven’t given them my answer yet. When I think of all it involves, I’m overwhelmed. Getting ready means getting up early to shower and dress nicely. Then I have to rely on someone to drive me – it’s about 45 minutes away. I’d probably need the wheelchair because it’s a long walk from the parking lot to the clubhouse and then to the banquet room. If I need the bathroom, I’d have to have someone wheel me in. I can’t do buffets. I can’t cut food. Yadda, yadda, yadda – the same song all the time. My other invitation came from the daughter of my ‘surrogate mother.’ She wants me to join her for a drink at her mother’s favorite place. I’ll let her know that I appreciate the thought, but I just can’t handle such things anymore – see above for reasons! So, I’m still in my ‘shut-in’ mode!

Books/TV:  I did not enjoy the Bohjalian book – about a nuclear disaster told from the POV of a teenager. It bounced around too much, using the adolescent vocabulary of the narrator, and it just wasn’t that good. Now I’m into the Moriarty book I mentioned, Big Little Lies, and I’m really enjoying it. One of the books the library sent me was one I had already read. Now I have one Bohjalian book left from the batch, and I’ll need to order more.
TV: I think next week is the finale of this year’s Downton Abbey, sniff, sniff. A lot of series ended this week, but I don’t watch them. I’m still into the same ones as before. Once we’re into reruns, I want to catch up on some On Demand movies that I missed in the theater.

That’s all she wrote!

Peace,

Muff

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Keeping Busy During the Polar Vortex

Don’t you love all the new meteorology terms? Hearing them makes me even colder! I’ve been stuck inside for a long time now, and I try to avoid cabin fever. I had planned to go to church yesterday for Ash Wednesday, but I knew I’d suffer from the trip. So, I trusted that God would understand, and I did fast and abstain the whole day. So I think I’m good to go! I didn’t have the boys over, though, because we would be eating lightly. They’re coming tonight instead.

We will get some warmer weather this Sunday, but it comes with rain, so I may be skipping church again. Then we plunge back into the cold, again. I need to occupy myself so that I’m not always dwelling on the weather. For me that can be on the computer – Facebook and Pinterest can mesmerize me! Or, I watch the boob tube. Or better yet, I read. Crossword puzzles are a good diversion. And then there’s my fondness for cooking, which I’ll do today.

My boys requested a Polish meal. Don’t ask me why – we’re not Polish! So I got a recipe for perogies and I’ll make them with kielbasa and green beans. The recipes all call for homemade dough, and usually I would do that, but my husband will be gone until late this afternoon, and I tried to simplify things. So, I’m using the Pillsbury All Ready Pie Crust from which I’ll cut smaller circles. Then, I’ll mix mashed potatoes with cheddar cheese and chopped bacon. This mixture goes on one side of the little circles, and the circles get folded in half. I’ll crimp the edges with a fork and drop them in boiling water. Once they rise to the top, I’ll take them out and pat them dry. When they’re all finished, I’ll melt butter and onion in a pan and lightly brown the little pies. I’ve never tried this, so I’m hoping it works.

Next week, I’ll be doing some baking because my daughter’s Mothers’ Club is having a big bake sale on March 7th, and I told her I’d help out. They raise funds for various children’s charities, so it’s a worthwhile effort. I’m already making a list of ideas – Bundt cakes, cookies, breads – they’re all fun to do.

So let the winds howl and the temperature drop. I’ll be cozy inside doing my little cooking projects!

Peace,

Muff