Friday, April 18, 2014

Friday Fragments

The week flew by, but this time it really was because of busy-ness!

Food: Yesterday, I completed my pineapple casserole and mac and cheese. Both are tightly sealed and quick frozen until tomorrow night. After I finish writing, I’ll make my spinach quiche and start the devilled eggs. The meats are purchased as are the veggies. After we visit my mom, I’ll go to Wegman’s to get dessert (I just don’t want to add another chore liking making a cake) and some jelly beans. Tomorrow, I’ll just do little things, and on Sunday, I’ll pull it all together. I find that by spreading everything out, I don’t get overwhelmed with MS fatigue. I hope it tastes good!

Ants: When we returned home from my daughter’s last week, I noticed a little ant by the back door. I brushed him out, and forgot about it. Then when I went upstairs, I found a few little ones on the corner of the vanity. I smooshed them, but began to watch. Sure enough, more appeared. I didn’t have time to remove everything and seek the source – my normal approach – because the little guy required my attention. So my husband went out and bought little traps. Viola! They’re gone. Once I have time, I’ll be tearing apart the vanity and making sure a nest doesn’t exist. I really work at keeping everything clean around here, and the thought of bugs makes me nutso!

Spring: It sort of came in glory, and then disappeared for a while! We had nice warm days, then torrential rain on Tuesday, and the temps dropped. Wednesday and yesterday, I needed a jacket outside. Today, it’s chilly now, but I’m hoping it will get warmer. The weekend looks fantastic! The cold didn’t really bother the plants, though. Our tulips are still blooming – I’ll try to cut some for my table. Our dogwood looks ready to burst open any day now. And the magnolias came quickly, and are now shedding – they always do that. If you look at the trees, they’re either blossoming or have that wispy pink, white, or green look. I love spring, and I hope it lasts!

Books: I finished The Woman Upstairs by Claire Messud, but I didn’t enjoy it that much. Now I’m reading another Laura Lippman – After I’m Gone, -- and it’s pretty good. A local author – Lisa Scottoline – has a new one out now – Keep Quiet – which I have ordered. (Sad – her mother just passed away in the middle of her book tour.) I still have three books here to finish, and several more on my library list.

That’s all I have to offer. After Easter, I need to get my writing here more organized.



Thursday, April 17, 2014

Throwback Thursday


I wish I had access to all my old photos, but I have them stored at my daughters. I would love to have shown a photo of my siblings and me at Easter. I have a ton of those kinds of pix because we dressed up each year and my parents loved showing us off! I still have some photos here, but none are that much of a throwback. So, I’ll have to wait until I have time at my daughter’s home to rifle through the bins and get some that would be appropriate here.

In the meantime, I have to get to work on making/freezing some sides for Sunday’s dinner. My husband is at the supermarket now getting my ingredients. (He just called a few minutes ago with questions. I’m accustomed to that call by now!) Today I want to make my pineapple casserole and possibly a mac and cheese. Tomorrow, I’ll get the spinach quiche completed and I’ll make some devilled eggs. I’ll leave the asparagus and green beans until Sunday, along with the appetizers. I have my list, and I’ll just check things off as I finish them.

My usual Thursday with the boys may or may not happen tonight. Husband needs to go to the store, and the boys each have projects which may or may not be completed. I told them either way is fine. I’ll put on a pot of soup and have lunchmeat available for sammies. They’ll get back to me by early afternoon. I’ll see them on Sunday, so it’s not a big deal. My SIL wants to have Easter dinner at their house, but I can’t take the noise of his big family. They understand, and my daughter said she needs to do things very simply as she recovers. The big draw is the new bar area they had built in their basement. It’s huge and looks fantastic, but I wouldn’t be spending my time there at all – too many steps. So, I’ll have the meal here for my boys and possibly my nephew. In a way, it’s hard for me to let go of the reins and cede control of holidays; however, it’s also a relief not to have a house full of people. Time marches on…

 So, in a way, that’s my throwback minus the photos – memories of bygone Easters. I won’t go way back to my time as a child, but I’ll remember the days of my own children’s youth. I can see them in their jammies hunting for eggs around the house (the Dad had to get down early to hide the hard-boiled eggs that I decorated the night before.) The rule here was a good breakfast first, then just one piece of candy. I used to make cute baskets for them, and I included all their favorites. Then it was upstairs to get into their new outfits and off to church. I always had Easter dinner here, and my parents, aunt, and others used to come to celebrate. The kids were always off from school for the week following Easter, and we would plan various trips.

It was a fun time that eventually gave way to just one Easter basket with fewer items, and a smaller number at the dinner table. As my grandies grow, I hope they’ll have some good memories centered on Easter, but I’m afraid I won’t be the one providing them.



Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Good To Be Back!

It seems like forever since I’ve been on here, but duties called, and I had to respond. We headed down to my daughter’s home last Thursday to help her with the boys and we had fun. I had prepared a chicken casserole for dinner, so we heated it up and spent time with the family. The daddy had to work an overnight shift at the hospital, so he said good night to the guys and left. The sleepover wasn’t great because I never sleep well in a strange bed, and their guest room bed is uncomfortable. My daughter did tell me, though, that they’re getting new furniture for that room. However, with little sleep, I had to pull myself together for their early morning routine. By afternoon, we were headed home with little guy coming along.

I really was proud of myself on Friday and Saturday! My husband had left things go at the store, and he needed to be there on Friday night and all day Saturday. So I was in charge – alone. I was able to make grilled cheese sandwiches for little guy and me, and we watched his favorite show, “Handy Manny” which I DVR from the Disney Junior channel. He wanted to watch Ratatouille on a DVD, but he fell asleep halfway through. My husband came home and carried him up to his “Boy Cave,” where he slept soundly until 7:30 on Saturday.

Then, I had to be with him alone all day, but it worked out just fine. We did many arts-and-crafts projects, and I even let him use the (low temp) hot glue gun. He had a nice lunch, went in for his nap easily, and woke up all smiles. It was a gorgeous day outside, so we sat on the front porch – or I sat and he played. He checked out the gardens, gathered sticks, saw every overhead plane going to the airport, and explored all areas. Once back indoors, I let him go “rooting” through some drawers. Such simple tasks really keep him occupied. The afternoon sped by, and Poppy came home with a pizza dinner. We watched the rest of Ratatouille, and bath and bedtime were a breeze.

Our original plan for Sunday had been to go to see my mother after church, where little guy would have lunch with her – possibly on the patio. However, my husband’s car wouldn’t start in the church parking lot. He called AAA, but after a half-hour wait, it just started up. He later found out that it was his remote start, and all we needed to do was to step on the brake and it would reset. So, little guy ate his lunch in the car, then came home for his nap. We did more crafting and outside play while Poppy watched the Masters, and after dinner, we watched Frozen on DVD. He sings along with the songs, and he thoroughly enjoys telling us what’s going to happen next.

On Monday, we travelled to PA to visit my husband’s two sisters and his brother. We were stuck in horrible traffic on “The World’s Longest Parking Lot,” the Schuylkill Expressway, but I kept my sister-in-law informed via phone. We arrived for dinner and a nice visit, then headed back to NJ and another movie for little guy. Yesterday dawned wet and dreary, so we stayed indoors and made Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and candy mold lollies for Easter. After lunch and nap, we headed back to his house, and again, we encountered bad traffic. We finally arrived in pouring rain, dropped off all his belongings, and headed back home.

It has been a busy several days, but I’m none the worse for it. Now, I’ll relax a bit today, and by tomorrow, I’ll begin making some dishes for Easter dinner. I’ll be catching up slowly with everyone’s blogs, and hopefully, I’ll be back on track soon.



Thursday, April 10, 2014

All My Bags Are Packed...

…I’m ready to go…
I’m just waiting for my husband to pack everything up in the car, and then we’re off. Plans keep changing, but I’m trying to be flexible (mentally, anyway!) I have some pretty photos of my daffodils in the camera, but I don’t want to take the time right now to upload. I’ll catch up with everything next week.

We are having SPRING out the wazoo!! And I’ll try to get some more pix. Loving it!

Be back soon.



Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Outta Here!

Must run in a minute. I have a hair appointment, and it will last until the early afternoon. Then off to see my mother. I’ll sneak in quickly tomorrow, I hope, but then it’s off to be with the little ones. I should be back online by Tuesday.

I may be getting a reprieve for Easter dinner. My SIL wants us to come down there. If it’s just a quiet day, we’ll go; however, if his whole gang of noisiness goes, I’ll send my regrets. It’s tough when the kids grow up, and such decisions must be made.

I hope you’re all getting the lovely spring days we’re having here. Finally!!



Tuesday, April 8, 2014


One of the facets in the book I’m reading was centered on a teenage summer camp, and it got my memory going. I never attended camp because we went to the shore every summer. Even if that weren’t the case, I still probably would not have gone. I don’t do outdoorsy things well.

My first experience with a camp situation was when I was a young teenager and I became a ‘volunteer’ counselor at a day camp. That word is in air quotes because I thought it was a paying job, and so did my girlfriend. However, after we signed up, we learned that only those who were over sixteen would be paid. Bummer! That was the summer I completed my lifeguard training and certification. I also changed my name. I told everyone to call me “Missy.” I really don’t know why, but it seemed like a good idea at the time.

I was placed with the arts and crafts counselor, and that suited me fine. We made plastic lanyards in various color combinations, and decorated with found objects from nature. The kids ranged in age from six to eleven, so they were easy to handle. When we got to the painting and clay making, I was really in my element, and I had a great time.

Lunch was served in a big hall with picnic tables, and we took turns at the various camper tables. That was the first time I had tasted SPAM. When I told my mother, I thought she’d faint. Evidently, pretend meat from a can was verboten around her! Actually, I rather enjoyed it. It was done on large griddles and served with pineapple. That was the only time I ever ate it, but I never understood all the “ewwws” and “yucks” connected with it. I think I preferred it over the usual hot dogs.

I wasn’t old enough to drive, so I went on the bus with the kids. It was one of those rickety yellow buses that never knew the meaning of shock absorbers. It was also very noisy with kids talking loudly. And don’t even think about the heat – July in a tin can with little air. Now, to me, that should elicit the “ewws” and “yucks!” I looked forward to the days when I could hitch a ride with one of the adults or older counselors.

It was a good experience, but I never went camping again until I was in college. Then I needed a mandatory course in botany which required a weekend of camping. I really got razzed about that one. First, I packed a suitcase and a bag of beauty essentials – make up, rollers, creams, etc. My fellow students laughed at me. I really thought I’d be in a cabin at night. No such luck – there were lean-tos. The cooking was done on a stationary grill, and when I saw it, I lost my appetite. And don’t get me started on the bugs – they were plentiful land vicious. Also, indoor plumbing was not to be had. So, I refrained from using the “facilities,” and nearly got sick. The first day, it got sunny and hot, and I got sunburned. The second day, it rained a steady drizzle. I just wanted to go home. Finally, we did, and my then-boyfriend-future-husband picked me up. I looked horrible, and he got a good laugh about it.

Since then, I’ve never camped again. My idea of a good time was NOT communing with nature.  Funny that my kids love it. If I were to even think about it, I’d head for the nearest Camp Hilton!


Monday, April 7, 2014

Miserable Monday

It’s only cloudy right now, but we’re due to get hit with a huge rainstorm a little later. It’s supposed to come right when we go to see my mom. I think today will be a stay-at-home day for me. Even though I’m moving better, I’m still not running, and heavy rain will drench me. It’ll be a good day to do indoor activities, or I could just relax.

Yesterday’s birthday dinner went well, but I was on my feet a lot, and I still tire easily. There was a glitch on my radar, though, that soured me a bit. I did all the shopping last Thursday afternoon, and my husband put everything in the big freezer downstairs. Then, he just brought everything up to the kitchen on Saturday evening, leaving the cake and bread on the counter and putting the meat and veggies in the fridge. As I was getting dressed for church yesterday, I heard him drive out of the driveway. Later, I asked him where he went, and he sheepishly told me he had to go back to the store to buy more meat because he accidentally forgot to bring the lamb upstairs and left it on top of the freezer.

I don’t know if you’re aware of the cost of lamb, but it’s a bit pricey -- $22/lb! On Thursday, I bought two racks, weighing a little over two pounds. That had to be doubled with the mishap. So, it was an expensive dinner. I didn’t tell the boys about it; I just let them have a good time, and I let it go. I know it was an accident, and getting angry wouldn’t have helped either of us. I just wish I could have eaten some of that eighteen-carat meat!

Nevertheless, I salted and seared the racks well, and then I spread some softened butter on them and dredged them in a mixture of chopped pistachios and bread crumbs to create a crust. They went into the oven at 400° for 25 minutes. Meanwhile I got some gold potatoes boiling which I mashed with garlic cloves, butter, and milk. The beans were easy to cook, also. For me, I made a veggie stir fry with some noodles.

The birthday cake was another funny story.  My son likes Wegman’s vanilla layer cake, which comes with plain white frosting. If you take it to the bakery counter, they will decorate it. So, I sent my husband over to get it done, while I checked out the breads. In my head, I think the counterperson just took the cake out to the parking lot and asked someone to decorate it. There were no edgings done, and the writing was the worst I ever saw! The word ‘birthday’ ran off the side, and you just about distinguish his name. I know I should have taken it back and made them fix it, but I just didn’t feel like it. Next time, I’ll do the decorating myself!

I thought I’d have next weekend off before I had to prepare Easter dinner; however, I’ll be having little guy as a guest. We’re going to be at my daughter’s home on Thursday and Friday, then, he’ll come home with us until Monday. It’s all good, though, because we can make some desserts together. And who wouldn’t welcome a visit from him?

I hope you’re somewhere dry today – even our Phillies home opener has been rained out today!