Wednesday, December 31, 2008


Only a few hours remain in this year. The boys and I are going to sit down in a bit and make some resolutions for the coming year, but I am getting a head start here. There isn't anything earth-shattering (though I suppose I could work on coming up with something that isn't predictable if I try, just for fun.)

Here goes.

1. It's looking very likely that we will be moving in 2009 (wanting a house with a yard and all that), so I resolve to sort through all the STUFF that I moved here, and SIMPLIFY by only keeping what is truly needed and/or important.

2. Today I signed up for a class at Nutritional Weight and Wellness, because I am feeling the combined effects of my age and my weight, and it's time to do something about it. I resolve to make my health a top priority in the coming 12 months.

3. "If you're gonna write a book, Mom, you actually have to write." I resolve to actually write in 2009.

I think that's all I am going to commit to at this time ... actually I think that is PLENTY to commit to at this time.

Happy New Year!

Monday, December 29, 2008


I had a dream last night that Ben & I won $1.293 million. Yes, exactly $1,293,000. I don't know where or how, but we had won it.

Being responsible, the first thing I did (after depositing the check in my bank account - I was a titch concerned about the low interest rate, [like next-to-none] but wanted it IN my account so 'no one could take it away from me.' - I guess in my dream that happens sometimes.) was make an appointment with my accountant to be sure I paid the taxes I needed to. I kept thinking of Richard from Survivor.

Then I started to slowly allow myself to think about spending it. I wasn't hyper-excited, just very pragmatic and methodical, working hard to determine the best use of the windfall. Honestly, it wasn't even that fun, though I certainly had a deep appreciation for the situation. A house and a car came to the top, I never even considered frivolous things (until after I woke up.) When I did wake up, I honestly had a moment where I thought it was real. Since the dream wasn't crazy or illogical or bizarre like my dreams usually are, I truly thought for a second or two that it really had happened.
Bummer when reality hit.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Chinese Christmas

After all our presents were opened, the mailman rang our doorbell ... bringing us a box from China!!! The celebration continues :-)

We opened our treasures and found so many fun things. We got t-shirts from the school the Hillman kids go to and the Hillman parents work at. (and yes I know I ended that sentence with a preposition.) The boys each got a really cool dragon - which we promptly put on the tree - and I got cups from that great stalwart of Chinese culture, Starbucks!

In addition we got trading pins from the Olympics, and I got a bag .. or should I say purse? I never know ... and a beautiful pearl necklace.

I don't know how to say it, so I will just put the picture again:

Saturday, December 27, 2008

A few Christmas memories

Well, Christmas is done for another year ... all in all, this year was absolutely wonderful! We had a bit more relaxed schedule this year, which made everything run more smoothly - it kept Mama happy, since, as everybody knows, when Mama ain't happy ain't nobody happy! We celebrated with one side of the family the Sunday before Christmas, then had just the 4 of us on Christmas Eve as we always have done, and then celebrated with the other side of the extended family on Christmas Day.

Both boys were quite pleased with their gifts - lots of Legos, DVDs, books, and gift cards (which they have already used on more Legos. You can just never have enough.)
My knitting projects were well-received, though I have absolutely learned my lesson - I will never, ever brag again about my projects. Right after I wrote that post (earlier in December) things started to go downhill. The pair of mittens I was making for my Dad got too small in the shrinking process, so I had to start over, and the new ones gave me all kinds of trouble - I had to do the left mitten twice, and then when I shrunk them they didn't shrink the same! But ... on Christmas Day my Dad tried on the original ones (which I was sure were too small) and they fit perfectly. So I guess all's well that ends well.
Here's the mitten before,
and then both mittens, after.

I made felted bags for my SIL and my niece (shown here) that they really liked. And no sizing issues to worry about! And I made nesting bowls for my mom, but never got a photo of them.

The menu was great, the company wonderful, the holiday magical. Hope your was, too!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

To you, and you, and you!

The computer is going away now for two whole days! Wishing you lots of laughter and love as you celebrate the season.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas

Today has been a good day - I've gotten a lot done and am feeling back like we are going to make this a good holiday after all!

Ben did a lot of gift-wrapping today and I was so proud of him - he did an amazing job. He apparently inherited the gift-wrapping gene from my father. The goal is to make a gift which looks, sounds, and feels NOTHING like what it really is. Props can be added for sound effects or to disguise the weight, unusually-shaped containers are called into use, and (of course) the more tape, the better. I got teary-eyed just watching him.

Here's another favorite of mine ... Happy Holidays!!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Somewhere along the way

... I started losing. Somehow the piles and the bags and the wrapping paraphernalia and the dog toys and the groceries and the laundry all started taking over the entire house and now we have less than 48 hours til the guests start showing up and I honestly don't know if I will be able to pull this back into a situation where I am on the winning team again. And I - one who doesn't normally go down this road - am hyperventilating a little bit and feeling just a tiny bit PANICKY.

If you haven't already,

Go to Mrs. G's blog .... listen, look, enjoy... sigh...

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Probably my favorite TV commercial of all time

Slow Cook Thursday, or Merry Blogger Christmas!

In honor of Mrs. G, I am sharing my own Slow Cook Thursday recipe. Yesterday I planned my Christmas menu, and I really wanted to have at least part of it made in the trusty ol' crock pot to reduce the amount of prep work I have to do that day.

I'm starting the day with a tasty-sounding appetizer, Pesto Torta, courtesy of Sozzled (she posted it when she was chosen to be the Slow Cook Thursday Chef at Derfwad) (and if anyone reading this has her very own homemade pesto in her freezer that she promised she would someday share with me, well, now might be a good time to let me know!) Then, we will have a soup course to start our dinner using a Cream of Broccoli Soup recipe I found on someone's blog - I am hoping someone can help me here, I am so embarrassed that I can't find it again to give credit to its owner. I think her name is Nora, and I am certain I found it by following links on peoples' blogs that I regularly read, so if anyone can tell me her URL, I would appreciate it.

For the main course I am roasting fresh asparagus, making Mrs. G's ONE Amazing Recipe - Maria's Butternut Squash (though on my menu it's Mrs. G's Maria's Butternut Squash. Kind of like Ruth's Chris Steakhouse.) My SIL is bringing a salad and bread. And the protein (I have been watching a lot of Top Chef lately) (and did anyone else think this week's episode was a bit lame? The judges need to get in the holiday spirit a bit more.) is ham - cooked all day long in the slow cooker. Here's the recipe, and I will report in on the 26th as to how mine went.

Slow Cooker Ham
2 cups packed brown sugar
1 (8 pound) cured, bone-in picnic ham

Spread about 1 1/2 cups of brown sugar on the bottom of the slow cooker crock. Place the ham flat side down into the slow cooker - you might have to trim it a little to make it fit. Use your hands to rub the remaining brown sugar onto the ham. Cover, and cook on Low for 8 hours.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Slumdog Millionaire

Last night, I finally went to see Slumdog Millionaire. I felt oh-so-hip as I TEXTED an invite to a friend to go with me. See, me and texting are relatively new acquaintances, and every time it says "Sending Message" on my little phone I get a shiver of excitement that I did it! Anyway, my friend called me back to say she would love to meet me - first we went to Arezzo for dinner (I highly recommend opening their website in a separate tab as you finish reading this, as they have a really jazzy-fun rendition of Jingle Bells playing over there.) and then we walked over to the theater. I had planned on arriving 45 minutes early to do a little shopping, but thanks to Mother Nature I actually arrived 15 minutes late. What should have been a 20 minute drive - TOPS - took nearly an hour and a half.

The dinner was phenomenal, and then the movie - well, if you haven't seen it yet, go see it. It's the story of a young man in India who gets on their version of "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" and is suspected of cheating, because how could he, who raised himself in the streets of the slums of Mumbai, possibly know the answers to all the questions? It gives a powerful look into the lives of the poor, and the horrors of children forced to beg for sick, greedy adults. But it's also a powerful message about the importance of hope and dreams and belief in yourself. (And if Arezzo's Christmas song is over now, click on the movie link to hear some of the soundtrack. Just want to keep you entertained as you reread.)

And when they play the ending credits they do a Bollywood-style dance which just plain makes you smile.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Reading List, One Last Time

So this morning I had my meeting with the G&T coordinator for middle school. Really, really nice woman - I could easily see us becoming good friends. I arrived in her office at 7:45 AM and the very first thing she does is offer me chocolate. How can you not love the woman?

We chit-chatted about a lot of things - the weather (being good Minnesotans, don't-cha-know), how my boys are doing, the holidays, etc ... but eventually meandered to the topic at hand. She told me that the English teacher had OK'ed this list with the G&T department - at which point I interrupted her with an incredulous "REALLY? And you are OK with this list?!?" And she kind of stammered, and said, well, um ... and drifted off as I started off on how inappropriate I think it is. Oh, you guys would have been so proud of me! I remembered (without notes!) the powerful language of Carla and the empassioned opinions of Dawn, Shawn, Calandria and Larue. I spoke forcefully but calmly, passionately but evenly (usually when I get riled up I cry. Not a pretty site, and kind of weakens the message.) And she wrote down most of what I said!

After covering why this list was so wrong - starting with the old "since when is Entertainment Weekly the resource educators want to rely on?" and listing several books with inappropriate themes, I said something along the lines of "There are so many lists out there to choose from. There are gifted reader lists, college prep lists, librarian-created lists, award-winning book lists. It should be easy to find a good list to use. And if YOU can't find one, I can certainly find one for you."

Whoops. Got a little carried away there. No educator worth her salt is going to pass up THAT offer.

So yes, I am now on the hook to come up with an exceptional reading list for the 8th graders, to replace the EW one (and it's not "we'll consider switching lists" -- it's "We will switch lists" Yay!). But honestly, I know it's not going to be that hard. Besides, I have all you to help me!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Please, give $5 now

Go here to donate. And then, tell 5 friends. Thank you.
I am SO training my next dogs to use a litter box.


This morning we woke to several inches of new snow, making everything look so clean and sparkly and beautiful. Then I heard it was -6 out, with a windchill of -29. And I knew we had to leave our house before it got any warmer.

To entice the boys out of their warm and cozy beds, I made my sister-in-law's recipe - Chocolate Croissants. Sounds magnifique, oui? And yet it is tres easy.

Simply take Pillsbury refrigerator croissants, put chocolate chips on each before rolling, and cook according the the package directions. I just learned this trick at Thanksgiving this year. Who know it was so simple to make this treat?? Why did it take me nearly 50 years to learn about it??Anyway, we are enjoying it now.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

100 Life Experiences

I don't know where this list originated, I got it off of Dawn's blog. Copy it into your own blog, highlighting (or bolding or whatevering) the ones you have experienced. It's kinda fun!

1. Started my own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than I can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/world
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sung a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched lightening at sea
14. Taught myself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown my own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitchhiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of my ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught myself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person

39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had my portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had my picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Ridden an elephant

Consider yourselves all tagged!

It's all about Christmas

This weekend is devoted to holiday shopping, baking, planning, and yes, cleaning. We will have the family here on Christmas Day - and that's only 10 people, but still, it's 10 people! And my house is not really designed for 10 people to spend extended periods of time together in one room, but we will focus on the cozy part and ignore the claustrophobia part.

Today we take the dogs to get their holiday "do's" and I can't wait to see them looking all pretty!

While I am off running errands - wishing I wasn't doing this on a Saturday when everyone else and their brother was out, too, here's one of my favorite carol renditions, for your viewing enjoyment.

Friday, December 12, 2008


OK, this time they have gone too far. The Bachelor starts up again in January, and this time its a single dad with a son who looks to be about 4. And the boy is in the show.

I have inner-debates about the whole premise of this series. I mean, I am fascinated by what people will do on television, but this is supposedly about love and marriage - although, truth be told, it really isn't, they just try to make it sound that way.

But what kind of dad brings his kid into this mess? And if he is divorced, what kind of mom allows her kid to be brought into this mess?

Perhaps this is the shark-jumping event this show needs, and it will be gone. Soon.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Tootin' My Own Horn Again

I cannot TELL you how badly I want to post pictures of what I am knitting these days!!! I have been working on Christmas presents for family members who tell me they do read this, so I can't put pictures up. But let me assure you, I am impressing myself :-)

Honestly, it's really not bragging. I am as amazed as anyone when I put knitting needles together and move the yarn back and forth and then at the end - WOW, how in the WORLD did it turn into something so cute? I truly believe it's magic. And I know other knitters who say the same thing. For my most current project I had to learn something new (to me) called "short rows." Big leap of faith for me to just do what the pattern says, even though it did not make one iota of sense to me until I had done 8 of them (then, suddenly, the light bulb went on.) But hey, follow instructions I did, and now?


The magic did not let me down.

I'll take the pictures now, and post them on December 26.

Today, holiday gifts. Tomorrow, the world.

New Classics, Revisted

Well, I have ignored it for a while, but it keeps popping up - yesterday Larue wrote about it, and she asked if I had done anything about the list (if none of this is making sense to you, read this first: 8th Grade Reading List) Now, Larue is Minnesotan, and usually Minnesotans don't come right out and ask people if they have taken action on something ... usually Minnesotans are much more vague and indirect and nonconfrontational about any- and everything. She could have, for example, written "Hmm, I wonder if Karen ever did anything about it?" Good, passive-aggressive Minnesota-speak. But ask she did, so I will give an update. Though if by update you are expecting me to actually have done anything - well, you might be disappointed. But if by update you are expecting me to talk about my PLAN, well, then, read on, my friend.

I have decided it's too big of a topic to ignore (that, and every single blogger who reads about the issue comments that I should do something. I'm a sucker for peer pressure.) But because my son asked me not to, I will not go to the teacher. As I said earlier, I am confident that my son is reading books that are OK, and I am re-reading them along with him so that we can discuss as we go. But, I have decided I am going to go to the G&T coordinator so that it can "just come up" in a curriculum discussion for next year. I know the G&T staff fairly well (I can totally relate to Larue's rantings about the program in her district, it's such a touchy thing - which is so unfair, all anyone really wants is for every child to be taught to their fullest potential. It gets all political and icky, though.)

So I will send off an email to the district person, and will let you all know what happens next.

Oh, and for the record? My son's 4 books are:

11. Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer. This is a bit mature because it is a true story of hardship and death, but he is up for it and mature enough to understand what it is (with discussion!)

60. Nickel & Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich. Since he is being raised by a woman who rants regularly about unfair labor practises at Wal-Mart, this was a good choice for him -- it explained more about why his mother gets frustrated. He read it first quarter and we had great talks about it.

94. Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser. Through absolutely no effort on my part, my son hates fast food - always has. If I crave a Happy Meal, I have to go get it on my own. So I think he will, after reading this, be the type of annoying kid who informs you of the dangers of fast food when all you really want is some hot, greasy, salty French fries. Perfect for him.

The other book he had originally chosen was Poisonwood Bible, but I am having second thoughts, and think we will use one of the ones he has already read:

2. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling
40. His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman
84. Holes by Louis Sachar

Don't know if there will be a meeting before the holiday, probably not, but I promise I will request a meeting and I will report back to you all.


OK, so I know that because of those pesky time zones, her birthday is almost over where SHE is, but it's just starting where WE are, so we will celebrate today, here, all day long. And she can go to sleep knowing we are thinking of her.

Carla and I have known each other since we were both pregnant with our oldest boys - but didn't really become fast friends until we were on the board of Peace House Foundation together, which eventually led to their moving to Africa, which was the precursor to their move to China. I used to be the most widely-travelled of all my friends but no more.

If you have never had the privilege of meeting her, you get a very good taste of her humor and her intelligence on her blog - she continually puts mine to shame, which is totally fine with me! I feel lucky to have the electronic opportunity to share in so much of her life.

I visited her in Tanzania and plan on visiting her in Beijing, and she is stuck with me as a friend for life.

I celebrate her, and the anniversary of her birth, today and all days!
And I hate Blogger which will NOT let me post any pictures right now. I'll try again later.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

What I'm listening to

You might remember during NaBloPoMo I watched the movie Once, and in my comments about it I mentioned I might actually get the soundtrack. Which, if you know me at all, you know is totally out of character. Music? I never pay money for it. Other than Christmas CDs. Can't have too many of those.

But yesterday I was at B&N, buying a book on CD for my former in-laws for Christmas (I always give them something to listen to on their drive to Arizona which starts December 26) and as I wandered the aisles, I heard a song which instantly took me back to the movie.

But. By the time I made my way to the music department, the song was over and a holiday tune was playing. Clearly not the same CD. So I couldn't go up to the cashier's counter and see the "What's playing NOW" CD case.

No problem, I would just go find the soundtrack section ... um, there isn't one. How about Show Tunes? Somehow that puts a picture of A Chorus Line or Phantom into my head, but no, there are movies here, too.

Now I just have to remember the name of the movie. I loved the movie, saw it less than a month ago. I know it's one word. It's set in Ireland, we never find out their names. I can sing the lyrics. Well, at least some of them. But the name????? No clue.

The only clerk is busy with other shoppers. So how hard can it be, I will just browse through every CD in the rack. There can't be that many one-word titles, and surely I will recognize it when I see it. In fact, if I just let my eyes glaze in the general direction of the CDs, surely it will JUMP out at me.

I made it to the "P"s before I gave up. Now there are two clerks at the desk. I approach the younger, hipper looking one, and say in response to his "can I help you?" query -- "I am approaching you as the professional [that won me a smile] - there was this song playing 3 songs ago ...." The professional interrupted me "from Once?" "YES! Do you have the soundtrack?" [really - he got it in one. I didn't need to provide any additional information. He was good.]
So we wander back to the Show Tunes area, and lo and behold, I did NOT miss it in my search - they are out of it. But, says my tall, dark and oh-so-professional clerk, we have their album, which isn't the soundtrack but it has the main songs from the movie. Sure, I say, show me that! And that, my friends, is how I spent the first money on a (non-holiday) CD for myself in many, many years.
I listened to it on the way home, and I so do not regret spending the money. Their music has almost a hypnotic quality to it. Probably shouldn't listen to it while driving.
Falling Slowly is the song from the movie that won an Oscar. I adore it. (oh - and now I know their names are Glen and Marketa. I'll have to tell my mom.)

Tuesday, December 09, 2008


It was pointed out to me that I haven't had any photos of a certain genre lately ... so thought I would put in this little collection.

Joey cleans up nice, doesn't he?

Monday, December 08, 2008

Weekend Review

Wow - break the daily habit and it gets really hard to think of anything to write at all. I keep wondering why no one is commenting and then realize it might have something to do with me not posting.

The weekend was relaxing. on Friday Shawn and I went to a warehouse book sale and found a few good bargains. We both agreed, though, that the selection was not as good as it has been in years past. Neither of us could come anywhere close to spending $50 to be able to use our $10 off coupons.

Saturday I spent almost all day knitting or talking about knitting or thinking about knitting. The Knitting Queen, Lisa (who, rumor has it, has recently opened a yarn shop in St. Paul) and I went to Needlework Unlimited - a first for me, and unfortunately, it won't be my last visit. It's an addicting kind of shop. And then we had lunch at the Convention Grill (burger & a malt, need you ask?) before coming back to my house to put our feet up, get our needles out, and get to work.

They left late afternoon and I sat and continued knitting until midnight ... no, make that 1AM as Miss Congeniality 2 came on at 11, and I certainly couldn't go to bed in the middle of that, now, could I? Got two projects done and a good start on a third. No pictures, though, as they will all be Christmas gifts.

Yesterday I actually took the dogs to the Dog Park for a short, brisk walk. Emphasis on brisk. That wind chill factor really takes its job seriously.

Today, being Monday, I will actually do some work. Though the yarn sirens are particularly powerful this morning. And I will try to come up with something more interesting than my schedule to write about.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Snow Village

When Ben was a baby, we started collecting snow village pieces. We have always gone for things like the construction vehicles, the gas station, the garbage truck, the house under construction ... no churches, park benches or flower shops for us! We have a manly snow village! Over the years we have slowed down on acquisition of new pieces because we simply don't have room for many (any?) more.

But this year the boys each got me two new "accessory" pieces. A few years ago (after we got Colby) we got the dog walker and a dog house. Yesterday they gave me a new dog piece:

How cute is that?!? And those clever boys also got me another new piece, one that I had never, ever seen before:In case you can't read it, her bags say "Crafts & Yarn." Is that perfect or what?!?

We haven't started setting up the village yet; it will have to wait until Monday, I think. But I have all weekend to look at my new puppy and knitter and be excited!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Happy Birthday to ME

Thursday December 4: Word of the Day
These days the present participle of this verb (burgeoning) is the hands-down favorite form, outnumbering use of the finite verb by a whopping five to one. The basic idea is "grow quickly" and originally applied only to plants. It's now a fixed favorite in journalism, to refer to anything that is increasing rapidly. [blogger's note: this better be referring to my bank account and not my waistline.]

Thursday December 4: Horoscope
Forecast for 2008-2009
This year, you are anxious to put your plans into motion, but if you don't focus on one or two projects at a time, you could find you're just spinning wheels. You are certainly more enterprising this year, and taking a balanced approach to life, in terms of realistic expectations, is the best approach for maximizing success. Your social life is very rewarding, and your popularity increases. Love settles down and is more reliable. [I am liking these last two sentences.]

2009 will be a year of completion and transition. It is a time when we need to let go of things that no longer serve their purpose, and hold on to things that have a future. It is a time of cleaning out dead wood [I think this means it's time to clean out the garage], not necessarily for new beginnings. It can be a time when a burden has been taken off your shoulders, and it can be a year of giving of yourself. Advice - let go of things that are holding you back, give of yourself and express your sympathetic, compassionate side.
This is me (right) and my friend Susy on our Sweet 16th ... her birthday is 4 days before mine, but really, I'm older than she is because she came early and I was a week late ... We have been celebrating together for over 30 years now!!!

I have a feeling 47 is going to be a VERY good year for both Susy & me!

Monday, December 01, 2008

Beef Stroganoff

Tonight I served a modified Beef Stroganoff (no mushrooms). It went from the stove ...

To the table ...
To the ratings ...
We based this rating system on the Iron Chef judging system. "Appearance" is judged prior to tasting. "Taste" includes seasonings, flavor and texture. "Creativity" is our category for how well I did finding a recipe that the boys would eat without complaining.

I'd say this is a keeper!

Happy December!

New month, new look!

I am feeling quite virtuous and efficient right now. I just planned menus for just over half of the coming month, and then went online and ordered all the groceries needed (except for produce that needs to be fresh the day it will be used.) It's my first time using the new Coborn's Delivers - the new Simon - and I am hopeful all will go well. I also hope that my energetic enthusiasm for cooking which is high today will not wane too quickly ...

On the menu (I told the boys yesterday that we are going to try some new recipes and they WILL be cheerful about it. They agreed. Either they are maturing, or I scared 'em.)

And more ... I will try to remember to take photos and post our opinions - maybe we'll set up a whole rating/judging system like on Iron Chef or something. The boys will like that.

The one thing I have not started planning for is COOKIES.

That will have to come next.

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