Wild Grape Dumplings

I made wild grape dumplings for the Native American project open house in my son’s classroom today.  As he says, “they sold out!”

No – we weren’t actually selling them, just sampling them.  But in seeing how fast the samples went, he hatched a brilliant plan wherein I make more dumplings and he takes them around in the wagon to various neighbors and sells them for 25 cents each or 2 for $1.00.

There are so many flaws in the plan, I don’t know where to begin – other than to say the dumplings are absolutely horrible and no one would ever buy them.  Picture a chicken nugget from McDonald’s but a weird gray/purple color.   And rubbery.  In order to make them halfway palatable for 75 third graders I squirted a ton of grape jelly on them.  I sent them off to school with a bunch of toothpicks and strict instructions that each child should use a NEW toothpick when they took a sample.

Too bad I didn’t get a chance to give my son’s classmate, Andrew, the same speech.  I found out on the car ride home that Andrew was collecting the used toothpicks on the back end and then going around to the front of the line and handing them out again.  What?!!?  Good Lord!!!  Who is Andrew and WHY did he think that would be helpful?

Funny?  Totally.  Parentally approved?  Absolutely not because now I’m pretty sure the majority of the third graders will shortly be coming down with throwing up sickness and when the vomir is purple, they’ll know exactly what caused it.

The person I feel most sorry for in this whole scenario is the Seminole stay at home mom who had to make the wild grape dumpling “treats” for her kids without sugar, an oven, sugar, flour, grape jelly or really anything useful.  Do you suppose the first Seminole mom whipped the recipe up in her boiling pot when the kiddos complained, “there’s nothing good to eat!” ?!   God bless the ingenuity of all moms when faced with that comment.

5 bucks

Let me tell you a bedtime story about the worst 5 bucks I never spent.  That’s right, never.

It goes a little something like this:

  • Must, must do something about the scuzzy shower door.
  • Have heard the squeegees everyone’s talking about might do the trick!
  • Lucky day – $5 off a $15 purchase coupon to Bed, Bath & Beyond (say it the way Buzz Lightyear would say “To Infinity and Beyond!” and it’s much funnier.  I’ll go first, “Bed, Bath and Beyond!”)
  • But cheapest squeegee only costs $10!  (what to do, what to do?)
  • Buy a more expensive squeegee?
  • I’m not convinced the squeegee concept will even work so that’s a big no.
  • Buy another 5 bucks of nonsense instead and STILL only spend $10 with aforementioned coupon?
  • Why yes.  Yes, indeed.  A seemingly excellent plan.
  • Searched and searched and found…a sweater brick for $5.99 (ok, sometimes the math gets rough.  Give me a break.)
  • Sweater brick is a black, pumice-type thingy in the shape of a brick that’s used to get all those nasty pills off of sweaters without chopping holes in them like that annoying sweater shaver does.  It employs a more manual-labor approach by “scrubbing” the pills off.
  • It also works on pill-y blankets
  • 4 (very) pill-y Christmas blankets later and the sweater brick is worn to a nubbin.  Where did it go?  Did it evaporate??
  • And something smells like rotten eggs.
  • I smelled the carpet in the family room where I was working and it only smelled like dirty socks and sweaty boy, not rotten eggs.
  • And I don’t think it’s my breath huffing out of my mouth because I surreptitiously breathed into my shirt and my breath only smells like my deodorant and Sweet Pea body mist.
  • Lint and fluff scrubbed off of the blankets drops all over the rug, and really everywhere AND follows me to the laundry room AND drops all over the laundry room floor.
  • Project now seems way more annoying and involved than originally anticipated.
  • And…WTF?!!…it looks like someone carried a blanket into the laundry straight off the beach!  A black beach in Hawaii!!!
  • CRAP!!!  That’s where the sweater brick went!  It dissolved into sand and is now buried (scccrrruuubbbed as hard as my aching arm could scruuuub) in the blankets.
  • And Holy Mother!!!  All this black sand SMELLS!  It smells like rotten eggs!!
  • Ack!  Acccckkkkkkk!!!!!

And that, Folks, is the story of the worst 5 bucks I NEVER spent.

Good night.

Rise of the Guardians

Back when we lived in Pennsylvania (did I mention we used to live in PA?!) we would get the Monday after Thanksgiving off because it was the first day of deer-hunting season (?!?).

Here in Colorado (did I mention we live in CO?!) we apparently get the Monday after Thanksgiving off to put up our outside holiday decorations.  The Fall Harvest scarecrows in our front yard were looking pretty sad-sack compared to all the glorious Christmas stuff everyone put up over the week-end so we had to hop on it today!

Speaking of the week-end, we went to see the movie “Rise of the Guardians.”  It’s a pretty cute movie if you picture Santa Claus as an intimidating Russian Cossack.  Other than that, it did raise a major question:

SONNY:  Soooo…if Santa is for Christmas and the Easter Bunny is for Easter, what holiday does the Sandman do?

SISSY:  (my daughter, not actually named Sissy, just called Sissy for the purposes of this blog so as to perserve her anonymity because when you know EVERYTHING and you’re only 10, people want to know your name) The Sandman doesn’t represent a holiday.  He comes at night to sprinkle crusties in your eyes and give you good dreams.

ME: [in my head] wow, that’s totally right!  Maybe she DOES know everything about everything and that’s why she THINKS she knows everything about everything.  That’s my girl!  Like mother, like daughter.

Happy Thanksgiving 2012!

Turkey line-up

Why yes, I did make these myself out of pinecones gathered from my backyard.  And yes!  They are cute-and-crafty placecard holders (15 to be exact).

And YES – right again!!!  Ding ding ding.  This is what you do when you have enough time to get ready to host Thanksgiving dinner at your house.

Happy Thanksgiving to all and to all a good night!

Tight (part 2)

Remember my post from the other day wherein I felt like my mom because I didn’t know what the newfangled usage of the word “tight” meant?!?

I concluded the blog post with a shout out to my dad to see if he could help me figure out it out (he always helped my mom figure out all those confusing words the youngsters were using back-in-the-day so I figured he might be able to help me in the same capacity).

Here are the responses I received:

1) From my dad at 6:05 a.m.


In the circle that I now run in, “tight” means slightly drunk.  Maybe you had better ask your husband.



2) From my mom at 6:48 a.m. the same day (from the same email address)

Dad doesn’t know.   Ask your own Sweetie.  And let us know when you find out.  LOL Mom

Thanks, Folks.

Oh, and P.S., Mom – LOL means laughing out loud.  Not lots of love.  Really.

And P.P.S. – why don’t you people sleep later?!

Ball of your foot

Acckkk!!!  Remember that part where I was gonna make my own Christmas gifts?!

Well – I think I’m in over my head.  Way over.  Way, way over.

Sock loom?  Check!  Soft sock-specific yarn (2 balls – one for each sock d’oh!)?   Check!   Loom instruction dvd viewed (a dozen plus times)??  Checkity check check!

Now…to begin.

Measure around the ball of your foot or widest part at base of toes, with foot resting on floor. Multiply the # of inches by the gauge of 7. Subtract 10% of this total which accounts for the negative give of the yarn. The resulting number is the number of pegs that should be used for your sock when using the Flat Stitch (FS). If you get an uneven number, add 1 to arrive at correct number of pegs.

What?!?  OMG!  This is math!!!  No one said anything about MATH!!  I’m just making gifts, I never committed to doing MATH!!!!!!!

And speaking of gifts, I’m making GIFTS!  Isn’t there a handy “rule of thumb” they could provide as to the number of pegs I should use for…say…a men’s shoe size 10?  The way these zany instructions read, I’m gonna hafta sneak into bedrooms while people are sleeping and slip their feet onto the floor (foot resting on the floor, reeeessssttttingggg) and then do math.  In the dark.  About 7 states away.

If I’m gonna do all of that, I should just buy a pair of socks and visit them for Christmas!

How is this ever going to work?!  Absent the handy rule-of-thumb-with-the-pegs concept, it’s not like I can even ask people their shoe size and get a meaningful answer.  And I’m sure you can agree that the shoe size question seems to be a slightly more appropriate and less eyebrow raising question than “can you give me the measurement of the ball of your foot?”  ‘Cause that sort of question is just bound to need an explanation.  And then what do I do?  Reply, “uh – no reason,” and casually walk away whistling while furiously working on my calculator?

Well.  Here goes……

Dad.  Can you give me the measurement of the ball of your foot?  Please??

Uh, no reason.  Fhweeep!  Fhweee fhwe fhweeeeeee!!  [clickety, cliiiick, click]

Lunch Lady


Worked hot lunch today….

spaghetti, meat balls, breadsticks…

most popular lunch…


Too tired to write any more today.


Please see yesterday’s blog about my housecleaning frenzy.  During which I cleaned three bathrooms.  The toilets are now scrubbed as clean as I wish I could scrub the vision from my mind’s eye of the recent vomir (that’s fancy French for throw-up) my son piled in one of the toilets. (my toilet btw.  why does it have to be MINE?!  he’s got his own toilet for heaven’s sake!  but my toilet has some weird homing pigeon effect on vomir.)

The kids in our carpool got sick in the night too.  Their mom thinks it was the undercooked sausages everyone had for hot lunch at school.  In her house, those who didn’t have the sausages, didn’t have the vomir.  Same in mine!

Hmmmm…interesting theory…

but there weren’t any sausages to be seen in the pile when it came back up.  All I saw were about 4 cupfuls (yes, cupfuls) of what I at first thought were those squishy sliced mushrooms from the can.   As I’m trying to puzzle out why my son had eaten 4 cupfuls of squishy sliced mushrooms, it occurred to me that I gave the kids mac and cheese for dinner.  Oh!  That’s what it was.  But why the odd brown/mushroom color?  Must have been dyed that color by the post-dinner oreos.

See?  You wanna scrub now too, don’t you??  And never, EVER eat mac-and-cheese-followed-by-oreos OR 4 cupfuls of squishy-button-mushrooms-from-a-can, right??!

I don’t think anyone’s going to be eating the leftover mac and cheese tonight.  Including me.  Some things – once seen – cannot be unseen.

New dinner plan asap.  Breakfast for dinner is always a fun twist.  How ’bout pancakes and sausage??!?

Sane approach to spiders

I utterly detest the carpet in my basement and I’ll tell you why.

I constantly think there are spiders on it.

It’s a fairly innocuous beige berber wall-t0-wall…but there are these darker bits woven into the rug periodically throughout.  And no matter how many times I’ve seen them, they always take me by surprise and make me think a spider lurks there.  At which point I have to approach the dark spot doing some rain-dance type moves in the hopes of sending vibrations through the floor which will encourage the spider to move and thus “out” itself.  And if it IS a spider, I grind griiiiinnnnd it into the rug and make the dark spot permanent!  And sometimes I do that even when it isn’t a spider.  Just to be on the safe side.

This is a totally sane approach to rugs, right?  And spiders.

No??  Next thing you’ll be telling me is that not EVERYONE thinks there’s a baby in the black garbage bag they sometimes see lying in the middle of the road.  No?!?  Then why do YOU avoid hitting the bag?!  (because I have seen you avoiding it)

I’m on to you.  I know what you’re doing.  I ALSO saw the movie Gaslight and so I know when I’m trying to be driven insane.  Well I’ve got news for you.  It won’t work!

I’m already there!  Mwa ha ha ha (evil, insane laugh).

Too many fumes from the housecleaning products.

Thanksgiving’s coming.  Gotta get the house ready.

Tight (part 1)

I felt like my mother the other day.  (Hi, Mom!)

After chairing the kids’ school fundraiser for the previous 3 years, I took a minor supporting role and just spearheaded the registration committee.  In addition to table seating arrangements (pain in my a$$!) I was also in charge of the crew that checked-in attendees the night of the event.

Because I was going to be working for a good portion of the event…and because I don’t have a job and therefore don’t have the money to spend on a lousy $75-a-head dinner…my husband and I didn’t actually attend the event this year.  And I gotta say – it’s pretty liberating not going to the annual fundraiser after six years of consistent attendance!

Working registration is in some ways the best of both worlds.  You get to see and be seen and say hi to all the people.  You get to wear something cute, but not too dressy ’cause you’re not actually attending the event.  (I wore a super cute jacket that I got lots of compliments on, along with a black skirt, high-heeled boots and damask mesh stockings.  Dressy, not too dressy and warm enough for a snowy Colorado November evening.)  And you get to play the part of the hostess with the mostess as you hand out drink tickets.  But then you get to leave after your shift and your free pizza-for-the-workers meal without having engaged in any of the frantic spending o’ the green!

And it was as I departed the venue that I felt like my mother.

There’s this long hall you have to walk down in order to get to the parking garage…and this dude came up quickly behind me on the way to his car.  As he passed me he said, “I love your stockings.  They’re totally tight!”

I said thanks and we both went on our way…but the whole time in my head I’m thinking to myself, “Tight?!  Tight.  Did he mean they’re tights??  But he said stockings, so he knows they’re not tights.  What does tight mean??  Tight must mean cool.  I’m HOPING tight means cool!”

How did I get to the point where I don’t know the modern lexicon?!  This is why I felt like my mother.

When I was younger, my mother was always asking my father to explain terms to her (oftentimes during movies and usually for super embarrassing phrases, to which my dad would always reply “I’ll tell you later, dear.”).  As if my dad existed in some alternate universe where he was exposed to all the super cool new phraseology.  I’m not really sure what the actual thinking was on my mom’s part about why my father would know words that she didn’t (’cause he had a job??)…but we’ll see if it works for me:  Dad – what does “tight” mean?