Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Hobnobbing with the wealthy.

Yeah, that's me, I'm a big hobnobber! I had a dream last night where I was working for a friend of mine. In real life my friend is a baker and a caterer, she lives in my neighborhood and is the first friend we made when we moved here 15 years ago. Her name is Marjorie but her grandchildren and all the neighborhood children call her Gramarg. This is not a name I made up, like most of the other names in this blog. This one is too cute, I had to use it.

Anyway in my dream instead of being a caterer Gramarg owned an upscale paper and stationary store in Middleburg. In case you have never heard of Middleburg, VA it is a tiny boutique of a town full of rich horsey types. Gramarg had hired me to be a calligrapher, rich women with too much money would come in and buy invitations or notecards from her and then they would hire me to write out their information or their letters cause they were just too stinkin' lazy to do it themselves. I'm sure I dreamed about expensive notecards because I was just reading a back issue of Real Simple where they were showing stationary examples that cost like $150 for 50 cards or something crazy like that. I love the Magazine, but my idea of cool new stationary is whatever I can find in the $1 at Target!

Anyway, in the dream, One lady hired me to write a note to her daughter for every month that she would be away at college, along with a check for pocket money. $11,000 a month. Pocket money. For a college kid. She gave me the wording on the note which she wanted to be the same every month, she gave me the 6 signed checks. I had to write all the notes and all the checks, being careful to date them starting with November 11th and working my way month by month through the 11's on the calendar. As I sat there writing her note over and over and then writing the checks one after the other I realized that I was not charging this woman near enough. I even had to mark it on MY calendar when to mail them for her each month.

The funniest part about this is that I have HORRIBLE handwriting and NO ONE would pay me to write anything down for them!

It was quite an entertaining dream. I am often entertained in my sleep. I have long elaborate dreams that could totally be blockbuster movies if I could only recall them in the morning.

You can tell exactly what Sheldon and I are obsessing about these days, we are both thinking of all the possible second jobs we could work so that we can afford to do everything we want to do to the new house. My current home has one bathroom and his has 2 and a half, the new house has 4 and a half. That's a lot of soap dishes and hand towels and hand soap, not to mention toilet paper!!

I did enjoy seeing Gramarg in my sleep, and it prompted me to email her asking to get together which is always a good thing!

God Bless Grandma Iny!!

I never had a Grandma Iny, but after making one of her recipes last night, I wish I had! Pioneer Woman is the one with the Grandma Iny, and she and her grandma are genius in the kitchen.

I read this recipe on PW's blog a few weeks ago and the idea of it had been haunting me ever since. I made sure I had all the ingredients about a week ago. I only had to buy the buttermilk as I keep everything else on the list in my kitchen anyway. I had the pan and the ingredients that weren't refridgerated out on my counter all week, just waiting. I spent the weekend at Sheldon's wishing I was home so I could make it.

Last night I got home from work and exercised first, but then I went into the kitchen and set to work. It wasn't work though. It was truly a joy. There is something about baking from scratch that puts you in touch with all the women who came before you. As I mixed the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients and folded in the secret ingredient, I just felt such peace. And excitement. It smelled SO good while it was baking. So Good. Miles came home while it was in the oven, he knew what the secret ingredient was because he had seen the recipe on the counter, so he was very suspicious. But he couldn't get past the smell, it smelled GOOD!

Miles loaded the dishwasher while I cleaned up from the cake and starting making the icing. He was still suspicious, but the smell was pretty magical. I took the cake out of the oven and poured the icing over it as instructed and we left the kitchen. Miles went into his room for a while and when he came out I was eating some cake with a big glass of milk. He asked if it was good. I assured him it was. He hesitated. I offered him a bite of mine. He tasted it. His eyes rolled back in his head and he turned and sprinted for the kitchen. He was back in a flash with his own piece and his own glass of milk.

I cut some for a neighbor who I always share yummy stuff with. I cut another piece for the mom up the street who drives Miles to school everyday, I cut another piece for Miles and I took the rest to work. It has been a hit on all fronts.

Here is the recipe. Don't let the secret ingredient scare you! I promise, you'll be blessing Grandma Iny too!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I heart Katie Couric

Did y'all see this article about Katie Couric in Elle Magazine? Loved it. She has always been one of my heroes since she was a local reporter here in the DC market. I would love to hang with her. I think we could be buds. I'm from Virginia, she's from Virginia. I love NY, she loves NY. I have a teenager, she has two teenagers. She's cute, rich, talented, smart and funny, I'm from Virginia.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

My Tiny High School

I just called my hometown high school because even though I have been going to college for 26 years and have been in and out of my current institution at least 5 times, they need my HS transcripts again! Anyway, while looking up their number on the internet I found out that they currently have 625 students. Woo, imagine that. They had 500 when I graduated in 1983. Town has grown a lot since I left. High School has completely remodeled and grown since I left. Student body? Not so much. Wonder why that is?

Monday, March 23, 2009

My Crazy Ass Brother has cried wolf toooo often...

Hello Dear Readers,
I hope you had near the fun and sunshine that I did this weekend! Sheldon and I went to the DC Home and Garden Show and got all kinds of good information and ideas for the house. We also ate a delicious lunch on the waterfront and went for a lovely drive on the GWParkway. Sigh. It was a perfect day.

My brother didn't have such a great weekend, or so he
says. My brother claims to have a broken leg from a motorcycle accident. But we are not sure we believe him. Why on EARTH would we doubt said brother? Why do we not trust him? Let me count the ways:
  1. likes to play elaborate April Fools jokes
  2. often starts early, mid March is not unheard of and we are already past that point this year
  3. often uses accomplices to help him pull his prank
  4. he usually calls my mother with these pranks in the middle of the night when she is muddled and sympathetic
  5. often these pranks have involved accidents and hospitals
In this case he sent my cell phone a picture of motorcycle that I ignored because I had never seen it before.

He emailed me and asked why I hadn't weighed in on his leg situation. He had already called my mother late on Saturday night to tell her of his plight. He claims to have bought the motorcycle 3 weeks ago, but didn't tell anyone. He claims to have two fractures, one of which is a spiral and needs a metal rod. What facts in this story make me suspicious?
  1. he called mom in the middle of the night to share the story of his plight which had supposedly happened more than 10 hours previous
  2. he is allegedly in the hospital where he used to work and still has plenty of friends who would help him
  3. he sent pix of the bike the day AFTER he supposedly wrecked it
  4. he is sending pix and emails from a hospital room
  5. he has had his girlfriend call and assure us that this is real and question our fealty for doubting him
  6. he sent pix of "a" leg in a "cast" that may or may not be HIS leg

In case you still wonder how I could be so mean let me tell you a little story from about 1992. Keep in mind that this is just one in a long list of April Fools Pranks he has pulled.

The X and I lived in a little cabin in the woods of Harpers Ferry, WV the second year that we were married. At this point my Crazy Ass Brother or CAB as he will now be known, had not yet moved to Florida and had a girlfriend in Charlestown, WV.

One day in mid-March, out of the blue CAB dropped by our house for a visit. Now you have to understand that CAB and I have never been particularly close, he is 5 years younger and we don't exactly have the same circle of friends or interests. At that point I was an old married lady and he was just barely out of his teens, so why on Earth would he drive all the way out to our house unannounced?

Anyway, he stopped by for a visit. During said visit our telephone rang. (This was the days before cell phones.) It was his girlfriend calling to ask if he was there. Odd. Why would his girlfriend call me looking for him? I had had little interaction with her and barely knew her name. She asks for CAB and we put him on the phone. They have a little back and forth conversation and then he says "Oh, the results came back?" and then there are a couple "uh huhs" and such and then, and I kid you not, the boy went white. All the blood drained from his face and he looked a little sick. He said he understood and he was on his way and he hung up.
Now being the nosy older sister I immediately asked him if everything was alright. He assured me that it was and then he beat feet out of my house saying that he had to get over to her house right away.

The X and I discussed this weirdness a little and decided that if it was something serious we would hear soon enough, I decided not to call my mom since I didn't know for sure and didn't want to get her in a tizzy over nothing, and then we never gave it another thought.

Two weeks go by and I have completely forgotten about this little visit;
I drive into my driveway one evening to a bouquet of flowers with balloons by the door. The X worked midnight shift at that time so he was in bed asleep. I carried the flowers in the house and opened the card. It said something to the effect of "Congratulations, you're an Aunt".

I was floored. He had gotten the girl pregnant. The test results, the white face, (such acting) the whole thing. I was also furious. How could he be so stupid. I called him up and started reading him the riot act and was met with hysterical laughter. When he could breathe again he said it.

April Fool.

You see?

Do you understand the depth of his deviousness? The acting job, the accomplices, the $50 bucks spent on flowers and balloons?

I ask you, why should I believe him this time????

Friday, March 20, 2009

All Concerts All The Time

Since Sheldon and I have been going to so many concerts lately I thought I'd better find my list of concerts I have attended to update it. Woo, some of these I had forgotten. I'm sure I've left some out, so I will update this as I remember more.

Bacon Brothers x4
Billy Joel
Bon Jovi
Bonnie Raitt
Brian Setzer Trio
Bruce Hornsby
Danni Leigh (went to high school with my brother)
Eddie from Ohio
The Fixx
Fountains of Wayne
Garth Brooks x2
Goo Goo Dolls
James Taylor x7
Jeffrey Gaines
Justin Townes Earle x2
Kasey Chambers
The Kennedys
Kenny Chesney
Kenny Loggins
Kenny Rogers
Lovell Sisters
Marc Anthony (met him before the show)
Maroon 5
Martina McBride
Moody Blues
Nanci Griffith
OJays x2
Paul McCartney
The Police
Pure Prairie League
Red Molly x2
Roberta Flack
Rick Springfield x2
Ricky Skaggs
Sammy Kershaw
Shane Nicholson
Temptations x2
Toby Keith (met him before the show)
Tom Petty
Whispers x2 


I'm eating like it's my JOB!

Oh Lord, please make the eating stop! I am down 7 pounds from my all time high, but Sheldon and I haven't been to the gym in a couple of weeks so I have been stuck at 156. Yeah, that's right, I just gave my actual weight on the internet. Whatever. It is currently 2:36 in the pm, or 14:36 for those of us in military time...and I have a headache. I keep thinking it is a hunger headache and I keep eating, but the headache isn't going away. Why do you think THAT is?

Actually, now that I think about it my eating hasn't been THAT bad today. I have had:
  1. the white of a hardboiled egg.
  2. a brownie that my darling son made.
  3. an Entemann's choc covered donut
  4. caesar salad with bacon bits
  5. another brownie that my darling son made.
  6. leftover buffalo chicken casserole (why yes, I DID make it twice in the same week, why do you ask?)
  7. caffeine free Dr. Pepper
Really now, since 5am? That is not so bad!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

New Caledonia

So we found a house!!!! We are referring to it as the New Caledonia House. Well, actually, Sheldon is referring to it as such. I guess to differentiate it from the Old Caledonia House, wherever that may be. After weeks of searching and falling in love with short sale after short sale, we finally found a house that was ACTUALLY FOR SALE!! And we bought it. That very night. A couple of days later we went back to take pictures. (I couldn't even remember what the dadgum thing looked like because it was the last of 8 houses we viewed that night and I was so tired and cross eyed and grumpy from stupid short sales.) While Sheldon was taking the pictures and I was poking into every nook and cranny realtors kept showing up to show the house to other prospective buyers. I would run to the front door and breathlessly inform that the house was no longer on the market. Sold! Sold! Sold! It made me very happy! We may actually be able to move in by the first week of April. It was a relo and the other family is already ensconced in their new home somewhere far far away. I am so happy that they left this behind for me. :)

Romantic Movies

I was reading Big Mama's archives today and she had a Valentine's day entry about her favorite romantic movies. She didn't list several of my favorites so I started my list and then I started reading everyone else's comments to the blog and my list got longer and longer and longer. After I wrote all this up as a comment for her, I decided to go ahead and make it an entry here as well! :) These are in no particular order...

1. Ever After
Went to see this with a girlfriend years ago while our husbands watched all the kiddos and football. Near the end when the prince was marrying the wrong girl we were both holding our breath. I turned to her and said "WHY are we holding our breath? It is Cinderella we KNOW how it ends!!!!

2. P.S. I love you
Saw this just recently and absolutely adored it. Denny from Grey's Anatomy is in it! What the husband does to comfort his wife after his death is just amazing.

3. Notting Hill
love the scene at the end when they are reading in the park and she is pregnant. Sigh.

4. 4 Weddings and a Funeral
don't know why...just like it...

5. Steel Magnolias
an all time favorite. "Mama, I'd rather have 30 minutes of wonderful than a lifetime of nothing special."

6. Say Anything
John Cusack and Peter Gabriel, need I say more?

7. City of Angels
Oh Lord, as a library girl, the angels in the library always makes me tingle.

8. Shopgirl!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
OMG, If you have not seen this movie, go. rent. it. now!!!! Steve Martin and Claire Danes. So sweet.

9. Dirty Dancing

10. Sliding Doors
what a great little movie. Love that guy...scottish accents just slay me.

11. Lakehouse - loved it

12. On Golden Pond
I don't think anyone else mentioned this one, but the love between Mr. Fonda and Ms. Hepburn was palpable.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Yummy New Casserole

I just made a casserole for dinner for me and Miles that was SO yummy! I took a Rachael Ray recipe and made it even simpler if you can imagine that!

Buffalo Chicken Casserole
Cut up boneless skinless chicken breasts or strips into bite size pieces. Saute the chicken in a little olive oil. Toss the cooked chicken with enough buffalo wing sauce to coat and spread it out over the bottom of a casserole dish. Mix up a box of Jiffy Corn Bread according to directions, fold a quarter cup of bleu cheese crumbles into the batter. Pour the batter over the chicken in the casserole and bake for 15 minutes at 400 degrees.

That is IT! So easy! So yummy!!!! I highly recommend it if you are a buffalo chicken fan you will love it!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

My Smart Sister

My sister Cricket is so smart. No really, I mean it. She has introduced me to VERY valuable websites like hotmail (back int the day before anyone else had ever heard of free web based email). Then a few years ago she upgraded me to gmail, which is the best! She got me hooked on Pamie one year when she was a camp counselor and needed me to mail her Pamie's journal posts because she was in the woods all summer and didn't have access to the internet. She taught me about Amazon Wishlists and got me on myspace to help me find a man. Then she upgraded me to facebook when that became the way to communicate.

I've helped her a time or two as well...she has a Mazda, a laptop and TiVo because of me.

This year she has introduced me to a whole new concept. This one has nothing to do with communication or the internet. It is a little more personal and close to home. She introduced me to the concept of brushing your teeth in the shower! I know! Sounds weird doesn't it? It is the GREATEST thing! I love brushing my teeth in the shower so much, I almost hate to do it at the sink. I now have 4 toothbrushes and 4 tubes of toothpaste! One in my shower, one at my sink, one in Sheldon's shower, one at Sheldon's sink! Sheldon and Miles both think I am bananas and refuse to take part in this crazyness. Frankly, I thought Cricket was crazy when she first mentioned it to me...but I was wrong. So...try it. Then you'll see how smart my sister Cricket is!

Birthday Wish List for Sheldon

Okay so my birthday is coming. I love birthdays. Not as much as my sister who starts reminding people 6 months in advance, but still, I'm giving you 28 days notice. I'm making a list of things I would like. Don't worry if you weren't planning on getting me anything, I'd rather do something fun with you than get a present anyhow...BUT, if you wanted to buy something these are the things I'd RATHER have:

Perudo (Liar's Dice)

Packrat Tickets

A walk amongst the cherry blossoms (ooh a free one!)
Anything on that Amazon Wishlist in the upper right hand corner of the screen.
Peacock, Heather, Evergreen, Ivory, or Chocolate Fiesta Dishes
A new cupcake stamp for letterboxing.
KISSES, lots and lots of KISSES!
a bodybugg so I can track my workouts!
ummm...a new house?
a trip to Germany to see pregnant Jeannette!!
A lapframe for cross stitching.
This gorgeous shoe cabinet.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

No Pain for Miles

Ha, that's a pretty funny sentence.  Cause it doesn't mean what you may think.  My son Miles has absolutely NO PAIN TOLERANCE.  I mean none.  I have said this for years but I was reminded again last night how true this is.  Whenever he has pain of any sort it is the end of the world.  To him a papercut is like a broken arm.  No joke.  Any pain whatsoever causes immediate vomiting.  

This means if he has a headache he is miserable and can't keep pain meds in his tummy.  Right now he is suffering with a killer ear infection and can't tolerate tylenol or motrin or anything.  Luckily the last time this happened our doc gave him ear drops instead of oral meds and they worked like a charm.  I had forgotten all about the drops but after 24 hours of suffering he asked me to take him to the doc for more drops and when I checked the medicine stash, low and behold they were still in there and they were not expired!  Today he feels much better.

This pain issue was most clear when he had his appendix out at age 10.  He woke up in the night in horrible pain and I knew from the location and symptoms that it was his appendix cause I had mine out when I was 10.  We took him to the ER and they checked him out and although nothing seemed to be showing up in their various scans they opened him up and took it out.  The surgeon told us that in 20 years of appendectomies he had never seen one LESS inflamed!  That's right, the INSTANT that little bugger started to flare up, my kid was in agony!

I'm not sure how he will handle this as an adult.  Right now a headache is enough to put him in bed for days and this ear infection has kept him out of school for two days already.  He will have to figure out how to deal, cause no boss is gonna put up with this!

Monthly Resolutions - Month 2

I started a new habit this year, setting monthly do-able resolutions.  
Here is the January list.

Monthly Resolutions for February:

  1. Meet someone new (I had a lovely conversations with the people around me in line every time we went to the Birchmere last month.  I didn't get any names or numbers, but I'm sure I will see them again, the Birchmere is a small family of fans!!!)
  2. go to a museum (FAIL)
  3. paint a room in the house (FAIL)
  4. spend time with an old friend (Kiki and I hadn't spoken in 8 years and we talked for 4 solid hours last Tuesday)
  5. try a new recipe (Sheldon and I tried two new recipes on Valentines weekend!  Nos 108 and 111 in Rachael Ray's 365: No Repeats Cookbook.  Park City Cashew Chicken and Pork Chops with Grainy Mustard and Raisin Sauce.  Both were Yummo!)
  6. go dancing (FAIL)