Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A Necessary Correction

I had a small conversation with Neve the other night.  Or should I say morning?   It was 1:00am and she was STILL awake!!

Me:  Dude! you've GOT to get to sleep!

Neve:  I no DUDE Mimi, I a LADY!

I stand corrected....

                                                           Such a lady!!!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Grocery Stores are the Reward for Being a Good Mom

My mom used to tell me that grocery stores are the reward for being a good mom.  She would tell me that every time I visited her in Florida.  Mom especially liked to go to the store when the babies were little.  All those old people!!  Mom was always the winner in that cute grandkid contest that every grandmother played.  (Now I always win!)

So here I was a couple of Mondays ago - the only one in the house, the receiver of some bad news and in the need of some comfort - so immediately I thought To the Grocery Store!!  (I DID need milk and Downy and a couple of giant bottles of aquafina.)

But which one?

1)  The Commissary.  Hands down my favorite.  It is the scene of my early wifehood, early momhood....I spent 21 plus years shopping at the commissary almost exclusively and I miss it terribly.  BUT it is over an hour away...

2) Wegmans.  Ahh. It is my happy place.  I LOVE strolling down the aisles, sipping my latte, looking at all the cool stuff...feeling just a little superior...AND the babies and I love watching the train.

3) Trader Joes.  I LOVE this place!  Larry and I feel like true DINK's (Double Income No
Kids) when we are there.  If it was closer we would shop there always.  Alas, it was also too far away.

4)  Giant.  Well I go there when I have to deposit a check for my job.  Or if I want giant bottles of aquafina water.  (It is the closest place that sells them at a reasonable price.)  Or on a day like today when I am just pants and a hoodie away from rolling out of bed. 

I think that there is a little unspoken dress code for Wegmans.  Giant is more of a come-as-you are-we-just-want-your-money kind of place.

And I also think that if one would walk into Wegmans, hear a sad song playing whilst perusing the veggies and burst into tears, well, it might be frowned upon.

No even noticed at the Giant.

So, $233.00 worth of comfort later, I felt better.

Except I forgot the Downy.

So I sent Larry to Wegmans.  He was dressed appropriately.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

And She's Back!!

Larry and Shayne SERIOUSLY outdid themselves and drove to NC, picked up the U-Haul, packed the U-Haul, met Audrey's office, had dinner and then DROVE home!!  They left at 5:15am and returned at 1:00am!  Whew!!!

In the meantime Mary and Neve and I drove to Springfield and picked up Mary's wedding dress!!!

A busy day was had by all.

So now my downstairs is again completely full (I wish we had taken before and after pictures!!) and Auds is gingerly walking about, getting her sea legs back.  I've been trying to help with the boxes and stacking stuff and helping to get organized, but I must admit:

 I am torn.

I am distracted.

What kind of a mother am I anyway??

Auds is going thru all this pain and all I can think is this:


I am about 1/2 way thru New Moon and I am dying to get to my Kindle and read like a maniac.

Hmmm... Maybe Audrey will understand....

                                             Neve is def Team Edward.....

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Early Morning Phone Calls

Phone calls in the early morning generally do not bode well.

As in:  "Mom's gone."
As in: "Hurry, pop is fading."
As in: "I thought you should know that Shayne just called to say good-bye."

These kinds of phone calls require immediate action:

As in: Call Bo and run to Florida.
As in: Pack and run to Kentucky.
As in: Find Shayne quickly and run to a hospital.

So on Monday when the phone rang at 7am I knew it wasn't good news.

The break-up was supposed to friendly.  It was supposed to end in April.  But breaking hearts hastened the end and now we need to get there by Friday to help her move.
So on Friday, dad and big brother will do the hard part and pack her up and bring her home.
Then mom and big sister will do the hard part and try to console her and apply the odd emotion bandage.
Then this little sister, baby daughter, grown woman will do the hard part.and try to start over and deal with the what ifs and if onlys and what will I do now.

Early morning phone calls suck.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Semi Haiku

I am always trying to prove to myself that even with trash TV and menopause rotting my mind that I can still learn things...  Still grow, you know, intellectually....

So today I offer this sort of haiku:

                                          I bought a Living Social Deal.
                    We welcomed in a cat house.
                         Cats hate it.
                      Grandkids love it.
                       Money well spent.

                                                       Sminky hating....

                                                     Neve approving....

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Neve's Very Loud Day

          Or How I Got a Mani Pedi with a Red Marker

We started out the morning with two half awake grandparents crawling down the stairs, hoping to have an IV or two of coffee before the babies hopped down the stairs and into their morning.

Our wish was not granted.

Neve started out watching Ice Age - Dinosaurs ROAR!  (Ice Age Dawn of the Dinosaurs for those not in the know.)  Remember Garrett Morris on SNL?  His News for the Hearing Impaired where he shouted the news whilst Chevy Chase read the news?  Well, that's how we watched Ice Age for the first 20 minutes.  Neve repeated EVERY line at top volume!

Then they built a protective barrier with their cozy coupes so that the "crokerdials" wouldn't get them.   "What about us?" we asked.  "Crokerdials are gonna get you!" Neve replied.  Like really loudly.  We were kind of looking for the crokerdials ourselves at this point.  If not for just a little relief.

Then it was magic time!  Yes, The Pioneer Woman Cooks comes on at 10am and Larry was ready and waiting with his ever present coffee cup.  By that time  Neve was coloring a valentine with a red marker so I called her over.  I drew a flower on the back of her hand, which charmed her into silence.  Then she wanted to draw one on my hand.  Then she started "painting" my nails with said marker.  With great deliberation and concentration and sweet blessed silence!!!  She moved on to my toe nails and I didn't even care.  She then moved on to Grey and HE is the one who drew snowflakes on her legs, but hey, it washes off.

And we got to watch the Pioneer Woman in relative peace.  Crokerdials notwithstanding.

We ended our morning by heading out to Costco, with Neve practicing her squealing in the backseat.  I finally said "Sweetie!!  You have GOT to stop squealing!!  You are killing Poppop's ears!"  And she looked at me so innocently and told me " Mimi, all he has to do is put his hands over his ears - like this"  

Well why didn't we think of THAT?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Our 32nd Valentines Day

Since this is our 32nd Valentines Day together and since we had that nice joint birthday party for Lance and Shayne Sunday night AND since we went ALL OUT in 2010 (Spent THREE nights at the Inn at Meander Plantation) neither of us were upset that we kind of hmmm... well.... phoned it in this year

We started our day of lovin' this morning when I stumbled downstairs before LT left just so I could tell him happy V Day before he left for work.  (Then I staggered to the couch and fell right back to sleep.)  It IS the thought that counts, after all...

Then I got to work and sent him a lovely email with a couple of romantic sonnets by William Shakespeare.  (Actually I just forwarded Garrison Keillors' The Writer's Almanac for February 14, 2012, which featured said sonnets.)

His reply was so romantic.  So Sweet.  Let's see if you can guess where each quote comes from.  (There might be a prize...)


Oh my…..if the sky were parchment and the sea ink I could not begin to describe my love for you (oooooohhhh, wasn’t THAT nice….???)

For if it be widely said, and widely writ, if I be furniture, you’ll always have a place to sit!!

I do love you so,

Happy Valentines Day!!


Wasn't that sweet?

 He brought me candy in a nice basset-y box!  And a lovely card!  Then he unloaded the dishwasher!

OK, so maybe I was the one who phoned it in....

I'll do better next year.

By the way....
1st quote - Garfield's Christmas
2nd quote - Moonlighting 'Taming of the Shrew'
3rd quote - Raising Arizona

Thursday, February 9, 2012

By Popular Demand - Potato Soup with Variations

Here it is!!  My potato Soup recipe!!
This is what I sent Auds a couple of weeks ago.  The thing to remember is that the more often you make it, the more comfortable you'll feel making it.

                                    They wish they were making potato soup.....

6 or so potatoes (depends on how much you want to make) Peeled and diced 

You can leave the potato peels on if you want.  It was all the rage in the mid 70's and I cooked them like that but I am more mature now and I don't like potato peelings....
Also, you could actually slice the potatoes if you want, but I wasn't brought up that way...but it is fine if You want to...

one chopped onion
2 celery ribs - chopped (don't add celery if you are cooking for my friend Sue...)
bacon or ham or italian sausage
chicken stock or water and bullion cubes
milk or half and half or some of both
If using bacon, fry until crisp (3 or 4 slices)  if using ham saute cubed ham in a little butter  if using italian sausage crumble and brown.
Leave a couple of tbsp's of bacon grease (or the butter and ham or the sausage) in bottom of cooking pot and brown the onion, then add the celery, then add the potatoes.  (and salt and pepper)
Add stock or water and bullion cubes til the potatoes are covered.  Boil until the potatoes are tender.  Don't over boil!
Add milk or half and half or some of both til it is as brothy as you'd like. (My mom always dumped out the water the potatoes were boiled lose flavor, but you get nice white soup.)
This is IMPORTANT - Don't boil the soup once you add the milk.  Just simmer.
And here is where it is up to mom made it brothy with the pieces of potato left intact.  My aunt always mashed most of the potatoes.
Note - Corn is good to add to bacony soup, brocolli w ham, greens (Spinach or Kale) with sausage.
Season to taste and add what is left of the bacon if that is what you are using,  (I always have to fight the family and the cats and Lucy and Ellie for the bacon...)
Grated cheese, thinly sliced green onions or chopped tomatoes are good on top.
Oyster crackers are good too!!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

2nd Generation Potato Soup

One of the nicer things about a two person nest is the ability to prepare foods the way YOU want to.  Not that I catered to my kids every whim...Far from that!!  I just knew that they didn't care for onions or peppers or mushrooms that much when they were younger, so I'd chop the dreaded ingredients a little finer, or add a little less....

Tonight I wanted potato soup like my mom made.  With nice big recognizable pieces of onion in a nice milky broth.  Yummm!!
My mom made great potato soup!  Potatoes, onions, bacon, milk, salt and pepper.  Her potatoes were always perfectly diced into little squares - something I have NEVER been able to replicate!

I wonder if that is how HER mom made it?  Mom never talked about Grandma Mylott's cooking.  My Grandma Mylott was a strange fish.  Johanna Maria Modine Bohannon Gibson Mylott. 

I remember my dad talking about one dinner Grandma Mylott cooked in particular - she made hamburgers and put the last one on his plate.  He told her he was full and didn't want it and left it.  When he got up the next morning and asked what was for breakfast she pulled his plate out of the fridge and told him that first he had to finish his supper.  He told my mom let's go and they never ate at her house again.

But I digress.

I sent my potato soup recipe to Audrey a couple of weeks ago.  (Third generation potato soup?)
After she made it she said the same thing I said to my mom..."it was great, but it wasn't yours!"

Tonight I made my potato soup JUST like my moms. 

Well, except I added some chicken broth and some celery and lots of broccoli and some Velveeta.  And my potatoes were chopped in large chunks which I mostly mashed along with the broccoli.

                                       See! Just like mom used to make.  Sort of...

But the broth was light and the onions were plentiful...

Just like mom's.

Electronic Family 2

                                            My purple ShoeDazzle Purse!!!

A text between Audrey and me -

Me:  It's here!!  (promptly forgetting to send the picture)

Audrey:  What?  Snow?

Me: (sending picture)  Sorry!

Audrey:  It's Lovely!

Me: Thanks!!  And then Dad asked if I needed another purse!!!

Audrey:  Did you tell him to shut his *Mouth* ?  (*Editor's note:  This is a family blog....)

Me:  I simply said YES with a look that plainly told him that I am aware of how much Brumbie (our horse) costs - yearly, monthly, weekly!

Audrey:  Hahaha!!

Monday, February 6, 2012

The Thing About In-Laws....

My daughter-in-law Jessica is a beautiful, bright, articulate, hard-working, independent woman.  They chose to live in Manassas to be close to us because they knew they were going to have kids and they wanted us to be able to enjoy them.

That being said, we do most of our communicating thru Shayne.  They are a very busy little family and lots of times we will go weeks with only seeing Shayne as he drops off and picks up the grandbabies.

Jessica has been gravely ill.  She is slowly getting better but we are still plenty worried. 

 Last night Larry and I were thinking about Jess and thought back to the summer when Grey was born, when Jessica did the greatest thing ever for Larry.

Grey was born on Monday and went straight to the NICU.  Larry's dad (Pop) fell on Wednesday and also went into the ICU. 

And thus began Larry's most difficult summer of his life.

Grey came home the next Monday, just about the same time that we were told that Pop was not going to come home.  The fall revealed an underlying condition and he was not going to get better.

Larry spent the summer seeing Grey whenever he could and then racing to KY to see Pop.

                                             Larry and Baby Grey at the NICU

It was difficult, celebrating Shayne becoming a new dad, while telling his own dad good-bye.  He was loving being a grandfather to Grey, while his own childrens' grandfather was slipping away.

We got back from the funeral late on Monday.  On Tuesday morning - out of the blue - Jess called and wanted to come by.  Maybe to bring something of Joey's back?  I don't remember;  I just know that when she handed Grey to Larry to hold, he relaxed for the first time in a couple of months.  He just sat and rocked and looked at that 2 month old baby and no one else existed.

After a few minutes Jess asked if we would mind watching Grey for a few minutes while she ran over to Target.

It was the first time we had ever watched Grey by ourselves.

I don't think I even held him that day.

How Jess knew that Larry needed to hold Grey that day is still a mystery.  But it worked.  It helped.

I sure hoped that we thanked her profusely.

If we didn't then, I am now.

Thank you Jess.  You are awesome.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Conversations w the Grandkids 1

Neve and grey are getting more verbal and even more entertaining...

Grey and Neve were making 'Green Chicken Chili' at their little table.  Grey very heatedly tells Neve "you didn't put in the ingredients in the the right order!"
That made me wonder... did she add the dominoes too soon?  Or the monopoly pieces?

I was coming down the stairs and Neve says "I want mommy."   So I tell her "Oh sweetie you want your mommy?  I can take you to her."  And Neve rolls her eyes and says very distinctly "I. Want. Money."   Hmm...In that case, I guess she does want her mommy...

I came running down the stairs with my wet hair in a towel.  I asked Grey to hand me my oil of olay lotion.  As I was taking the towel off my head Grey asked "What's this lotion for?"  I said "To make Mimi beautiful!  Isn't it working?"  Grey says "uh, no."

I guess I'd better get some stronger lotion!!!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Anatomy of a Breakfast

Larry and I like to watch cooking shows.  Our whole family does.  And lately there has been a whole lot of French Toast going on.  French Toast made with Challah Bread.  French Toast loving soaked in an egg and cream mixture...YUMMMMM...

So I was at Panera Bread last Thursday morning after my doctors appointment. (Don't judge me!)  And they had  Challah, so I bought a loaf and went on my way, dreaming of my new electric skillet filled with slices of challah loving soaked in an egg and cream mixture, browning beautifully...

Well, on Friday night we had Ledo's pizza with Mary, so no breakfast as dinner scenario there.

Then on Saturday morning we were running late for a massage and then 'linner' with Mary and Lance and after we got home we both decided on yogurt for supper, so no french toast on Saturday.

Finally, Sunday morning!  Always the multi-tasker, I started bacon in my new cast iron skillet and cracked six eggs into a 13x9 pan.  I added half and half, cinnamon, nutmeg, and just a little bit of sugar. whisk-ed it with my flat whisk, then went to slice the challah.

OMG the challah smelled EVIL.  Like nasty beer-y yeast.  So we called Mary. ($36,000.00 for her Associates in Science Specializing in Pastry Degree - she is our technical go-to person)
She said to toss it.  WHAT???  So we called Panera.  The 15 year old that answered said he didn't think it was good either.  In the meantime, while we were on the phone, I had lovingly added the slices of the evil smelling challah to my egg mixture thinking that maybe we'd find out that that really is what challah bread smells like.

It looked so beautiful.....

That's when we realized that the challah's shelf life was roughly equivalent to the life span of a Mayfly. 

So, I dumped out the Challah, the egg and half and half mixture and washed the pan.  Then I added 6 more eggs, more half and half, cinnamon, nutmeg and just a touch of sugar, beat it together with a regular whisk and added some of Larry's sacred Pepperidge Farm Oatmeal bread to the mix - not as lovingly as before - and let it soak while I fired up my new electric skillet.  I reached into the fridge and discovered that the grocery fairies had NOT visited my house and all I had was unsalted butter leftover from the holidays.  Geeeeezzzz.

The bacon, by the way, was wonderful.

So, lets recap:

1 dozen eggs
1 cup of half and half
1 loaf of Challah Bread
1/2  loaf of Larry's Pepperidge Farm Oatmeal Bread

And the loss of a dream.

The Oatmeal Bread French Toast was pretty good.

Just not as flashy.